Get Out: Fight for Air Climb fights for participants, IOP Beach Run adds a 10K and the Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series comes off its NASCAR high
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
One of life’s lessons is one I often have a hard time practicing: Be willing to fail.
Every time someone starts an event, the possibility of failure — of people not turning out, of the event not coming off as planned or simply bad weather — hangs over an organizer’s head.
When the local chapter of the American Lung Association started the Fight for Air Climb, a stair-climbing event at the North Charleston Coliseum, two years ago, they certainly got out of the comfortable charity 5K box and took a chance.
Granted, ALA chapters across the country host Fight for Air Climbs, but I knew something like this would be a challenge to make work in Charleston because we have so many different opportunities, most of them outdoors. Plus, late July is one of our few dead zones.
In its first two years, the climb, which is fairly involved to organize, drew barely as many people as a small 5K. Fewer than 100. As of last week, this year’s event had 71 registrants.
Regardless of how Saturday’s event goes, ALA’s Katrina Taylor said the group is committed to putting on at least one more Fight for Air Climb in 2013, and a restructuring of programming may free up time for better promotion of the event.
Whether it’s the time of year, the venue or the fact that the association’s three staffers are swamped with other duties, it’s a shame that such a good cause isn’t getting better support. The lung association fights for clean air, against smoking and for those who have lung-related ailments, such as asthma, lung cancer and cystic fibrosis.
The motto for the event is: “We climb for those who can’t breathe on their own.”
The lung association’s goal for the event is to raise $43,500. As of last week, it had raised pledges of $18,685.
It’s not too late to sign up for Saturday’s Fight for Air Climb at the North Charleston Coliseum, 5001 Coliseum Drive. The event features an array of climbs that may sound more intimidating than they are, as a team or an individual. Granted, it’s likely you’ll still have sore glutes the day after.
The “ultra climb” at 7 a.m. features 5,044 steps (all total step counts are tallied both up and down), the regular climb at 8:30 a.m. has 1,566 steps, and the firefighters climb, also 1,566 steps, starts at 9 a.m. Call 556-8451 or go to www.lung.org.
IOP Beach Run
In it’s 20th year, the Isle of Palms Beach Run has added a 10K to the mix.
And while the motivation behind it is a trick to have the Beach Run pop up on more Internet searches, IOP Recreation supervisor of athletics Ben Hull said about one-third of the 250 people who have preregistered to date have selected the 10K.
Hull said the addition of a 10K to the 5K has doubled early registration, and that doesn’t factor in the trend of about one-third of participants signing up on race morning.
This year’s race will be at 8 a.m. Saturday at The Windjammer, 1008 Ocean Blvd.
The Beach Run, which first started in 1993 as the Sand Shark Run, was a four-miler until 2010. That’s when Hull realized that nobody searches for four-mile runs. So he switched it to a 5K. And it worked; registration went up.
Participation splits 60/40 locals to tourists, and the Beach Run has representation from 15 to 20 states and one to two countries. But Hull doesn’t deceive himself. These folks already are visiting here and are just looking for a local race to jump into.
What about the course? Start and finish are on the beach at The Windjammer. The 10K goes out 3.1 miles to about the Grand Pavilion at Wild Dunes Resort and back. Register at the Isle of Palms Recreation Department, 24 28th Ave., during business hours or go to www.iop.net. Call 886-8294.
CSTS No. 4
Even though NASCAR has as much in common with triathlons as oil and water, organizers and participants at the last Charleston Sprint Triathlon Series event buzzed with excitement over the participation of Hendrick Motorsports teammates Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne.
It wasn’t the first time the series has hosted celebrities. In June 2010, cast and crew members of the TV show “Army Wives,” sans Kim Delaney, participated.
Moral of the story? You never know when your brush with fame may be thrashing away in the pond at James Island County Park.
CSTS race No. 4, which includes a 600-yard-pond swim, 12-mile bike and 5K run, will start at 7:15 a.m. Sunday at the park. Go to www.charlestontriathlon club.com.