This weekend: We’ve got the runs

Lace up and head out this weekend.

It’s a big weekend in North Carolina for runs, especially those of the trail variety.


One thing runners love about trail races is that natural surface trails are easier on the body, especially everything from the waist down. One thing runners aren’t always crazy about: the races tend to be in hilly areas where the prospects of a PR are slim. That’s not an issue with Saturday’s Roanoke Canal Half Marathon & 8K, with follows the historic, flat and natural surface Roanoke Canal Trail. Promises event organizer the Tar River Running Company: “It is honestly a course that is waiting for you to set a PR.” Also recommending the race is the great scenery, both natural and human: the trail takes in the Roanoke River and several lakes, crosses an aqueduct dating to the 1800s, and passes the remains of an old power generation plant. Lots of distractions.

Logistics: Saturday, March 8; the half marathon begins at 8 a.m., the 8K at 8:30 a.m. $65 for the half, $35 for the 8K, registration ends TODAY! More info: 252.443.4566,

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 59.


The Charlotte version of the River Bound Race Series (there’s also an Asheville series) begins Saturday with a 5K and 8K at Renaissance Park. The four-race series is put on by North Carolina Outward Bound; other venues and dates in the series are Fisher Farm Park (5K, 10K), May 18; U.S. National Whitewater Center (5K, 15K), July 20; Anne Spring Close Greenway (5K and half marathon), Sept. 21.

Logistics: Saturday, March 9, 8 a.m.; $30 for the 5K, $35 for the 8K, tack on another $5 on race day. Register here. More info: Luiz Leonetti 704.239.2121,, and here.

Saturday forecast: Sunny, high of 64.


Rounding out the weekend running schedule is Saturday’s Healthy Parks, Healthy You 5K Fun Run at the Buncombe County Sports Park in Asheville. This is a mellow event — it’s not even timed. Mellow pricing, too.

Logistics: Saturday, March 9, 8:30 a.m., Healthy Parks, Healthy You 5K Fun Run: March 9, 8:30 a.m.-noon, Buncombe County Sports Park, 58 Apac Circle, Asheville. $12 for adults, $7 ages 4-15. More info: Jay Nelson at 828.250.4269 or or by going here.

Weekend forecast: Clear, high of 61.

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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.

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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