This weekend: No excuses!

Excuses to get moving can be easy to dream up. But this weekend? No excuses.

Coast / Coastal Plain

WP.CoastIf you’ve vowed to do at least one race this summer and have procrastinated, you have no excuse not to do Sunday’s Summer Sizzler at Wilmington’s Greenfield Lake.
A 10K? you whine. That’s too far in this summer heat.
There’s also a 5K.
My hip flexor has been acting up. I don’t think I can hold back my competitive nature — I’ll re-injure myself.
There’s a 1-mile fun run.
Oh … .
Another reason you can’t refuse? It’s the first in a three-race series that includes the First Bank Octoberfest 15K at Brunswick Forest on Sept. 25 and the Battleship Half Marathon Nov. 6. Start building your endurance on Sunday.

Vital stats: Simmer Sizzler 10K, 5K & 1-miler, Sunday, 7:30 a.m., Greenfield Lake, Wilmington. Fee: $25 – $40; register by Aug. 5, here.

Sunday forecast: Racetime temperature of 79, chance of thunderstorms.

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Looking ahead: Pier-2-Pier Open Water Swim Race, Sept. 10, Johnnie Mercer’s Pier, Wrightsville Beach. More info here.


WP.PiedmontSometimes, we’re not sure what to make of an event, which makes it all the more intriguing. Witness our Piedmont recommendation … .

Sunday afternoon, Charlotte’s Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve sponsors the Reedy Creek Olympians. “In honor of the Summer 2016 Olympics this year,” explains the center, “Reedy Creek will be hosting its very own games. What animals are the best of the best? Who can jump the highest, run the fastest, or hide the best? Come find out and test your own skills and reflexes against your friends.”

So … standing long jump vs. a frog? Fifty-meter freestyle against a fish? 800 meter relay against raccoons?

Come and find out.

Vital stats: Reedy Creek Olympians, Sunday, 2-3 p.m., Reedy Creek Nature Center & Preserve. Free, but preregistration required, by calling 980.314.1119.

Sunday forecast: High of 89, chance of showers.

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Looking ahead: Family Hike & Stream Stomp, Aug. 17, 9:30 a.m., McDowell Nature Center & Preserve. More info here.


Ridin' (as opposed to runnin') the ridge at Cataloochee Ranch
Ridin’ (as opposed to runnin’) the ridge at Cataloochee Ranch

Most trail races are on single-track or double-wide trail with little to look at but the trail itself. Not the Richard’s Run 5K Fun Run for Brain Cancer at Cataloochee. Say race organizers: “The race will begin at the gate above the Chestnut Orchard at Cataloochee Ranch. From there, the route will lead into The Bowl, an expansive bowl-shaped open meadow with dramatic long-range mountain views. The trail will lead runners around the perimeter, following the shape of the bowl, before plunging into a thick rhododendron tunnel that opens back into The Bowl.”

It continues, but you get the notion — the notion of one scenic 5K, not to mention the opportunity to benefit the Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University.

Vital stats: Richard’s Run 5K, Saturday, 10 a.m., Cataloochee Ranch, Maggie Valley. $10 online, $15 day of race. More info here.

Saturday forecast: Race time temperature of 74, mostly sunny skies.

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Looking ahead: Blue Ridge Breakaway, 100-, 75- and 30-mile rides on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Aug. 20, Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center. More info here.

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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 coastal 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.


Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Calendar includes three weekly events for each of its seven markets: Chapel Hill, Charlotte, Greensboro, Greenville, Raleigh, Wilmington and Winston-Salem. Search by market.

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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