We’ll be hearing plenty about the end of the world in the coming week.

As the 5,125-year-long Mayan calendar ends on Dec. 21, the winter solstice, expect some weird and funny stuff to happen.

All because the Maya were misunderstood.

That said, I’ve often thought in the last two years that the Maya may not have been off the mark in ending the calendar in 2012.

Think about the wars and political unrest around the world.

The long recession, the Euro and the fiscal cliff. And the environmental calamities, from glaciers melting, heat waves and drought, to “100-year superstorms” happening every two to three years.

Sure seems like a convergence of doom to me.

But alas, it probably won’t crash in the short term, so party like it’s 2012.

Last Chance 50K

Similar to the End of the World Marathon in Humble, Texas, on Dec. 21, the Charleston area will host the Mayan-themed Last Chance 50K on the Swamp Fox Trail in the Francis Marion National Forest on Saturday.

The 50K, which starts and ends at the Witherbee Ranger Station in Cordesville, features an individual race and relays for two- or four-person teams.

As of last week, race director Chad Haffa said about 120 people have signed up, and half of them plan to run the full 31.06 miles.

Finishers get a medallion that looks like a Mayan coin.

And much like the long distances indigenous peoples in Mexico and Central American ran, Haffa isn’t pampering runners.

Besides the start and finish, aid stations will be at the 7.5-mile and 23-mile mark.


Shift Happens

Jeffrey Cohen of Jivamukti Yoga Charleston has been talking about the Mayan calendar ending in 2012 for nearly five years and he’s marking it with a colorful, free “one-of-a-kind” yoga event called Shift Happens from 7 p.m.-midnight Dec. 21 at the studio in Mount Pleasant.

Cohen, along with others, sees the end of the Mayan calendar as the dawning of a new age, “one in which we manifest the peace we talk about and hear about in songs.”

The event will start with fluorescent body painting, which is optional, at 7 p.m.

From 7:30-9 p.m., a “live music yoga tribal dance party” will follow, featuring blacklight and “Mayan beats that will charge the atmosphere and shake the ground like an earthquake.”

Participants are urged to wear fluorescent, neon or white clothing.

A drum circle and aerial yoga performance will follow at 9:15-10:15 p.m.

Shift Happens concludes with chanting from 10:30 p.m. until midnight.

The event will feature free vegan food provided by The Sprout, Puree, Dell’z Deli and Unbaked.

Jivamukti instructor Cortney Ostrosky, the host of the event, said people do not have to stay for the entire event and that it is open and appropriate for all ages.

“We see it as an opportunity for an awakening,” said Ostrosky. “We’re going from an age of materialism, fear and greed to an age of harmony, compassion and peace.”