With 110 running races in the Charleston area (plus some that fly under the radar) every year and inevitably two or three weekends with none, some weekends are going to crest above that 2.1 average.
This is definitely one of those weekends, especially if you include Thursday night, as there are six races in less than 40 hours!
The line-up starts with the second annual Oktoberfest 5K Thursday in Mount Pleasant and cranks up Saturday with the inaugural Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K on Johns Island, the fourth annual Avondale 5K in West Ashley, the fourth annual Crowfield Plantation 5K in Goose Creek, the third annual Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge and fifth annual AIDS Walk and Red Ribbon 5K in Charleston.
And while running is popular, it shouldn’t overshadow two other cool events this weekend: the fourth annual Half-Moon Outfitters Golden Nugget SUP Paddle n’ Party in Mount Pleasant and Trek of Mount Pleasant Women Breast Cancer Awareness Ride in Awendaw.
Oktoberfest features the standard romp through Patriots Point, really good beer (from local Westbook Brewing), an Oktoberfest costume contest and German music.
The second Oktoberfest 5K Run-Walk will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park. Registration is $35 for the run and post-race party and $20 for the party. Proceeds benefit Toys for Tots and the Rotary Youth Exchange Program.
Lowcountry Trail runs
The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission continues to expand its fitness outreach with the addition of the Lowcountry Trail Half Marathon and 5K at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the beautiful Mullet Hall Equestrian Center on Johns Island.
Allison Foster, PRC’s relatively new fitness and wellness program manager, provides another opportunity for people to experience the trails of Mullet Hall, the site of the early March Mullet Haul 10- and 5-miler, on foot.
The fees range from $40-$48 for the half and $28-$34 for the 5K.
I toured The Charles Webb Center, the beneficiary of the Avondale 5K Run and Walk, for a column on the center prior to last year’s race. The center is a wonderfully warm place, a nonprofit that serves children from age 6 weeks to 10 years who have developmental disabilities and special needs.
Last year’s race brought in 450 participants and nearly $50,000 for the center, and its leaders hope to surpass that this year.
The fourth annual Avondale 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. The fee is $30-$35 for the race and includes an after-party with all-inclusive food and drinks at Triangle Char & Bar, 828 Savannah Highway.
For those who want to go to the party without running, the fee is $20.
The 2013 Crowfield Plantation 5K will take place at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on the paved winding and wooded trail system in Crowfield Plantation in Goose Creek. Last year’s race drew 215 finishers.
The fee is $25 and benefits the Callen-Lacey Center for Children in Berkeley County, which provides a secure, protective and nurturing environment for abused, abandoned and neglected children.
The race also features cash awards and prizes for the top three male and female finishers overall, as well as awards for age groupers.
Bridge 2 Bridge
Undoubtedly, the third Georgetown Bridge 2 Bridge Half Marathon, 12K and 5K will have even more meaning this year than in the previous two years.
On Sept. 25, a fire destroyed a section of historic Front Street businesses. The races start and finish at either side of the burned-out section of buildings. The course is laid out like a Tour de Georgetown and I strongly suggest those interested check out the maps online at the site listed below.
The fees range from $25-$70 depending on the race and when you register. Proceeds will benefit the Georgetown County United Way, the Georgetown Business Association and the Iota Tau Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Scholarship Fund.
Red Ribbon 5K
The Roper St. Francis Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program will host its fifth annual Red Ribbon 5K and AIDS Walk event 9 a.m.-noon Saturday at Hampton Park in Charleston.
The fee $30 for the 5K and $20 for the walk. Net proceeds from donations to the Ryan White program annual fundraising events and advocacy programs are designated to the Medication Endowment Fund at the Roper St. Francis Foundation to provide emergency medical care and medications for patients.
Golden Nugget SUP
Despite the fact that the water is cooling, stand-up paddleboarding remains hot.
Saturday marks the fourth annual Half-Moon Outfitters Golden Nugget SUP Paddle n’ Party at 2 p.m. Saturday at Red’s Ice House on Shem Creek.
The Golden Nugget race is for novice and advanced paddlers alike and will be split into two categories: a 5K and 10K. Because it hands out cash and prizes totaling $5,000, it should draw racers from throughout the country.
For the first time, the Golden Nugget will include a youth race immediately following the adult races. There are two age categories, 10 and under and 11 to 15, both co-ed.
The SUP race is an official sanctioned point event of the World Paddle Association. The party at Red’s Ice House will include music, food and drinks, and is open to racers and spectators.
Come watch the racers battle it out from the boardwalk along Shem Creek.
The fees are $75 for the 10K and $65 for the 5K. Proceeds from the event will benefit Crisis Ministries, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing food, shelter and hope to end homelessness and hunger one person at a time, one family at a time.
Breast cancer ride
While the Komen Lowcountry Race for the Cure is more than a week away, those who are more biking oriented have an event on Sunday.
The Trek Bicycle Store in Mount Pleasant is holding the only Trek Women Breast Cancer Awareness Ride in South Carolina from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday at Awendaw Green in Awendaw.
Rides include distances of 33, 25 and 10 miles.
Fees are $25-$30 with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.