JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Gliding a kayak softly through morning fog may not be a typical 50th birthday party.
Long-time Jacksonville Beach resident Kurtis Loftus could think of no better way to celebrate half a century of living.
"It was amazing," Loftus said. "The intracoastal at six in the morning with the fog as it lifted, with the sunrise over the marsh. It was beautiful."
A surfer and outdoor enthusiast almost his whole life, Loftus created the Island BEAST, a clever acronym for the Beaches Eco Adventure Survival Test. Fourteen friends joined him bright and early Friday morning.
"That's maybe the combination of me thinking about the island and all the things I've done living out here," Loftus said, "And then going, 'Can I pull this off on a 50th birthday?'"
They did pull it off. The friends covered 72 miles with 10 sports in 12 hours, and felt the years lift.