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17 Jul 2018
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This weekend, try a fun beach run on the Isle of Palms... or you can set some ladybugs free! One of the more fun local running events is coming up this Saturday.  What makes it unique is that it’s on the beach itself.  You get to run on wide hard-packed sand, at low tide, just steps from the ocean. It’s hard to beat a race that takes place right in front of your Charleston beach house. Yes, it’s the 2018 edition of the IOP Beach Run  --  now in the 26th year of its existence.  It’s happening this coming Saturday morning, July 21st, rain or shine, beginning at 8:00 a.m. All beach run events start and finish behind the Windjammer at Front Beach. In years past, sponsors have been familiar area businesses.  They’ve included The Windjammer (of course), TrySports, The Foot Store, East Cooper Medical Center, Play It Again Sports, Atlantic Game and Tackle, Chick-fil-A, Powerade, Barrier Island Eco Tours, Coconut Joe’s, Island Ice Frozen Yogurt, Harris Teeter, the Isle of Palms Marina, ACME Lowcountry Kitchen, East Cooper Sporting Goods, Race Management Systems and Beach House Spa.

More specs on the IOP Beach Run 

  Those of you who’ve taken part in years past may note some changes to the event.  When it first began in 1993, it was originally called the “Sand Shark Run” and was a four-miler.  It has evolved into the Isle of Palms Beach Run -  a 5K and also now a 10K event, as well as Youth Fun Runs  - 100 yards for ages 4 and under, ½ mile for ages 5 to 8, and one miler for ages 9 to 14.  The 5K is a run/walk and the 10K is a run. Fees are: $35 for the runs and walk, and $15 for Youth Fun Runs. NOTE: You still have time to register online.  The deadline for online registration is noon tomorrow  -  Wednesday, July 18th.  Here’s a link where you can register online. If you miss tomorrow’s deadline, you can still register in person during packet pickup.  That will happen Friday, July 20th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. at the Windjammer, or Saturday morning starting at 7:00 a.m. The 5K and 10Ks begin first at 8:00 a.m., followed by the Youth Fun Runs at 9:00.  The 5K/10K awards are given out afterwards at the Windjammer. Here’s the event’s page on the IOP website.  These are the results from last year’s Beach Run.  

Set some ladybugs free 

  One of the best things about staying in a Charleston beach house is that you get to bring different generations together.  There’s nothing like enjoying the unbridled summer joy of kids on vacation from school. So when the kids are itching for something fun to do, it helps to have some cool stuff lined up. One such thing is also coming up this Saturday.  Starting at 9:00 a.m., you and your kids are invited to come to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens for a massive ladybug release!  This is the 5th annual installment of an event which has grown each year in popularity. In previous years, Magnolia has distributed 150,000 ladybugs to be set free out into the 60 acres of gardens.  This year, they're upping it to 200,000 of the cute little critters.  Much more than just being adorable, ladybugs are also great friends of the garden, and are natural predators to harmful pests like aphids and scale insects.

What to expect

  Appropriately, the event will begin with the arrival of a red Volkswagen Beetle resembling a ladybug.  Beloved local mascots Charlie T. RiverDog and Cool Ray will be on hand to help in the fun. Each family will receive a slew of ladybugs to release somewhere on the grounds.  Magnolia will store them in a cool place the night before, so they don’t immediately fly away when released, but will linger and get used to their new surroundings. A $20 general garden admission fee for adults applies, but kids 6-12 are $10, and children five and under are free.  They’ll give out prizes for the best ladybug outfit in different age categories.  Talk about a cute photo op!  There will also be face painting, live animals and nature displays from several different organizations.  Word to the wise: arrive early and carpool if possible.  The ladybug release ends at 2:00.

The following groups will be present, offering information or activities for the kids...


• Beekeeping display • Berkeley County First Steps • Charleston County Sheriff's Department • Charleston Fossil Adventures • RiverDogs baseball team • Children's Museum of the Lowcountry • Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 12-8 • Grice Marine Laboratory, College of Charleston • Keeper of the Wild • MEDUCARE Transport Service, Medical University of South Carolina

• S.C. Department of Natural Resources • Sea Kayak Carolina • South Carolina Aquarium • St. Andrews Fire Department • Stingrays hockey team • Tri-County Master Gardeners • Turtle Survivor Alliance • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service • U.S. Coast Guard

Magnolia Plantation is located at 3550 Ashley River Road in Charleston, a scenic drive from the Isle of Palms.  Here’s a link to more info about the event on their website. So enjoy the fun, and remember to get in touch with EP to help you find the best place to stay at the beach. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger