The greater Charleston area has a vibrant running community that is built on a foundation of several long-standing piers.
Among those foundation piers are 35-plus year annual events such as the Cooper River Bridge Run, Turkey Day Run and Kiawah Island Marathon. But pre-dating all those is the Charleston Running Club.
Since 1977, the club, which has never been huge, relatively speaking, numbers-wise (today's membership is about 600), has been promoting running in the local scene.
Club president Paul McDonald says he is often amazed at the number of people who don't realize the benefits of belonging to the club.
For an annual fee of $20 for individuals, $30 for a household, and $15 for students and military, McDonald says benefits include discounts on more than 30 local races and at several local retailers, along with monthly social events, group runs, free training clinics and a year-end holiday party.
Charlie Post Classic
Among the running club's legacy is the Charlie Post Classic 15K and 5K, the 31st of which will be held at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Sullivan's Island.
"Both races are run on scenic and flat Sullivan's Island, and the 15K is the only race of this distance in the Lowcountry, so it's great if you are looking to establish a personal record at a new distance," says McDonald.
McDonald calls the Charlie Post Classic the club's "signature event," honoring the memory of Dr. Charlie Post, one of the Charleston running community's founding fathers. Post died from complications following a bicycling accident in 1983. The race raises money for the Charlie Post Scholarship Endowment Fund at the College of Charleston.
The event has meant the world to the Post family, which always has members who come from out of town to run the race. Post's brother, Stuart Post, has run all previous 30 races. Last year, he was interviewed prior to the 30th event.
"If the running club makes this kind of effort every year, the least I can do is come and run the race. No matter what, I will be at that race," said Stuart, who was very close to his brother.
Stuart said the race is a special memorial, not only in its longevity but that it is a living, breathing event, just what Charlie loved. He wanted people to be active and make the most of their bodies.
While online registration closed at midnight on Wednesday, in-person registration and packet pick-up will be noon-6 p.m. Friday at Fleet Feet Sports in Mount Pleasant and again 6:45-8 a.m. Saturday at the Sullivan's Island Fire Department. The fee is $30 for club members, $35 for nonmembers on Friday and $40 on Saturday.
Race director Danielle Girard says race day features include food by Black Bean Co. and Whole Foods Market, free massages, raffles and gift certificates. Also, Dunleavy's Pub will provide a beer for runners with their race bib.
Yoga 4 Men
Personally, I've always enjoyed being the minority gender (male) in yoga classes, but local yogi Ken Immer wants to help increase the number of local men taking classes in studios and clubs.
He created a yoga event, Yoga 4 Men, to be held 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, in an effort to get more men on yoga mats. The event will be at Sanctuary Hall, 2125 U.S. Highway 17, in Mount Pleasant.
"We are really focusing on the athletic and physical part of the practice for this inaugural event," says Immer.
"Focusing on making it accessible to men as another part of their workout routine, which will help to improve performance in all areas. The more subtle and spiritual aspects will come for these men later if they are new, and will simply be part of the practice for those who are already familiar."
The event, which costs $20 online or $25 at the door, will include teachers Immer, Mark Blackmon, Brent Reuger and Brandon Maxey. Free passes to studios and a drawing for yoga prizes are part of the event.