Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Charleston Currents September 2014 Feature

It's fun to run and walk with the whole family
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to

SEPT. 15, 2014 -- Years ago when our twins were still in a jogger stroller, our family began participating in charitable running and walking events all around the Lowcountry. 

Columnist Leigh Sabine and her 10-year-old son Aiden are pictured at the finish line of the Isle of Palms Connector Run. Photo provided.
Over the years, we have progressed from strolling to jog/walking to actually slowly running 5K and 10K runs as a family. These events have come to mean so much more than just a means of exercising together. We have developed a sense of continuity through annual participation in our favorite events and created a sense of purpose in the work of training for events.

Walking, jogging, and running with young children are great ways to inspire a lifelong respect for exercise. The camaraderie of charitable 5K "fun runs" and walks can add other teachable moments to the activity in terms of community awareness, compassion, and goal setting. A child's self-esteem gets a boost from the accomplishment of preparing for and completing a group event as well. All of these factors combine to make going the distance over time a positive influence on a child's life.

So here is a list of some (and by no means all) of the charitable walks and runs the Lowcountry has to offer. Many of these events provide a separate course or distance just for young children and these are often held the day preceding the event. These kid-friendly special events are a great way to get your child starting on a path to running longer distances.

Crossbridge 5K/10K Pancake Run -- Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014, at 8 a.m. Event site: Laurel Hill Plantation, Mount Pleasant. Benefitting Crossbridge Family Ministries. PMK note: A gorgeous plantation venue.
Isle of Palms Connector Run and Walk for the Child ** -- Oct. 4, 2014, at 8 a.m. Event site: Isle of Palms Connector, Isle of Palms. Benefitting Lowcountry Children's Causes. PMK note: This is a great event for families with strollers.
Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure ** -- Oct. 18, 2014, at 8 a.m. Event site: Family Circle Stadium, Daniel Island. Benefitting breast cancer research. PMK note: This is a beautiful course through residential Daniel Island.
Turkey Day Run -- Nov. 27, 2014, at 9 a.m. Event site: downtown Charleston. Benefitting numerous area charities annually.
Reindeer Run -- Dec. 6, 2014. Event site: downtown Charleston. Benefitting MUSC Children's Hospital. PMK note: This one is really for the whole family and your dog too!
Kiawah Island Marathon and Half Marathon ** -- Dec. 13, 2014, at 8 a.m. Event site: Kiawah Island. Benefitting the Kiawah Conservancy. PMK note: This one's just for moms and dads, folks! A great event for children to come out and cheer their parents to the finish line.
Charleston Marathon Shrimp and Grits 5K ** -- Jan. 17, 2015, at 8 a.m. Event site: Park Circle, North Charleston. Benefitting Youth Endowment For The Arts. PMK note: This is an annual family favorite! Check the website for other youth-related activities at this event.
Catch The Leprechaun 5K ** -- March 12, 2015, at 6:30 p.m. Event site: Memorial Waterfront Park, Mt. Pleasant. Benefitting Pattison's Academy. PMK note: This is always a beautiful, family-friendly run along Patriot's Point.
Cooper River Bridge Run ** -- March 28, 2015, at 8 a.m. Event Site: Cooper River Bridge, Mt. Pleasant and downtown Charleston. Benefitting 16 local area charities. PMK note: Check the website for options for children running and walking.
Postpartum Support Charleston Mom's Run and Family Fun Day -- May 9, 2015. Event site: Blackbaud Stadium, Daniel Island. Benefitting Postpartum Support Charleston.
  • A note on registration fees: Set aside an annual budget and select events that mean the most to your family. Always register early to ensure you catch the lowest registration rate as most event fees go up as the event date approaches.
  • An exercise note: As with any exercise regimen, always check with your doctor and pediatrician to set appropriate goals. Wearing the right clothing and good quality running/walking shoes can make a huge difference in your child's comfort level. Make sure to check frequently that a child's shoes fit comfortably and change out running shoes as they wear out. Here is a link for information about testing the shelf life of your running shoes.
**Denotes events PluffMudKids have participated in. Check out run highlights in the "runs" archives at pluffmudkids.com.
Writer Leigh Sabine of Mount Pleasant offers a monthly look at fun activities for Lowcountry kids. It's based on her great blog, PluffMudKids. Check it out.

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