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If you hadn’t heard about Yoga Benefits Kids’ first ever 5K race and you happened to stumble into the South Windermere Shopping Center on Saturday, you probably couldn’t help thinking “Holy smoke, Batman.”
That was my response, anyway, as I pulled into the Earth Fare parking lot to find Batman and Spiderman munching on energy bars (most likely organic or gluten free).
The super hero-themed 5K fundraiser had obviously garnered a lot of enthusiasm, and people of all shapes, sizes, and ages put their best foot forward - with sequined capes trailing in their wake.
It quickly became clear that the super hero theme was up for interpretation, and all manner of costumes converged upon the West Ashley Greenway shortly before 9AM. “We’re the Neon Ninjas!” Katie Fleck explained of her brightly hued and bedazzled trio.
Several Batmans, a cluster of lifeguards, a crustacean, Forrest Gump, and one very purple, very tall Tellytubby jostled for position alongside Wonder Woman, Captain America, and several unidentifiable caped crusaders as everyone prepared for the race.
“What character is this one?” I asked race supporter Karin Roof of her masked toddler. “He’s just mastered potty training, so we’re joking that he’s Captain Underpants.”
Just then the buzzer sounded, and the colorful, motley crew was off! The more serious runners - or perhaps just the ones not wearing body suits - were the first across the finish line, but most competitors stuck around to cheer on their fellow crime fighters. Laughter and applause greeted SNL’s Ambiguously Gay Duo as they crossed the finished line, and Captain Mustache was not far behind.
There were two mustached super heroes lingering about the end point, one of whom was clearly on duty. Mustache Man Lance Abbott had come to the race equipped to defend the freedom of facial hair worldwide, and he was distributing furry faux mustaches from a Velcro belt. “Would you like a mustache?” Abbott asked. “Here, take one! You’re not dressed up.” Having been called out, I will certainly be dusting off my mask and cape for next year’s race!
The Super Hero 5K was a family-friendly fundraiser for Yoga Benefits Kids, a non-profit organization providing a healthy outlet to reduce stress, release tension, and foster positivity through programs for kids, teachers, school administration, and parents. Founded in Charleston, Yoga Benefits Kids strives to enhance children's mental, emotional, and physical health through the use of movement, stress management, and the connection between the brain, body, and breath. Yoga Benefits Kids is currently offering programs at Charleston Development Academy, Memminger Elementary, North Charleston Elementary School, Sanders-Clyde School, and Sixth Grade Academy.