By Elizabeth Grantham for Island Eye News
What are you doing on Saturday, Oct. 6? Members of the Isle of Palms Exchange Club hope that you, your friends, and family will be participating in the 26th Annual Isle of Palms Connector Run/Walk for the Child, on what is likely to be the most beautiful day of autumn.
The National Exchange Club President, Scot Warren, will be joining runners and walkers to raise money for the prevention of child abuse. Come see our mascot, “Time Out Teddy”, and enjoy the run, festivities, and do something great for our community of the Lowcountry.
The event is billed as the best run/walk in the Lowcountry, and those who participate, volunteers and runners alike, say this is not an exaggeration. The first wave of the 150 volunteers arrive early the morning, well before the sunrise, and race to set-up registration tables at the Isle of Palms Fire Station, all in time for registration, which officially begins at 6 a.m., for an anticipated 1500 participants. Participants can also pick up race packets on Friday, Oct. 5 at East Cooper Community Hospital.
In the meantime, golf carts of assorted sizes and colors are buzzing around with equipment, food and supplies for the postrace party. The Isle of Palms Connector closes at 7 a.m. to set-up the racecourse and to allow volunteers enough time to assume their positions so that they may provide water and cheer to the runners. Excitement and anticipation are everywhere as participants line up at the foot of the Isle of Palms’ Connector at Palm Blvd. where the race begins at 8 a.m.
First to seize the bridge are the 10K runners followed by 5K, walkers and strollers. It is a cool fall morning, the sun is above the horizon, and the quiet air is only slightly disturbed with the sounds of footsteps, chatter, and quiet laughter as the racers charge up the bridge, alone or in groups, adults, children and families.
At the top of the bridge, participants understand why this is truly the best run in the Lowcountry when the view becomes so spectacular as to take your breath away.
Near the water station at the top of the bridge, 5K runners and walkers will turn around on the Connector to return back to the Isle of Palms. 10K runners will continue across the Connector, turning around just before Rifle Range Rd. and then return back again across the Connector. The finish line will be at J.C. Long Blvd. on the Isle of Palms, where the first 1000 participants will receive a medal to commemorate this event. All will enjoy a postrace festival featuring live music by Plane Jane, food and family friendly fun. Awards, including cash, will be given to the Overall 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for both male and female, Master’s and Grand Masters in the 10K and 5K races. This year an Oktoberfest theme has been added. Participants are encouraged to dress for the occasion.
And here is the best part, The Isle of Palms Exchange Club, along with their partners, the City of Isle of Palms, and the Town of Mt. Pleasant, uses the proceeds to make a difference in the lives of children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected, by supporting agencies involved in the prevention of child abuse. Over the last 25 years, nearly $1 million has been donated to the prevention of child abuse in the Lowcountry.