Open water swimming's big day of the year in the Charleston area comes Saturday with the 13th annual Lowcountry Splash, 2.4-mile and 5-mile swims that start in the Wando River and end at Patriot's Point.
For the first time, procrastinators and fair-weather friends of the Splash are basically out of luck for signing up late for the event. The Splash reached its registration caps of 400 for the 2.4-mile swim and 155 for the 5-mile two weeks ago, according to spokesman Greg Banks.
He added last week that the event also had a waiting list of 30, a number that he noted was "climbing." Organizers will hold a "lottery drawing" for 20 spots in 2.4-mile swim this week.
Last year's event had 539 registrants and, with 502 finishers, topped the 500-finisher mark for the first time. The new record was due to the Splash adding the 5-mile swim as an option. Last year, 395 finished the 2.4-mile swim and 107 the 5-mile.
Despite the fact that organizers have been wanting to grow this event for years, the restrictions on registrants was due, according to Banks, not on logistics or safety, but a "strategy for upcoming years and getting people to register early."
"A sell-out builds interest for next year," says Banks, adding that he credits the earlier sell-out this year to the swim being ranked by swimming.com as one of the Top 100 events in the United States and sending information to all registered masters teams in the Southeast.
Among the registrants, swimmers are coming from 21 states and range in age from 9 to 78, says Banks.
Money raised by the Lowcountry Splash goes to the Logan Rutledge Foundation, which supports the Lowcountry Aquatic Project Swimming program. This year, LAPS expects to provide free swimming lessons to 1,600 urban and rural youth in Charleston County.
For those who want to watch, the best locations are the pier at Mount Pleasant Memorial Waterfront Park and the deck of aircraft carrier Yorktown, which requires paid admission to Patriot's Point.
The 2.4-mile swim starts at Hobcaw Yacht Club and the 5-mile from the Daniel Island pier. Both end at the outer floating dock of Charleston Harbor Marina, just past the Yorktown.
Rock Pink 5K
The signature event of the national Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation is its popular Race for the Cure 5K series events. Most of which, including the local one, are held in October.
One race management company, however, saw the need for a different kind of fundraising 5K for Komen affiliates in South Carolina during the ideal weather month of May.
Scott Bagwell of Go-Green Timing, based in Mauldin, created the Rock Pink 5K series "to bring a younger, more youthful audience to the cause" and tapped into elements of the trend I call "run-tainment" (mud runs, color runs, foam runs or in this case, glow runs), where the emphasis is more on fun and less on gut-checking 5K.
Rock Pink is an evening 5K with an emphasis on pink and 1980s rock music. The course is lined with 1,000 pink LED-lit luminarias. Runners and walkers will get pink glow necklaces and are urged to dress in rock gear from the '80s, while a band plays music from that era.
One event was held in Columbia on May 10 and another in Greenville on July 26. Charleston's is at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Riverfront Park in North Charleston. The band will be Retro Vertigo.
Apparently Bagwell is on to something. As of 1:30 p.m. Monday, 429 people had signed up for the event. The fee is $32. Packet pick-up is 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday at On The Run and 6:30-8:15 p.m. Saturday at the park.
Funds raised through this event will support Komen Lowcountry's local community health grants.
Charleston County's Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, more commonly known as The Charleston Center, is holding a yoga event called 50 Friends at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Park Circle Community Center in North Charleston.
The center, which is a substance abuse prevention, intervention, education and treatment center, hopes to raise $10,000 from the events. It is asking 50 "friends" to raise a minimum of $200 each to participate in the inner circle of the yoga event, led by local instructors Mark Knowles and Gail Corvette.
Others who want to participate but don't want to raise funds can donate $10 each to the Charleston Center Development Corp. Registration starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The event includes a "healthy buffet" by Limehouse Produce and Whole Foods Market, bluegrass music and drawings for prizes, including a free beach house rental for four days and three nights in Myrtle Beach.
"Yoga practitioners from the recovering community bring yoga into the Charleston Center regularly and several clients will be joining us at the event," says Phill Botham, a member of the Charleston Center advisory board.
To sign up contact, Botham or Patty Tennett at 743-9989 or 830-0509 respectively.
Remember the Heroes
On Memorial Day, which is, after all, the holiday created to remember the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. armed forces, the CrossFit community in the Charleston area will get together to do a workout in honor of the fallen.
CrossFit Discovery will host Remember the Heroes from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday at 801/2 Society St. in downtown Charleston.
The annual event is expected to draw CrossFitters to do "Hero WODs" (Workout of the Day). Each workout is specifically dedicated to 108 different veterans who died in the line of duty, according to CrossFit Discovery's Robert VanNewkirk.
The fee is a $35 donation for the first two workouts and $10 for any additional workouts. All proceeds benefit the Travis Manion Foundation, a nonprofit organization that directly supports veterans, their families and families of fallen service members; and the Warren Frank Leadership Fund, a scholarship for marines at The Citadel.
Reach David Quick at 937-5516.