At a wedding on Saturday night, I got to speak with the pastor who married Scottery and me. We were talking about our plans to be 'good' at the reception that night because we had to get up early for a 5K on Sunday morning. The pastor joked that he gets those excuses all the time, and that a 5K would be much more important than us singing along in the pews at church the next morning. And while he was only kidding, that Sunday morning it turned out I still got my religion -- only instead of church, it was just by experiencing one of the most stunningly natural places the Lowcountry has to offer: Capers Island.
Before you read on, let there be no misunderstanding here: I am not a runner, nor do I pretend to be. Rather than a graceful antelope galloping along the savannah on a summer day, I look (and feel) like a lumbering water buffalo struggling to get out of a mud pit after monsoon season. And I've come to accept that. I make a habit of participating in 5Ks for the fun, exercise, and the occasional t-shirt, but am most definitely a 'run for 2 minutes, walk for 6' kind of girl.
The run benefits Feed the Need, a local charity that an acquaintance of mine started in 2009. In addition to the cost to register, you can donate canned goods in place of a parking fee at the marina. It is put on by Barrier Island ECO Tours -- you board their tour boat at the Isle of Palms marina with your fellow participants and have a nature tour on the journey out to Capers. You can imagine my intimidation when Scottery, a friend and I arrive at the boat on Sunday morning and there are at most 40 people there. Hands down I'd be so last place it wouldn't even be funny, I'm used to doing this with hundreds of people. I wrongly assumed that everyone there must be some kind of champion runner, because only people in elite running circles (and me) would know about something as cool as this.
Turned out to be a good
mix of people. There were 'pretty good' runners, a few marathoners, and then
others -- young and old -- like me, who moreso wanted to go for the fun
of it. Because really, who wouldn't want to spend a morning on an
uninhabited barrier island? They have a 5K and 10K beach run and walk,
and I said a little prayer of thanks that this was the most laid-back
run in a group setting that I've ever done. There were no race packets,
no t-shirts, no nothings. Our Start/Finish line was drawn in the sand
with a shoe. The 5k turn-around point was marked with a bright green
frisbee propped up on a fallen tree. If you wanted to know your time,
you just called your name out at the finish line and the boat captain,
armed with a stopwatch, would tell you what time it was. Rather than a
super competitive race, this was an adventure for anyone who wants to
get outside in nature and be healthy at the same time. I did my usual less running, more walking...and eventually got sidetracked by moon snail sea shells close to the finish line...and I was still no where near last place!
What a great cause and unique opportunity. Capers is a place near and dear to my heart, as I spent many a weekend as a kid on that same Bone Yard Beach, putting baby sharks in the tidal pools to 'swim' with, checking out the deer and raccoon tracks, and searching for sea shells along the edge of the beach, dodging toppled trees all the while. This is the side of Capers that faces the ocean, that is secluded and peaceful and still shows few signs human interference except for the occasional camp site or fisherman. Even if you're a "runner" like I'm a "runner", I highly recommend going. A gorgeous backdrop for a morning of exercise.
The last run of 2013 will be
on November 17th. They will start back up again in the spring months of
2014. For more details or to sign up, visit the Capers Island ECO Run website.