This weekend: Peddlers, paddlers, plodders

It’s one adventurous weekend in North Carolina, with the Combat Run at the coast, a bike tour in the Piedmont and paddle racing on the French Broad in the mountains.


My friend Jason did the Tough Mudder in Georgia earlier in the month and he did not take it lightly, training for the event by dedicating four months of his life to P90X. Surprisingly, though, not everyone approached the grueling event with the same dedication. “There were people who hadn’t trained at all,” Jason told me. It’s in that spirit of last-minute “What-the-hey” that we draw your attention to Saturday’s Combat Mud Run in Wilmington. The 5K course includes such obstacles as 4′, 6′ and 8′ walls, mud crawls, a mud walk, a swamp run, tire climb, culvert crawl and “fallen trees” (presumably not felled whilst you’re running beneath them) and a “Foot Long Bungee Hall Way Obstacle.”

Logistics: Saturday, April 27, 8 a.m., at the National Guard, 2412 Infantry Road, Wilmington. $65, $260 for a team of four. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Overcast, high of 73.


The bike tour season is kicking in: on tap this weekend, the East Wake Bicycle Tour. Sponsored by the Knightdale Kiwaniz Club, the tour includes 50K, 75K and 100K tours of eastern Wake County. I’ve done a couple of tours in eastern Wake and there’s a lot to recommend riding the area: it’s flat, there’s minimal traffic and bucolic terrain is a nice distraction as it begins to dawn on you that you are woefully ill-prepared for a long tour this early in the season.

Logistics: Saturday, April 27, commencing at 9 a.m. from Knightdale High. $35. More info here,
to register, go here.

Saturday forecast: Overcast, high of 70.


In addition to being the start of the bike touring-riding season, it’s also the start of the paddling season. In the mountains, things kick off with Saturday’s French Broad Classique Canoe, Kayak and SUP Race. Saturday’s events include an 18-mile downriver race, a 4-mile stand up paddleboard race and a 50-mile test race. Sunday’s races include a 16-mile downriver race and an 8-mile family friendly fun race.

“Test race,” you ask? Check out the website to find out.

Logistics: Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28. For more specifics, check the website here.

Weekend forecast: Overcast with a 50 percent or greater chance for rain.

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Those are our thoughts on the weekend. Find more options at the sources listed 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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