Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dan Moser's Florida Weekly Column: Lace the sneakers on tight, it’s road race season

Florida Weekly, September 8, 2010

If you’ve been doing your best to avoid the heat and humidity while exercising, it’s about time to get yourself back out on the roads and trails of Southwest Florida. For the running or walking enthusiast, that means preparing oneself for the many 5Ks and other distance events that are being offered.

This year’s road racing season begins in Lee County with the Lexington Cares 5K on Oct. 9. Next up is the Sanibel 10K for F.I.S.H. on Oct. 16, a race that was to be a first-timer last year but was canceled at the last moment due to severe weather, a decision that’s quite rare for races in general (it takes sustained severe weather, including lightning, to call off a race). A week later, on Oct. 23, there’s the very popular Cops & Joggers 5K in downtown Fort Myers (this race was an instant success from its first running, thanks to the public safety community’s support and efforts). There are two races on Oct. 30: Race the Roof 5K at the Verandah in Fort Myers and the Shores and Knights of Fright 5K that takes place in San Carlos Park.

November isn’t quite as busy as October, but two major races are on tap. YMCA’s annual Midpoint Madness 5K takes place on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Beginning on the Fort Myers side, the course takes runners over and back the Midpoint Memorial Bridge during the early evening of Veterans Day. Another traditional holiday event, the Turkey Trot 5K, will be held as usual on Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 25, from Cape Coral Hospital.

Later in the race season there are a number of well-established events such as the River Run 10K in December, the RRiver, Roots, and Ruts Half Marathon and 5K in January, Edison Fest 5K in February, and Hooters Half Marathon in March. And don’t forget the new kid on the block, the American Lung Association’s Fight for Air stair climb at High Point in April, a first-time event last year that was clearly a hit with runners, walkers and others seeking a unique challenge.

If you’re someone who needs to be part of a group to motivate yourself to train, or simply enjoy running with others, you may want to consider showing up at one or another of the weekly gatherings that take place. Among many other opportunities are: a Monday morning run, beginning at 5:30 a.m. that stages from Starbucks at College Parkway and Winkler Avenue; a Monday afternoon run that starts at the Fort Myers Country Club at 4 p.m. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, there are evening runs from the Yacht Basin downtown beginning at 5 p.m. On Saturday mornings, there are groups that go out at 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. from the same Starbucks as Monday; and you can meet at FMCC again on both Saturday and Sunday mornings for a 6 a.m. start.

Click here for details and contact information for these events — other than those indicated otherwise.

Advocacy Update

Would you like to help make a difference in the way bike/ped priorities are determined locally? The city of Fort Myers is in need of individuals to serve on its Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Board. BPAB meets every other month on the third Thursday of the month from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at city hall.
Those interested must either be a city resident or own property or a business there. While Fort Myers has a pretty good environment for pedestrians (not as good for bicyclists), there’s still plenty that needs to be done to get the city where it should be. To learn more and to apply, click here.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.

— Dan Moser begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting is a league cycling instructor/trainer and program manager for Florida Bicycle Association who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. He can be contacted at or 334-6417.

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