Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Moser's Florida Weekly Column is back! Suit up and stretch: running and biking season has arrived!

Great to have Dan Moser's popular Florida Weekly column back.  Check out all the upcoming biking and running events in our area!
Dan Moser
Florida Weekly, Oct. 24, 2012

It’s been a nice break, but I’m very happy to be back writing my column just as the season for running/walking and cycling events gets well under way. Actually, under way is an understatement. This Saturday, Oct. 27, represents the first time there are not two or three, but five events happening in Lee County on the same day, one week after the Fort Myers Police Department’s very popular Cops & Joggers 5K, another run in Cape Coral, an Iona walk-a-thon, and two more 5Ks the week prior. 

Here’s what’s happening this Saturday:
¦ LCEC Oktoberfest 5K, Jim Jeffers Park, Cape Coral 
¦ Racethe Roof 8K, Verandah, Buckingham 
¦ Halloween5K, San Carlos Park 
¦ Walkto End Alzheimer’s, Centennial Park, Fort Myers 
Runners line up for the River, Roots and Ruts Half Marathon  one of several foot races on the horizon.

¦ Soon afterward, on Saturday, Nov. 10, comes one of our area’s classics: Lee County Y’s Midpoint Madness 5K. Although it’s usually an evening race held on Veterans Day, the date and time change for this year’s race is due to the fact that participation drops dramatically when it’s an evening run on weekend nights and even more so on Sunday, regardless of the time. But the event’s main draw — running over a bridge that pedestrians cannot access at any other time — remains a great reason to take part. 

Cape Coral Hospital’s Turkey Trot is the next big run on Thursday, Nov. 22, just before Lee Memorial Hospital’s City of Palms 10K on Saturday, Dec. 1. 

Two longer distance races in early 2013 include the River, Roots & Ruts Half Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 6, and theNaples Daily News Half Marathon on Sunday, Jan. 20. Whew!

Besides running and walking events, it’s also the start of cycling’s high season. Established rides take place each weekend around the state and locally. There’s also a bike club leaders’ workshop that’s being held in conjunction with one of Florida’s most challenging and popular rides.

The earliest local event is the annual River Ride, being staged out of Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva on Sunday, Nov. 11. 
Then on Saturday, Nov. 17, the Coastal Cruisers Pasta Bash will take place in Port Charlotte. 
That’s followed by the Iron Joe Turkey Ride in Naples on Sunday, Nov. 25; Everyone Rides from Jet Blue Park on Sunday, Dec. 9; and Tour de Cape from Cape Harbor on Sunday, Jan. 20.

Great rides that are happening out of our immediate area include the two-day GainesvilleCycling Fest on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28, which includes century rides (100 miles) each day. Later in the month, on Sunday, Nov. 18, is the Horrible Hundred, a ride that routinely draws more than 2,000 cyclists, perhaps because it includes more hills than any other in the state, totaling more than 4,000 feet of climbing around the Clermont area. 

The day before the ride, Florida Bicycle Association hosts a workshop in Clermont that will provide helpful information and resources for bike club leaders to help them better manage and operate their clubs.

If all that isn’t enough, two events you’ll want to keep an eye out for in the spring of 2013. They include the American Lung Association’s Fight forAir Climb at 30-story High Point in downtown Fort Myers. Registration for the climb is open. 
Healthy Lee’s Streets Alive! is also forthcoming and something you’ll hear plenty more about in the coming months.

Until next time, I’ll look for you on the roads and trails.
— Dan Moser is a league cycling and CyclingSavvy instructor/ trainer and programs director for the 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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