I love carrots, crave them. Couldn’t press on without ‘em. If I can’t envision a carrot in the distance, I’m hard pressed to roll out of bed and go for an early morning run or ride, let alone in 20-degree weather. So today, a few carrots to motivate you through the cold challenge of winter.
Tame the Tyger River Race and Festival
7.75-mile race/recreational float on Class II water
Here’s the perfect carrot to get you behind the paddle of your boat: a longish race on Class II water (defined in Paul Ferguson’s “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” as such: “Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Occasional maneuvering may be required, but rocks and medium-sized waves are easily missed by trained paddlers.” Racing is in five categories: 10-foot and under kayak, over 10-foot kayak, single canoe, double canoe, women’s open, with awards going to the top three finishers in each category. Plus, it’s part of a festival, which means boat demos, live music (the Jug Factory Road Band), BBQ, prizes and more. If you’re not familiar with the Tyger River, Spartanburg Parks has put together a helpful guide scouting the rapids. Plus, Eric Davis, outdoor recreation coordinator with the Spartanburg Parks Commission, tells us there’s good camping nearby and some good mountain bike trails, so you could make this a multisport carrot. $25 to race.
More info here.
Mountains-to-Sea Trail 12-mile Challenge
12-mile trail run
I mentioned this last week but it bears repeating, in part because the $35 registration fee benefits a good cause — continued development of the 1,000-mile work-in-progress Mountains-to-Sea Trail, about half of which is finished — but also because timing-wise it’s perfect for the short-distance runner looking to up the ante. The run is along 12 miles of singletrack trail along the south shore of Falls Lake; if you run 10Ks or 5Ks, you may be thinking, “Shoot, that’s twice as far as I run,” — or four times as far! There’s something about trail running, though, that somehow makes 12 miles seem shorter. Perhaps it’s the scenery, perhaps it’s the fact that because you must focus on the trail, to avoid rocks and tree roots, you lose track of the time. (The latter also forces you to run a bit slower.) 5Ker today, on January 28th, a near-half-marathoner come April 10.
More info, go here.
Fit-tastic spring program
Running program for beginners
Maybe you’re intrigued by the MST 12-mile Challenge but have never run a 5K or 10K, let alone a near-half-marathon. If you’re not a runner but have toyed with the idea of becoming one, check out the spring edition of the Fit-tastic program, sponsored by The Athlete’s Foot. The program is tiered to help a variety of folks, but its emphasis is taking non-runners and training them to run a 5K in 13 weeks. The $60 entry fee includes twice-weekly training sessions from The Athlete’s Foot store in Cameron Village, pre- and post-program fitness screenings by Rex Healthcare, informational lectures, coaching and a T-shirt. A quick testimonial: I ran back in my 20s, became hobbled by back and knee problems when I hit 30 and took a break. Twenty-three years later, at age 53, I decided I wanted to run a 5K. I signed up for Fit-tastic with a stated goal of running a 5K in 25 minutes (pretty ambitious, I thought). Thanks to the coaching of Tim Clark and the support of my training group, I ended up running last fall’s Monster Dash, the fall program’s graduation ceremony, in 22:09. Better still, the program revived my love of running. The spring Fit-tastic* graduation: the June 12 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
More info, go here.
*Corrected from the original “Fat-tastic,” as suggested by alert reader Patrick Mueller.
I mentioned this one before as well, but if you don’t like to paddle or run, if long walks in the woods on a spring day is your thing, then check out the Iron Hiker. It’s a day-long assault on all 24 miles of hiking trail at Umstead State park on March 20, the first day of spring. May be too cold to paddle, may be too cold to run, but it’s never, IMHO, too cold to hike. So start training now.
More info, go here.