Healthy hearts, happy hearts

By Wendy Pollitzer

I hate to remind everyone so early in February that bathing suit weather is right around the corner. While we’re all thinking about Valentine’s Day, let us also remember that it’s never too late to start taking care of our own hearts (and bodies).


So, it’s time to get in shape! It’s starting to get warmer, and we’re all ready to exercise outdoors again. There are a number of upcoming events in the spring that promote healthy living. It’s definitely time to register; and more importantly, it’s time to start training. Make a small, attainable goal and sign up now for one of these races. Once you’re registered, there’s more of a chance that you’ll actually participate. Trust me, I know.

On March 12, the Sea Island Rotary will present its annual biathlon at Hunting Island State Park, which includes a paddling and foot race. Paddlers will start and finish at the base of the Lagoon located near South Beach Parking ‘J’. The kayak leg will go south out of the lagoon and then turn right into Fripp Inlet until circling a buoy for the return leg. Paddle leg is between 5 and 6 miles. Upon beaching your boat back at the base of the lagoon, the running leg will be approximately 4.5 miles through a pristine forest. Some of the course may be on primitive trails. This is an adventure race and you can expect some light challenges. For more information, visit

Another packed fitness weekend comes to us on March 19. RiverQuest, the Beaufort Twilight Run and the Parris Island Triathlon all take place this weekend.

There is an 8 a.m. registration for RiverQuest, sponsored by Preservation Tree Care  and a 9:30 a.m. racers’ meeting. The race begins at 10 a.m. at Waterfront Park. Need to rent a kayak? Contact The Kayak Farm, 843-838-2008 or Higher Ground, 843-379-4327. All proceeds will go directly to Backpack Buddies. For more information, please visit

Riverview Charter School’s Beaufort Twilight Run will also take place Saturday, March 19. Late registration and packet pick-up begins Friday, March 18 at Habersham Marketplace from 4-7 pm. It will continue Saturday from 1-4 p.m. A Kid’s ¼ Mile Fun Run will begin at 4:40 pm, and the 5K Run/5K Fun Walk will begin at 5 p.m. Interested in running a longer distance? There will be an 8K Run at 6:15 pm, followed by a community oyster roast. The oyster roast is open to everyone! It will start at 6:30 pm and last until 10 pm. You do not have to participate in the running/walking event to attend. Food will be provided by Sea Eagle Market. Tickets can be purchased online. Click “Register Now” and then “Register Online.” There is a specific choice for those who want to purchase Only Oyster Roast Tickets and/or T-shirts. Pricing for the Oyster roast is $17 through March 1, $22 through March 17, and $27 on March 18 and 19 during late registration and packet pick up. Kid’s Meals are available for $5 and can be purchased online or at the door as well. For more information, please visit

Participate in RiverQuest Canoe & Kayak Race in the morning and the Beaufort Twilight Run 8K in the evening for a chance to win a special prize, sponsored by Higher Ground.

The person who participates in both events, and has the best combined time will win the Beaufort Challenge. Kayak/Canoe Times will be weighted, depending on the distance.

Also on March 19 is the Parris Island Triathlon. Parris Island starts the Go Tri Sports South Carolina Triathlon Series season in a big way. Triathletes from all over the nation come to test their early season training at the flat and fast closed course.

The swim is held in the Parris Island Military Combat Training pool. In order to keep the marines warm during hours of water training the water temperature is in the mid 80’s. Swimmers will begin one at a time every 10 seconds swimming down and back in each lane before changing lanes. A simple rule of thumb here is that all lane changes are made at the same side of the pool where you begin. The bike course is fast. Depending on the wind you may find a few sections of headwind and a few sections of tail wind. Either way this is a great chance to see just how fast you can go on a bike. The course is mostly closed to traffic. The run course also is flat and fast. A very simple out and back course. All turns are marked on the pavement. The course is mostly closed to traffic. This event benefits the SADS (Sudden Arrhythmia Death Syndromes) Foundation. Sudden arrhythmia death syndromes are genetic heart conditions that can cause sudden death in young, apparently healthy people. These conditions can be treated and deaths can be prevented. For more information, please visit

In addition to all of these events in Beaufort, there are a number of races around the state, including the popular Charleston Cooper River Bridge Run on April 2. A very helpful website that describes all events throughout the state is

If races aren’t your thing, but charity is, please consider donating to or participating in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life on Friday, April 29 at Beaufort Middle School or the Angel Walk to benefit CAPA (Child Abuse Prevention Association) on Saturday, April 30 downtown at Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park. For more information on each of these, please visit and

See what I mean? There are a lot of competitive and non-competitive events coming up. Take five minutes, register online, and within a few weeks, your heart and body will be feeling great, just in time for bathing suit weather.




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