The 6th Annual Barrier Island ECOthon presented by Barrier Island Eco Tours is this Sunday, October 24 and is a unique charitable fundraiser for both the Charleston Tibetan Society and the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The ECOthon focuses on appreciating the natural outdoor experiences along this epic journey. Just yesterday a group of school children on a Barrier Island Eco Tour watched in amazement at a bald eagle dive bombing a fish carrying osprey in an opportunistic attempt to get some sustenance while a white tailed deer meandered through the golden green marsh grass. Whether your intention is to bring your 'A' game and beat your friends OR enjoy the experience at a more comfortable level, remember to breathe and appreciate the preciousness of each moment.
There's mostly locals from the Low Country of South Carolina sharing the 2010 ECOthon experience with many courageous neighbors from Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and even a team from the DC area who had such a great time at one of the Capers Island ECOruns that they had to experience the ECOthon and will be paddling stand-up paddle boards!
Here's some IMPORTANT INFO on the ECOthon weekend schedule, gear, safety, USA Triathlon licensing, spectator ferry, and prizes that will be posted soon to the ECOthon blog.
SCHEDULE of the 2010 ECOthon EXPERIENCE:
~ Swim Clinics ~ Join Charleston's holistic endurance coach, David Cross, as he offers tips & strategies in open water swimming for all levels, as well as proven strategies from this 4x ECOthon champion. He can go over ways to get you more comfortable swimming in the open ocean or methods to improve your stroke. Contact him directly and reserve your spot today at email@example.com. He's an all around great motivational coach and a great runner.
~ Sat, 10/23 from 5 to 7 pm ~ Packet pickup at Try Sports (Ste 102, 1903 U.S. 17, Mount Pleasant, SC, 843-849-9292) in Mt Pleasant's Town Centre . As a requirement for packet pickup, you'll need to show a photo ID. If you can't make it to packet pickup at Try Sports, I ask you to be at the IOP Marina on Sunday morning no later than 7:47 to pickup your packet . Don't forget your photo ID!
TrySports is also offering their "Pace your Race"competition. You estimate your overall ECOthon time and bike time to see how close you actually get on race day to your planned times.
~ USA Triathlon is sanctioning the ECOthon and requires a $10 one day license OR an annual membership of $39 and will have paperwork available when picking up packets. I don't believe I posted this requirement anywhere and will greatly appreciate your understanding for my oversight.
~ 7:30 am Sunrise & start packet pickup for those who didn't make it to TrySports and a check-in for those who did so we know how many souls will be enjoying the ECOthon experience. Then can set up your bike & stage your kayak or board or other self propelled paddling device near the boat ramp. There will also be a kayak orientation meeting for those renting from Coastal Expeditions.
~ 8:30 am PRErace meeting to review safety & course one more time as well as to answer any remaining questions. After questions are answered, we'll have an auction of gift certificates from the gracious sponsors such as TrySports, Trek Bikes of Mt Pleasant, The Bicycle & Outdoor Shoppe, the new Sermets Courtyard on Daniel Island, so of course Sermets Corner downtown as well as Charleston Grill, and more, even a bike, YES A BIKE valued between $500 and $600 by Trek Bikes of Mt Pleasant.
All proceeds from the auction will go the LIVESTRONG Foundation and the Charleston Tibetan Society, so your winning bid will be tax deductible to the charity of your choice. Checks are preferred & will not deny ca$h.
~ 8:45 am Launch kayaks, SUP boards, and other self propelled paddling devices. The ECOthon will START as soon as possible when all paddlers are on the water which could take a little time, so great opportunity to take in nature and practice patience if necessary.
~ 9 am HIGH tide
~ 1 pm-ish ~ Awards presentation ~ The majority of us will finish between 3.5 to 4.5 hours, so assuming a start around high tide at 9, the awards ceremony will be around 1 to distribute over $1,500 in prizesdonated by the ECOthon's gracious Sponsors. I sincerely ask that you support them when possible and check out their websites via Sponsor's link. Bi-Lo will provide fresh fruit for restorative energy.
SPECTATOR FERRY Barrier Island Eco Tours is graciously providing a spectator ferry for supportive friends & family that would like a scenic ferry ride to the south end of Capers Island and a beautiful environment to cheer you on. There are a limited number of spaces on the ferry, so please email me if you're interested in this possibility and how many in your party.
NATURAL ELEMENTS Sunday's forecast is calling for 65 at sunrise increasing to 75 under partly sunny skies with light variable winds by mid day, so remember the sun screen. And with this beautiful sunny day in addition to the vigorous exercise, I highly recommend drinking sufficient amounts of water on Saturday to achieve your adequate hydration level. Also suggest bringing your own favorite fluid on Sunday you can leave in the kayak for return trip back to marina as well as for the final biking section or carry with you. I'll provide HYDRATION stations on the north end of Dewees Island as well as on Capers Island. The water temperature is still above 70 degrees in late October! Really? Yea, about 73 degrees in Charleston Harbor, REALLY!
GEAR & SAFETY:
~ KAYAK ~ If you are planning on renting a kayak from Coastal Expeditions & you haven't contacted them yet, please call them ASAP at 843-884-7684. They'll have it ready for you at the start and will pick it up after, so no hassle, in addition to providing PFD and whistle.
Everyone needs to have some unique, special method to identify your kayak with effective marker to make it easier to distinguish from the many others that will be lined up on the south end of Dewees Island. Will have tape or ribbon to place where you wish.
~ A Personal Floatation Device (Coast Guard Type III) & a whistle are required to be worn both during the paddle and swim sections. However, I will make a call before the start and probably waive the PFD requirement for the swims if favorable conditions as in the last 5 ECOthons.
~ WHISTLE will be a necessity and verified by an ECOthon volunteer before entering the water for the kayak and swims, so make sure you've got one! Coastal Expeditions PFD's have one attached that can be removed and replaced... I highly recommend you getting a whistle of your own to carry with you of life's daily adventures because they could save your life or someone you know in an emergency.
~ SWIM ~ Fins are allowed, however they must be carried during the Dewees beach run and can be left on Capers Beach during the run on Boneyard Beach. Since safety is first, the Isle of Palms Fire Department andECOthon volunteers will be in safety boats during the paddle and swim sections so if you need assistance, just whistle!! Of course, if you hear someone whistling and you can be of service before someone else can reach them, please take care of your fellow ECOthoner until more help can arrive.
~ BIKE ~ Helmets must be worn properly before leaving the transition area and on the entire bike course until crossing finish line. While biking you are required to follow ALL traffic laws and will be immediately DQ'd if found in violation. There are several stop signs and a traffic light; please follow traffic signals.
~ CLOTHING ~ Highest recommendation is COMFORT! This varies between people, so also recommend light and moisture wicking tops & bottoms as well as supportive footware. There's shoes that are drainable and waterproof, but could also fashion some type of dry storage system for ferrying them across.