The Labor Day AmFibious 5K & Float is fast approaching… a mere 10 days from now a host of pax will inundate the Three Rivers Greenway for a warm weather biathlon sharply in contrast to the usual labors of the work week. As many questions have been asked, below is our best guess as to the havoc we will wreak upon Cayce and West Columbia:
Where to Be on Labor Day Morning:
The 9:00 AM run begins at the Naples Street entrance to the 3 Rivers Greenway in Cayce which has sufficient parking for our crowd but not much more. While the run doesn’t begin until 9:00, getting there early to gear up is highly advisable. Please also be mindful of others using the Greenway. Convenient to our purposes, the parking lot where we will begin has a short trail from the start of our run to the pull out location where F3 has reserved a small picnic pavilion. That pavilion will be where towels and personal coolers can be left if anyone will want a drink at the 1 mile mark of the run and/or when pulling out of the river. F3 will not be providing drink stations along the 5K course except at the northernmost parking lot where coolers for water and BYO beverages can be kept cool. If you’re familiar with the course, water fountains and other stopping points are situated along the way if in dire need or an emergency arises.
The Green arrow above represents the starting point of the 5K and is likewise where the parking lot is located. If you are unfamiliar with Cayce and how to find Naples Street, Google is your best friend and can give you directions to this location. The Red dot also above is the location of the Congaree Picnic Shelter we have reserved through the City of Cayce. Note that this is not the picnic shelter beside the parking lot. More useful to our purposes is the smaller shelter directly beside the river which is where we will pull out from the float.
Between the starting line and the finish line are several notable features. First, the run begins on Naples Street heading up to State Street and then left to where another entrance to the 3 Rivers Greenway is located at Lyles Street. It is fairly well marked but if you reach the railroad tracks, you’ve gone to far as the Greenway entrance is tucked behind the building at the corner of Lyles Street and State Street. From there the route is simply a course following the Greenway north (ie, take a left when you get to the river) and extends all the way to the parking lot on the north side of the Jarvis Kalpman Bridge. For full details of the course, check out the MapMyRun.com course created for this event.
The northern end of the 5K as illustrated above has two parts. First, the 5K distance does include the uphill treck to the parking lot and then back down again to the river. The purpose of this parking lot stop is to make sure everyone is properly equipped for the float. Many have decided to inflate their inner tube, raft or rubber ducky before the run begins in order to save time at this northern end of the run. If you’d rather carry your inflatable un-inflated, the hope is to have pumps at the parking lot to help get your floatation device filled up. As your lungs can do the job just fine, F3 isn’t planning on providing each individual a foot pump to blow up the raft of your choice… but if you have such a pump and would like to bring it for the benefit of all, please do so. THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE REQUISITE PFD REQUIRED BY LAW. If you do not want to run with a life jacket you may also leave a life jacket with the chase vehicle to use floating back down the river from there.
At this north end parking lot the chase vehicle will be waiting which will transport PFD’s, bottled water and, yes, a cooler with ice for your own use in stocking whatever unmarked liquid assets you’d like to bring along. This vehicle will at first be parked at the Naples Street run starting point and be driven to the destination parking lot during the run so there’s no reason to juggle how your PFD’s and beverages will get there… it will be handled on your behalf if you simply arrive at the starting line with enough time to load up the truck.
Last, the float. Our one rule has been that, whatever floatation device you choose to use must be carried during the race. Again it may be inflated or not during the run but presumably it would be inflated during the float. While the run can safely be estimated to last 30 to 45 minutes, the float could take as little as an hour or as long as two. The river flow rate changes daily at the whim of SCE&G and so we have simply presumed it will be a morning long adventure. Keep in mind that the shoes you run in will also likely be the shoes you float with. They will be helpful in navigating the few rapids along the way as well as clambering out of the river at the pull out spot.
What to Bring:
There are mandatory accoutrements and optional paraphernalia associated with the run and float, each pertaining to the two halves of our biathlon. Running will require the obvious… Shoes and appropriate clothing for a 5K. F3 will provide water where appropriate but any other beverages you’d like to include in your morning can be chilled in the coolers provided. Please keep in mind that this is a family affair. The Float is a whole other matter and will require, as stated above, a PFD (Life Jacket) and clothing suitable to the current and conditions. Most guys can simply run in a pair of shorts that double as a swim suit… ladies, use your judgment as to what is both modest to run in and suitable for a treck down the river.
Also in the mandatory category is the waiver form that must be signed by you and on behalf of your 2.0’s to participate. We will have copies at the event for you to sign or you can download it and sign it prior to the event and send it to [email protected]. All of our activities are automatically covered under the disclaimer but we’re, admittedly, taking on something new and want to be respectful of F3 as an organization, especially as we launch our own branch of the F3Foundation. Please don’t make us hunt you down on this account as your participation will be disavowed and nickname revoked if you get hurt and haven’t abided by this simple requirement. #LawyersDon’tPlay
Last is your inflatable of choice. F3 won’t be handing out inner tubes. In a pinch, the PFD that you have to bring is good enough but this is where style points really kick in. If you and a team want to haul a zodiac 3.1 miles, be my guest. Kayak? Sure. Rented bounce castle, hoorah. The empty keg left over from the Thursday night’s Carolina game tailgate, be my guest. The sky’s the limit as long as it doesn’t pollute the river and you can manage to run with it from point A to point B… and it does, in fact, float… your vessel of choice is entirely up to you.
BOM: Although this is very much a 2ndF event, we will end the morning with a Ball of Man suitable to the occasion. Please plan to stick around at the end to welcome floaters in from the river. We’ve never advertised this as a race but rather a fun outing to get together and share in the camaraderie that so well defines F3.