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Running downhill, hiking up

One thing I like about 5Ks: Like snowflakes, no two are alike. That’s not to say they don’t have similarities: they’re all 3.1 miles, for example (usually). This summer’s four-race BluePoints 5K Race Series, for instance, is turning out to be a very fast series. Take Race No. 1, the Blue Points 5K on the Runway at PTI (that would be Greensboro’s Piedmont Triad International Airport), held May 14. As…

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This weekend, celebrate your outdoors independence

You’ll need the extended three-day July 4 weekened to fit in everything going on in North Carolina this weekend. Coast North Carolina’s salt marshes offer some of the best paddling in the state. One minute you’ve sweeping views to the mainland or across the Atlantic, the next you’re in a labryinthine waterway weaving amid salt marsh cord grass. It helps to have a guide to show the way — and…

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Yoga: A physical, emotional elixir

I wrote the following story for the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer in Raleigh; it appeared in both papers June 28, 2011. It reruns here, with links. Yoga helps Darlene Jonas cope with Parkinson’s disease, enables scientist Lynn Conley to sit at his desk for long stretches, lets Bill Glasheen keep playing golf and has helped Nancy Wren cope with the death of her husband. Robin Kneeburg credits…

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Yoga: Miracle drug (without the drug part)?

“There is a style of yoga that will meet any physical needs you have. It doesn’t matter what age you are; It takes you where you are, and improves you from there.” That’s not according to the Yoga Chamber of Commerce. That’s according to 61-year-old Nancy Wren of Matthews, who first relied on yoga to help her through pregnancy — and labor — in the 1970s, and more recently used…

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90-Second Escape: Paddling Umstead’s Big Lake

Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast, especially come summer. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy.
To help ease this trying transition from out-in-the-Sun-day to Mon-I-wish-I-were-back-in-the-sun-day, we’re running a new feature every Monday, at least during the summer, called 90-Second Escape. Essentially, it’s a 90-second mini-movie of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway,…

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Weekend plans? Learn something new

It’s a great weekend to learn something new. Coast Here’s a race I wish I’d known about three months ago: the Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon, billed as the “very first Formula 1 or super sprint style triathlon in the U.S.” Double Sprint? Formula 1? It’s basically this: start with a 375-meter ocean swim, run 1.5 miles to a transition area, do a 10K bike ride on a closed course…

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Dig it: 300-continuous miles of Mountains-to-Sea Trail

I cringed when I picked up the July Outside magazine and saw that it had the Mountains-to-Sea Trail listed under “Best Through-Hikes You’ve Never Heard Of.” No mention was made of the fact that the roughly 1,000-mile MST is only a little over half done, meaning that roughly 500 miles of this best-trail-you’ve-never-heard-of actually is on pavement, often competing with cars. Not exactly the escape most of us seek when…

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90-Second Escape: Mount Rogers

Monday is never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast, especially come summer. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease this trying transition from out-in-the-Sun-day to Mon-I-wish-I-were-back-in-the-sun-day, we’re running a new feature every Monday, at least during the summer, called 90-Second Escape. Essentially, it’s a 90-second mini-movie of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a…

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Cary’s Black Creek Greenway nearly complete

In the 1990s,  the 2.3-mile Black Creek Greenway — running from Lake Crabtree south to West Dynasty Drive — was the crown jewel of Triangle greenways. Today, the still-popular greenway has expanded to nearly its entire, planned 7-plus-mile length. A crucial 1.4-mile connection earlier this month from Chapel Hill Road at NW Maynard Street to SW Maynard near High House Road means there’s only about a half mile of uncompleted…

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What? No weekend plans? Then make some

To paraphrase a former vice president attempting to paraphrase a popular saying from the ’70s, a June weekend is a terrible thing to waste. So don’t. Coast No matter how far you’ve ever walked, I’m guessing you’ve never walked back in time. You can Saturday, on the monthly two-hour historical walking tour through Wilmington’s Oakdale Cemetery. “Oakdale,” writes Janet Seapker on the cemetery’s Web site, “was part of the Rural…

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