Participants from last year’s Chilly Bean Run 5K.

See our beautiful town, on the run… Couch to 5K will get you there

There is no better way to enjoy our beautiful town than on foot: Running or walking our beautiful trails, bridges and roads. Beaufort is built for runners and walkers. Plentiful sidewalks, scenic vistas, salt breezes, great weather and incredible architecture make for a picturesque journey. We are lucky to have two bridges in town to run or walk across, as well as breezy Waterfront Park, historic Bay Street, and a true gem, the Spanish Moss Trail.

Participants from last year’s Chilly Bean Run 5K.
Participants from last year’s Chilly Bean Run 5K.

A Couch to 5K program is a fun way for people who want to begin running or walking longer distances. Beaufort’s first Couch to 5K kicked off last year with about 20 participants and 6 volunteer coaches to train for the Chilly Bean Run. The participants had a great time reaching their goals, and that coaches had so much fun that they are doing it again this year to help people get outside and enjoy the fresh air and amazing sights Beaufort has to offer. Couch to 5K applies to runners, walkers, or anyone who wants to train their bodies to move forward for 3.1 miles.  This year’s Chilly Bean 5K and 10K (the 10K is new this year) is scheduled for January 31, 2015, and like last year will be followed by a Chili Cook-off.

When Beaufort Academy put together the Chilly Bean Run 5K race last year, they wanted to find a way to encourage everyone to be able to participate in our beautiful Beaufort experience. We chose a gorgeous neighborhood, Coosaw Point, to showcase the unique beauty of the Lowcountry. Our route meanders by the water, under canopies of Spanish moss-draped live oaks and amongst stately Southern homes.

The Chilly Bean Couch to 5K training program is customized for the participant, depending on your personal goals. Last year, they had fit folks who wanted to add running and racing to their fitness regimen, folks who had not exercised in a long time, and several parent-child combos which were especially fun and rewarding.

Each participant is assigned a coach, and the group run/walk format has built-in accountability and motivation. Utilizing a simple formula, Couch to 5K programs start participants on a 30 minute per session training plan. The 30 minutes includes a run/walk interval that gradually builds the group from more walking than running to more running than walking. Everyone goes at his or her own pace so there is no pressure to go faster than what is comfortable.

Group runs this year start in December. Sign up for the Couch to 5K today by downloading the form found on our website, www.chillybeanrun.com. Locations for our group runs are some of the most beautiful in town: Waterfront Park, the Spanish Moss trail, and the race route in Coosaw Point.

If you are thinking about joining us, here is some feedback from last year’s Couch to 5K participants and coaches:

Participant Nancy Ferry says: “Since I had never run before I thought I would challenge myself to see if I could do it. Also, I thought this would be a start to other 5K races for other charitable fundraisers. Knowing that I could do this with a group gave me the confidence that I could finish. Training with others gives you that extra confidence that you can compete and finish a race. It is very motivating with others challenging you and encouraging you. I would encourage anyone to sign up — you feel accomplished and motivated about exercise in general. My race goal was not to score any fabulous time but just to finish the race. With people encouraging you along the way it was easy to keep going and not stop. Remember, age is not a limiting factor if you feel that you are able to move your feet!”

Participant Emma Roddey says: “Tim and I loved being involved in the Couch to 5K last year. It was a great way to kick start a life change and have a great time. I strongly recommend everyone who is on the proverbial  ‘Couch’ to jump off of it and join this event. It is super fun and very comfortable for a true new runner/walker.”

Coach Gina Staley says: “I think what is so motivating about a Couch to 5K program as a coach is that everyone starts somewhere. You literally just have to get off that couch and make a commitment to yourself that you are going to cross the finish line. Keeping the training fun, lighthearted and motivating is the key to success and that is what I try to do as a coach. Race day is the culmination of all the work put forth by the participants. I ran the entire race last year with one of our Couch to 5K participants. As a coach you know when to push them and how to motivate them as they run because for the past several weeks you have gotten to know the runners and what they need from you. It is exciting to see each runner cross that finish line and run their own race! My advice to anyone who is considering signing up is to do it! You won’t regret it! Once you make the commitment to the training it does become fun. You will surprise yourself and there is no better feeling than crossing the finish line. Chances are you will leave that race planning the date for your next one!”

Coach Megan Taylor says: “I am personally motivated by the participants themselves. When they get a big smile on their face when they realize they can do it, that they can be a runner is incredibly inspiring. Race day was so fun as a coach. I was totally motivated at the race by the participants and their energy! I’d tell anyone who is thinking about participating to just get up and do it! You’ll meet new people, make new friends, see the beautiful area we live in from a new perspective, and challenge and surprise yourself! One of the reasons I love running as a way to get in shape is because you can do it anywhere with minimal equipment, and it is easy to squeeze it into a busy schedule. I don’t feel like going for a run 100 percent of the time, but when I’m done, 100 percent of the time I’m glad I went!”

We hope you will plan to join this year for another exciting Couch to 5K program.

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