I’m no fan of February, even in the Lowcountry, but among its saving graces are a bounty of things that force you outside on chilly days.

For me, that includes plenty of running races and oyster roasts. In fact, one event combines both.

The second annual Race & Roast at Oakland Plantation on Sunday features a 5K trail run at 12:30 p.m. (yeah, sleep in!) followed by an oyster roast, which also includes chili, hot dogs, beer from Palmetto Brewery, wine and music by Hit or Miss (two members of Sol Driven Train).

The family-friendly event also includes an inflatable slide, face-painting and wagon rides.

The cost is $50 for the race and roast, or $35 for the oyster roast; kids 12 and under get into the oyster roast for free.

The event benefits the Mount Pleasant Land Conservancy, which protects 220 acres of undeveloped land in and around Mount Pleasant. Oakland Plantation is part of that land. It features an “avenue of oaks” and 130 acres of preserved woodland.


Charity runs

Two other charity races will be held Saturday.

The 11th annual MESSA (Master of Environmental Studies Student Association at the College of Charleston) 8K will be at 9 a.m. Saturday on Folly Beach. Cost is $25. Proceeds benefit Shem Creek Fisheries, a nonprofit dedicated to helping preserve the local seafood industry.


The eighth annual LifePoint Gift of Life 5K run and 2K walk will be at 9 a.m. Saturday at James Island County Park. The fee is $30. Proceeds benefit LifePoint Inc., the organ, eye and tissue procurement organization for South Carolina.


South Carolina Rocks

The S.C. Nature-Based Tourism Association is partnering with the S.C. Paddlesports Industry Association for the South Carolina Rocks conference on Tuesday and Wednesday at Santee State Park on Lake Marion.

The conference will feature Dr. Scott Harris, speaking on “Rocks & Their Remnants in S.C.: Driving Tourism With Geology,” and park ranger Susan Heisey, speaking on the host region’s “Santee National Wildlife Refuge: A Natural and Cultural History.”

Dr. David Stoney will share details on “Climate Change 2012 and Beyond.”

Other highlights of the conference will include “Building Your Tribe With Social Media,” a silent auction of “S.C.’s Best” and a sunrise yoga session.

The conference registration fee is $65 and $45 for additional attendees from the same organization. Registration forms are available at scnatureadventures.com. Contact April Turner at 953-2078 or april.turner@scseagrant.org, or Kristina Wheeler at 224-8435 or kwheeler@ccprc.com.

Organize a bed

One of the most fun races in Charleston involves teams of five people and beds on wheels. And now is the time to get a team together for the fourth annual Charleston Bed Race, to be held at 1 p.m. April 14 on Mary Murray Boulevard in Hampton Park.

The winning races are determined by the teams’ race time and will be judged in heats of two beds completing a distance of about two city blocks. The fun continues until a Bed Race champion is declared.

The entry fee is $125 per bed, and beds will be judged in the following categories: fastest, slowest, best decorated, most outrageously decorated and the “What Were you Thinking?” The People’s Choice award is everyone’s all-time favorite.

The event benefits Camp Happy Days, a camp for children with cancer and their families. Last year, 1,100-plus people attended the Charleston Bed Race, and the organization raised more than $16,000.