This weekend, earn your Gladiator stripes

There’s a bike ride in the east, a biathlon in the west, and a survivalist 5K in between this weekend in North Carolina.


The northeast corner of North Carolina may be the best-suited part of the state for cycling: two-lane country roads meandering past forest and cotton fields with little automotive traffic to compete with. Yet how often do you find yourself riding a bike there? Not very, I’m guessing. Usually in a case like this it’s because you simply haven’t had a good excuse to explore the area. An excuse such as this Saturday’s Country Roads Bike Tour. Starting and ending in Scotland Neck, the CRBT offers routes of 20k, 50k and 100k — basically a k for every style of riding, from not-much-at-all (20k) to long greenway rides on the weekend (50K) to the hardcore recreational rider who gets in 100 miles a week (100k).

Saturday’s ride starts at 8:30 a.m., though you’ll likely want to arrive early for the free breakfast (lunch, too). Rest stops along the way as well. $35 if you register in advance, $40 on-site. More info, visit the Scotland Neck Web site or call 252.826.3152.


Remember the old 5Ks, where you could show up after not having worked out for a month and still manage to get through the 3.1-mile course without breaking a sweat? Well, slacker, there’s a new breed of 5K in town that has no intention of letting you get away with such tomfoolery. First, you’ll be lucky not to break a leg let alone a sweat with the barrels to crawl through, the cargo nets to climb, the tire fields to high step through, the monkey bars to negotiate, the walls to climb and the mud pits to … squirm through. Yes, isn’t your typical Run-For-A-Good-Cause-And-Maybe-Win-A-Pie-Raffle fundraiser 5k. This (drumroll please), is the Gladiator!

The Gladiator vows to make you forget about those days when you’d whine about a minor hill on the course. The Gladiator vows to make a Gladiator out of you! And judging from the pictures I’ve seen of Gladiators past, it also appears to guarantee that you will have a lot of fun.

Gladiators at Saturdays race at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary will be sent off in waves every 20 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. If you’re already registered good for you and your wallet. If you haven’t, it’s $80 to race if you register before the race, $100 if you wait until race day. There is age-group competition. For more info, check the Web site.


Bored by just running? Bored by just cycling? Then head to Lincolnton Saturday for the Lincolnton 5K/Biathlon/Kids Biathlon. The adult 5K and biathlon both start at 8 a.m. from Lincolnton Middle School; biathloners then ride a 20-mile loop that includes “some rolling hills and scenic views.” The kids biathlon is at noon.

Race-day sign up for the 5K is $25, $40 for the adult biathlon and $15 for the kids biathlon. More info by calling 828-308-2722 of visiting the race Web site.

* * *

Those are GGNC’s thoughts for an active weekend. Find out other ways you can get out this weekend by browsing our super calendar, a collection of events calendars from throughout the state, 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.


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.

Leave a Reply