Thursday, February 25, 2010
Moser's Florida Weekly Column: It's peak season for local running and cycling events
Florida Weekly 2/24/10
It’s peak season for local running and cycling events
The Edison Fest 5K, our area’s premier short distance running event, may be over for the year, but there are still many excellent walking, running and cycling events still to come. Unfortunately, two that are especially popular with some of the same people are competing with each other this year.
On Sunday, March 7, the third annual Hooters-to-Hooters Half Marathon, (www.ftmyerstrackclub.com) takes place in Fort Myers. On that same date, the well-established Royal Palm Classis bike tour (www.caloosariders.com) is being staged from Buckingham Community Park near Lehigh Acres. Besides the competition for participants, members of the Caloosa Riders bike club, the ride organizer, play an important role in making our road races happen. Many thanks to Dutch and the other Caloosa Riders who have volunteered to pull double-duty on March 7 so both events can be a success. Let’s hope the weather cooperates.
As if a bike ride and road race on the same day aren’t enough to stretch our local resources and spread thin potential participants, there are another couple of events that will cause area runners to make a hard choice. Coming on Saturday, March 13 are both the hugely popular Komen Race for the Cure 5K (www. komenswfl.org, www.ftmyerstrackclub. com) and always fun Shrimp Fest 5K (www.fortmyersbeachshrimpfestival. com, www.ftmyerstrackclub.com).
The Race for the Cure has been attracting more walkers and joggers than runners since its local inception a few years ago, making it the area’s largest event in terms of overall participants. It begins and ends at the Coconut Point mall in Estero and includes activities commemorating those who have lost their battle with breast cancer and recognizing the many who’ve beaten it.
Anyone who’s run the 5K race that immediately precedes the Shrimp Fest parade on Fort Myers Beach (much like a daytime version of the Edison Fest 5K and parade, only with an atmosphere you can only get at the Beach) knows how much having throngs of spectators all along the course motivates you. Both races happen in the morning of March 13, so you’ll just have to choose one or the other.
There are plenty of other runs and rides in Southwest Florida during March and April. Visit the various running and bike clubs’ Web sites, listed along with this column, for more complete listings.
Along with working to move policy and resources towards a more balanced transportation network in Lee County, another of BikeWalkLee’s priorities is to educate as many as we can about how to safely and effectively navigate our roads and sidepaths. Whether it be through media campaigns directed at motorists or classes and programs for cyclists and pedestrians, BWL wants to be part of the solution and help change behaviors that have made Lee County one of the nation’s worse in terms of traffic safety.
To that end, on Saturday, March 6, Bike- WalkLee, with the support of Lee County EMS, is offering a two-hour program for folks of all ages, including families, to learn how to cycle safely and effectively. It will be conducted at the Whiskey Creek Country Club (on Whiskey Creek Drive midway between McGregor Boulevard and College Parkway) from 1 to 3 p.m. You’ll need to bring your own bike and helmet — we’ll be doing a few onbike activities — and there’s no cost, but space is limited to 30 individuals. Contact me to register (see below for contact info). Remember, helmets are required for those who want to participate in onbike activities, including adults.
Also being planned by BikeWalkLee is an outing on Sunday, March 28, at Lakes Park in South Fort Myers. More information about this event will appear in my next column.
Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.