Marie McAden



On foot or in kayak, Hunting Island Adventure Biathlon is a blast

Posted 3/2/2012 1:39:00 PM

All you outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy a little friendly competition should make plans to participate in the Hunting Island Adventure Biathlon taking place March 10 on the beautiful sea island just outside Beaufort.

The competition includes a six-mile kayak paddle in a protected saltwater lagoon and a 4.5-mile trail run through a maritime forest. The cool thing is you’ve got some options if you don’t want to do both legs yourself. In the relay division, one person paddles and the other person runs. In the tandem division, both team members paddle (in a tandem boat) and run together.

But wait, there’s more! For the first time, stand up paddleboards will have their own division with categories for both solo and relay competitors.

In total, 57 prizes will be awarded.

Hunting Island State Park serves as the backdrop for this popular biathlon. Part of the pristine ACE Basin estuarine reserve, the park features thousands of acres of marsh and maritime forest, five miles of beach and an ocean inlet.

Paddlers will start at the base of the lagoon near the south beach parking lot, kayak the entire length of the waterway and then turn right into Fripp Inlet, circling a buoy before returning to the starting point.

The running segment starts as soon as you beach your boat. Some of the course will take you through the park’s primitive trails. Hey, it’s an adventure race after all!

Start time is 11 a.m., but come early as the entrance gate can back up during peak hours. Park admission is $5 for adults; $3 for children ages 6 to 15; free for kids 5 and younger.

After the race, the party moves to Boondocks on St. Helena Island. Participants will be treated to an assortment of food and beverages. You’ve burned the calories, now enjoy!

If you register by March 2, the cost to participate is $45 for individuals, $60 for relay teams. Before March 10, it’s $55 and $70. To register, click here.