By Mike McCombs
One of the few area events to not be canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic is coming up next week, and the window of opportunity to register is closing soon.
The Wardle Family YMCA will host the annual Beaufort River Swim +5K on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Now in its 14th consecutive year, the race was originally scheduled for May. A 5K run, presented by Beaufort Memorial Hospital, has been added to the event, thus the name change.
In addition to the 5K, there are numerous options for swimmers.
Participants may compete in one of the two swims – the 3.2 mile competitive swim or the 1-mile non-timed Fun Swim – and can add the 5K run to either swim or participate tandem-style with a 2-person team (one person swims and the other person runs).
DHEC protocols, as well the City of Beaufort mask ordinance, will be followed, including social distancing for participants before the swim and during the run. All spectators should wear a mask and social distance. There is free parking in the downtown Beaufort waterfront park parking lot until noon.
“The addition of the 5K is something we have wanted to incorporate into the BRS for a few years, and while this kick-off year for the BRS+5K is not what we imaged, we pivoted and are grateful to be able to host an athletic event right now,”, Y Healthy Living Program Director and BRS+5k Event Director Denice Fanning said in a release. “We appreciate Beaufort Memorial signing on as our inaugural 5K sponsor as well as allowing use of their dock for the Fun Swim again this year.”
The BRS is a fundraiser that benefits the YMCA Learn to Swim Program. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than a third of adults in the United States can’t swim the length of a pool, which puts them at risk of being one of the 10 people who drown every day in the U.S.
Registration is online only and ends on Thursday, Sept. 17. There is no same-day registration this year.
Swimmers will be racing “with the tide” making this year’s race start extra early – the start-time for the 3.2-mile race is 7:15 a.m. with the Fun Swim starting at approximately 7:30 a.m., when the competitive swimmers have passed the Beaufort Memorial day dock (the fun swim start location).
Check-in starts at 6 a.m. at the downtown Beaufort Marina parking lot. All swimmers will be bused within social distancing guidelines (so more trips on the bus with fewer swimmers on board, thus the extra early start time) to their respective starting points by Y staff.
Visit beaufortriverswim.com to register and get more details.