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90-Second Escape: A summer’s paddle

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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Neuse Greenway on schedule for September opening

The first 8-mile stretch of the Neuse River Greenway in Raleigh is on target to open this September, Raleigh senior greenway planner Vic Lebsock said Thursday. “Yes, I am,” he replied when asked if he was confident of the late summer opening. The 8-mile stretch, from Falls of Neuse Road just below the Falls Lake dam south to the WRAL Soccer Complex, is part of the Neuse River Greenway, which…

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Spend Saturday with a favorite trail

Saturday is National Trails Day, a day set aside for paying homage to the nation’s more than 200,000 miles of trail. In most cases, that involves grabbing a rake, a pickax, a shovel and sprucing up the trails that on the other 364 days of the year we love to death. It’s a day underscoring that without volunteer labor, our trail systems simply wouldn’t exist. Last year, for instance, 190,350…

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Obstacles are no obstacle for these 5Ks

I wrote the following story for both the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer; it ran in both papers May 31, 2011. It runs here in an expanded form with links. They go by names such as the Gladiator, Warrior, Rugged Maniac, Spartan and Tough Mudder. They feature obstacles ranging from mud pits covered by barbed wire to a gauntlet of dangling, live electric wires. To pitch themselves they…

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A 5k to remember

Today, I have a story in both the Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer about the new breed of obstacle 5Ks — 5K races that throw up everything from a gauntlet of tires to a mud pit to a wall of flames to curtains of live electrical wires between you and the finish. They’ve become enormously popular in the past three years, drawing upwards of 25,000 participants. You can…

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Show a trail you care this National Trails Day

If there were justice in this world, every bank executive and mortgage handler in the land would be forced to turn out on Saturday and participate in National Trails Day. Rationale? Federal, state and municipal land managers are facing drastic cuts as a result of recent recklessness in the financial sector, and they’re more in need than ever for help to maintain existing trails and blaze new ones. Alas, since…

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An afternoon on Charlotte’s longest greenway

The map told me to expect a long ride. And even though it was most recent version, it couldn’t keep up with the system’s expansion. Instead of seven miles to explore, I was getting a bonus mile and a half. At 8.5 miles, I was now getting to explore the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation greenway system’s longest stretch of interconnected trail. Located in northeast Charlotte near the UNC-Charlotte campus,…

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Weekend plans? Three days for adventure

Memorial Day weekend: Three days to get out and explore, three options for doing just that. Coast Despite its name, George Washington once referred to the Dismal Swamp as a “glorious paradise.” If you’ve only driven past, the rationale behind President Washington’s praise may escape you. But plunge into its lush depths on a kayak and the father of our country’s reasoning will be perfectly clear. You’ll have a chance…

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Whitewater rafting: a 90-Second Escape

Friday, I wrote about visiting the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte. Today, we’ll take a virtual, vicarious raft trip on the center’s concrete river via the first of GetGoingNC.com’s new video series of 90-Second Escapes. Enjoy the trip.

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The Gladiator inducts 776

The Triangle’s inaugural obstacle-infested 5K, the Gladiator, went off today at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Some 776 runners made the passage into Gladiatordom, battling through a gauntlet of tires, crawling under a camo tarp (barbed wire was deemed too dangerous; the Town of Cary also nixed running through a fire pit and that bane of grade school playgrounds everywhere, monkey bars), hoisting over a cargo net wall, walking a…

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