Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Running, cycling and stair climbing season in full gear

Florida Weekly 'Outdoors' column, February 27, 2019

Firefighters gear up for last year’s Fort Myers Fight for Air Stair Climb. DAN MOSER / FLORIDA WEEKLY

Just as our area’s high-season for visitors is upon us so, too, is it the peak of organized running and cycling events. For those who don’t run, be assured that most running events also welcome walkers. And don’t forget that it’s not too late to join in Healthy Lee’s Million Mile Movement, our community’s effort to collectively rack up the equivalent of 1 million miles via any and all physical activities. Also, be sure to sign up for the annual Fight for Air Stair Climb Challenge that will take place as the season wraps up on April 27.

Running and walking events
Sunday, March 3: Lazy Flamingo Half- Marathon, 6:30 a.m. start time, Fort Myers, ( Lazy Flamingo is using the former Hooters Half date and distance from its south McGregor Boulevard location. There’s a two-person relay option and one-mile fun run/walk as well.

Saturday, March 9: Annual Shrimp Fest 5K, pre-parade start time, Fort Myers Beach (

Saturday, March 16: Lee County Medical Society Foundation 5K & 2-Mile Walk, Lakes Park, Fort Myers (

Saturday, March 23: Scope for Hope 5K Run & 2 Mile Walk, CenturyLink Stadium, Fort Myers (

Saturday, April 6: Run 4 the Cause 5K, Living Waters Church, Estero (

Saturday, April 27: Fight for Air Stair Climb, various assigned morning start times, Oasis Tower, Fort Myers (

Cycling events

Sunday, March 3: Bike Brunch, Fleischmann Park, Naples. Rides from 5 miles to 100 miles (

Saturday & Sunday, March 9-10: Caloosa Riders’ Royal Palm Challenge. Two days of rides for the price of one: Saturday rides of 32 or 42 miles, as well as the main event on Sunday, with rides of 15, 40, 62 or 80 miles. Saturday rides will feature different routes than Sunday, with all rides starting and ending at Fort Myers Brewing Company in Gateway. Registration fee includes pre- and post-event activities, entertainment, lunch, full rest stops and SAG support on course (

Saturday, March 16, through Wednesday, March 20: 8th Annual Key West Bike Ride. Beginning in Fort Myers this 300-mile ride crosses the Everglades and down the length of the Florida Keys. The route is mostly flat, with the exception of 47 bridges, one of which is 7 miles long. Return transportation provided. (

Friday & Saturday, March 22-23: Pedal & Play in Paradise, Punta Gorda. On Friday evening join the Punta Gorda city manager for a tour of the city’s extensive pathway network. On Saturday, rides of 15, 30 and 62 miles (metric century) are options, as is a Mystery Tour ride (

Friday, March 29, through Wednesday, April 3: Bike Florida Spring Tour. This is the 25th anniversary of Bike Florida’s Spring Tour, Florida’s premier tour that changes routes each year. This time it’s the Nature Coast on Florida’s west coast north of Tampa, taking riders from Brooksville to Inverness (

Sunday, April 7: Cycling for Fallen Heroes. The 8th annual fundraiser for the Brotherhood Ride, a non-profit organization entirely comprised of volunteer firefighters, police officers and EMS personnel who complete bicycle tours around America to honor emergency first responders who have died in the line of duty. Rides start at Trek of Estero at Coconut Point.(

Finally, although not an event, this item is intimately related to running, walking, and cycling: Streets Alive of Southwest Florida ( has produced a video that says it all when it comes to how to treat each other in shared spaces. As usual, to learn more about this and similar matters visit Bike- WalkLee’s blog at ¦
- Dan Moser is a long-time bicycle/pedestrian advocate and traffic safety professional who cycles, runs and walks regularly for transportation, recreation and fitness. Contact him at and 334-6417. 

For Lee County cycling and tri events visit Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (; Florida Mudcutters (; and SW Florida Biking Meetup Group ( The Florida Bicycle Association ( is your source for statewide happenings. BikeWalkLee’s blog site has all the information you’ll need to stay abreast of advocacy efforts in Southwest Florida as well as statewide and nationally.

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