Yorktown, Airlift runs celebrate Veterans Day

The 437th Airlift Wing’s Run the Runway 5K at the Charleston Air Base in North Charleston honors retired Brig. Gen. Thomas Mikolajcik, who died from ALS in 2010.

In one of the biggest running weekends of the year in Charleston, two of five races to be held in the next two days have Veterans Day themes.

On Saturday, Patriots Point is teaming with the Yorktown Association for the inaugural Run for the Yorktown Veterans Day 5K at 8 a.m. The event will start with a bang, a shot from a 37 mm anti-tank gun, and finish on the dock leading to the aircraft carrier Yorktown. The post-race party will be on the flight deck of the ship.

Patriots Point Executive Director Mac Burdette says the proceeds of the event will benefit the Patriots Point History and Science Institute, which hosted 10,000 schoolchildren last year.

"Our goal is to reach 20,000 (children) by the end of 2014," says Burdette.

The fee is $30 in advance and $35 on Saturday before the race. Packet pickup and on-site registration will be 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday at On the Run store, 920-A9 Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant. Race-day registration is 7-7:45 a.m. Saturday at Patriots Point.

The second Veterans Day-themed event, the 437th Airlift Wing Run the Runway 5K at the Charleston Air Base, North Charleston, is closed to new registrants, but is worth noting because of the man it honors: retired Brig. Gen. Thomas Mikolajcik, who died from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, at 63 in April 2010.

Mikolajcik, who was diagnosed in 2003, fought the disease on two fronts, personally and in his community. He was instrumental in forming the first ALS Association chapter in South Carolina in 2005 and pushed for the creation of a local clinic that opened in July 2006 to treat those with the neurological disorder.

Registration for Run the Runway closed last Friday to provide time for security checks.

Run 10

I've always thought one running distance that is under-used is the 10-miler. There's just something simple about it, and it's a workout worth a beer or two afterward (even at 9 a.m.)

For four years, The Extra Mile running store has held the only one in the Charleston area, the Folly Beach 10 Mile Run (as well as a five-mile walk). This year's event starts at 8 a.m. in front of The Tides hotel, 1 Center Street on Folly. The 10-miler is made up of two five-mile loops.

Patt Loggins, co-owner of The Extra Mile, says the 10-miler is well-positioned for those are training for the Kiawah Island Half Marathon on Dec. 10. "Also, if you are not up to doing the 10 by yourself, we have a two-person team relay competition where each member runs one five-mile loop of the two-loop 10 mile course."

The fee ranges from $60 for relay teams to $30 for the walk. Packet pickup and late registration will be noon-5 p.m. Friday at The Extra Mile, 336 King St., or 6:45-7:45 a.m. Saturday near The Tides. Proceeds benefit James Island Charter High School's track and cross country teams. "Adult beverages" will be provided by the Sand Dollar Social Club.


Not done yet

Need any more variety? The inaugural "Where the Wild Things Are" run is a 5K trail run, at 4 p.m. (sleep in!) Saturday, at the gorgeous Caw Caw Interpretive Center, a Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission site in Ravenel.

Because it's a trail run, participants must be 10 or older. Ages 10-15 also must be accompanied by an adult. And no dogs are allowed. The fee is $24-$30. More at www.ccprc.com or 795-4386.

Or go even more low-key by joining in the 12th annual Old Village Harbor Run at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Alhambra Hall in Mount Pleasant. Entry is $20 for early registration and $25 on race day. www.active.com or www.townofmountpleasant.com.

Reach David Quick at dquick@postandcourier.com.