The Avondale 5k is a USATF certified course that winds through the Avondale section of Charleston.  In it’s 9th year, the race raised over $50,000 from runners, donors, and sponsors to benefit the Charles Webb Center.

Avondale has a great crowd every year, and they certainly are enthusiastic, if only for the camaraderie and beer at the end of the race.  While prizes are given, it’s designed for groups, runners of all ages, and families to get out, have a good time, and give back to the community.

Runners and DJs often live on opposite schedules, since runners like to get up early in the morning and most DJs like to get home early in the morning.  For me, I like the morning events, particularly family-centered events, since the programming is kept light and lively, little kids end up dancing, the requests are interesting, and so is the setlist.  For events like the Avondale 5k, I try and keep the tunes thematic, and fun tracks get featured alongside the requisite Gonna Fly Now theme song from Rocky and the Chariots of Fire theme song by Vangelis.


Here’s the rest of the pre-race setlist.  I think you’ll see what I mean:

(I’m) a Road Runner Jr. Walker and the All Stars
Run through the Jungle Creedence Clearwater Revival
Physical Olivia Newton John
Nowhere to Run Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Band on the Run Wings
Take the Money and Run Steve Miller Band
Runaway Bon Jovi
Run On Moby
The Long Run Eagles


Top Track of the Day?  Definitely Fox on the Run by Sweet

What’s really terrific about this event is seeing how all the businesses and business owners in Avondale come out and support the event.  Of course, Triangle Char Bar gets most of the visibility, since it’s in their parking lot, but other folks like Ed Kronsburg, Caroline from Charleston Community Yoga (pictured above, getting everyone to stretch) and Catherine from Lafond Law Group are there pitching in to make the day as organized as possible.

For me one of the best parts of playing the Avondale 5k is getting to see Geoff Richardson from Lava Salon work the crowd as MC for the day.

Despite his irreverent exterior, Geoff is a real professional when it comes to getting on the microphone.  He hits his cues, takes direction from various staff with kindness and patience, and has an energy level that is infectious.  While reading off the winners in SO MANY CATEGORIES he continued to keep the mood lively, crack jokes, be self deprecating when stumbling over complicated names, and move the event along.  It’s the mark of a real professional.  Geoff is a passionate supporter of all things Avondale, and has been a central part of making the neighborhood what it is and being a vocal advocate of what it should become.

So next fall, when you’re looking for that training goal or family fun outing, get involved with the Avondale 5k and support a great cause in a great community in Charleston, SC.


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