With the first-ever YogaPop nearly filling the quasi-outdoor venue of the Charleston Visitor Center Bus Shed two days before the Cooper River Bridge Run, the organizers realized they found a magic formula.

Take yoga, add some energetic music, some local food and craft vendors, post-event entertainment and the droves of local yogis from across the spectrum of styles, both newbies and veterans, will converge for the yogic jam fest.

"It (the first YogaPop) totally exceeded our expectations," co-organizer Becca Finley says of the event that drew 500 people. "I think its appeal is that it's a night for yogis. They don't have to go out to the bar to enjoy the things they love."

Thursday's YogaPop will be 6:30-10 p.m. at the Visitor Center Bus Shed, 375 Meeting St. Tickets are $32; a portion of the proceeds will benefit This Is Noteworthy and The Roots of Music.

The event kicks off with an hour-long yoga, led by local instructor Cortney Ostrosky, which will coincide with live music from Logan Venderlic, whose music combines "raw punk energy with contemporary folk" for a music style he calls "Folk Wave."

Following yoga, participants can peruse the adjacent "yoga village" for food, beverages and crafts, and then listen to poet Matthew Foley, a veteran of poetry slams who offers a new take on poetry and is described as being "quick to convert people who think they don't like poetry."

The evening will be capped off with a yoga fashion show, with local yogis showcasing apparel from Lululemon Athletic, Foat Designs, Zen Tennis, Liquido Active and others while doing "awe-inspiring yoga poses.


Dirt dashing

The trail run that broke open off-road racing celebrates its fifth year on Saturday.

Before the Francis Marion Dirt Dash, a half marathon and 7.5-mile trail run in the Francis Marion National Forest, the Charleston area featured very few trail runs. Since then, organizer Chad Haffa, the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, and Barrier Island ECOthon's Brett Carlson have filled the annual calendar with opportunities to get off pavement.

The fifth Dirt Dash will be held at 7 a.m. Saturday in Awendaw.

Haffa moved the event up one week to take advantage of the Labor Day weekend and to avoid conflicting with the 9/11 Heroes Run, set for Sept. 6 on Daniel Island. He adds that he has large groups of runners signed up for the run who are coming from New York and Florida, one for a vacation and the other for a wedding.

As of Monday, he had 120 signed up for the half (which is actually 13.1-miles this year, not 13.4 miles) and 50 for the 7.5-mile race.

Packet pick-up and late registration will be noon-6 p.m. Friday at TrySports in Mount Pleasant and 6-6:30 a.m. at the starting line of the race, located near the Sewee Visitor & Environmental Education Center in Awendaw.

The late registration fees are $80 for the half and $55 for the 7.5-mile run. A portion of the proceeds from the half help support the Mount Pleasant Fire Department's Wildland Firefighting Program, while a portion from the 12K event will be donated to the MUSC Hollings Cancer Center for cancer research in honor of Renee Thomas, Ruth Ives and Lyle Wheatley.


Yoga for Runners

Keeping with the yoga and running themes this Labor Day weekend, Saturday also will feature a Yoga for Runners workshop 2-4 p.m. Saturday at The Yoga House of Charleston, 1836 Ashley River Road.

The event is the first of three workshops in the Tri-Yoga series, led by Seth Cantley, who is a Half-Moon Outfitters Endurance Team member and certified yoga instructor.

Cantley wants to show how athletes can use yoga to correct imbalances created by "extreme training" and can tap into yoga's emphasis on mind and spirit more than simple stretching does.

The workshop for cyclists will be 2-4 p.m. Sept. 13 and for swimmers and rock climbers 2-4 p.m. Sept. 27, both at The Yoga House.

The fee is $30 for individual sessions or $75 for the entire series.


Thirsty Thursday 5K

Another sign that summer is coming to an end arrives this evening with the final of four summertime races in the inaugural Daniel Island Happy Hour 5K series.

The OnShore Racing event will be at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Family Circle Stadium. The cost is $15.

The races coincide with the Daniel Island Farmer's Market, and runners are encouraged to arrive early to buy local produce and enjoy live music. The camaraderie follows each race to a nearby restaurant and bar. This week, it's at Wasabi.


Reach David Quick at 937-5516.