This weekend: Need incentive? We’ve got plenty

Sometimes you need a little motivation to jump-start your adventure engine. For those times, we’re here for you.


The best incentive to train for a marathon? Sample the atmosphere of a race. The live music (often), the camaraderie and support (always), the adrenaline, which gets you past “the wall” at mile 20.

But GetGoingNC, you ask, how do you sample a marathon without actually running in one?

By finding a race such as Saturday’s Wrightsville Beach Marathon 5K. This 5K (3.1 miles American) race is interwoven with the Quintiles Wrightsville Beach Marathon: You start at the marathon start, you finish at the marathon finish, but you dispense with the additional 23 miles in between. By the time you cross the finish, you’ll be Googling for the next marathon on the calendar.

Logistics: Saturday, March 15, 5 p.m., Wrightsville Beach. $45. More info here.

Saturday forecast: High of 68, mostly cloudy.


The best incentive for putting long miles in on your bike? Find a bike you love.

Bike love will be in the air this Friday through Sunday in Charlotte at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. What you’ll see here are not your Dicks-some-assembly-required rides. These are some of the most exquisitely hand-crafted machines on the planet, bikes of every genre made of just about every material, from the traditional steel to carbon fiber to bamboo. Bikes galore — so many the annual event has to be held in the Charlotte Convention Center.

Get a preview of the offerings here.

Logistics: Friday-Sunday, March 14-16, Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte. More info here.

Saturday forecast: There’s a chance of rain, all the more reason to spend the day inside oogling bikes.


Best incentive to take a hike? Sign up for a guided one on a trail in the Pisgah National Forest you’re not familiar with.

A good example would be Saturday’s Moore Cove Figure-8 Loop by the Carolina Mountain Club in the Davidson River area of the Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. Yet another classic Pisgah hike, with wet (but not too) stream crossings, views, a little scrambling over winter blowdown and good, all-around basic exploring with folks who know the area.

Logistics: Saturday, March 15, 10 a.m., Pisgah National Forest near Brevard. More info and to register: Hike Jan Onan at 828.606.5188,

Saturday forecast: Overcast, high of 64.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed below.

Comprehensive calendar for the Cape Fear/Wilmington/southern N.C. coast searchable by date and event name.

Coastal Guide
Comprehensive calendar including nature programs from a variety of costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs. Covers the entire coast.

Crystal Cost Tourism Authority
Comprehensive calendar focusing on the Crystal Coast. Good source for programs offered by N.C. Coastal Federation, Cape Lookout National Park, N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve and other costal conservation and research agencies that offer nature programs.
Comprehensive calendar including programs for the Outer Banks and Crystal Coast.

North Carolina Coast Host
Comprehensive calendar for the entire coast that lets you search for events by day, by region, by county, by city or by event (based on key word).

This Week Magazine
Primary focus is the Crystal Coast (North Carolina’s coastal midsection).


Asheville Citizen-Times
From the main page, click on “Outdoors,” then WNC Outdoors calendar.

Blue Ridge Outdoors
Searchable calendar lets you extend your reach to events throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southeast (or you can just limit it to North Carolina). Also lets you search a boatload of categories, ranging from Hiking, Mountain Biking and Climbing to Trail Running, Triathlon and Road Walking.

The Mountain Times
From the main page, click on “Calendars,” then Main Events.

Todd’s Calendar



Charlotte Observer events calendar
Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including Nature, Recreation, Recreation & Wellness, Running

Charlotte Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar includes a Sports & Recreation category.

Piedmont Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.

Comprehensive calendar searchable by category, including: Birding, Boating, Cycling, Nature, Rec & Wellness, Recreation, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Yoga.

Carolina Parent
Comprehensive calendar concentrating on things the family can do together.


Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

Office of Environmental Education
One calendar for the numerous Environmental Education Centers statewide.

North Carolina State Parks
Lets you search for programs at the state’s parks, recreation areas and natural areas by location, by month, by topic. To reach the calendar from the home page, click on “Education,” then “Fun & Free Programs at Parks.”

National Forests in North Carolina
From the home page, click on Carolina Connections for news updates on the state’s four national forests as well as hints on recreational opportunities and a detailed rundown of recreation areas and the amenities at each.

U.S. National Wildlife Refuges
Rundown, by month, of regular activities at the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service refuges in North Carolina.

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