As the traditional fall racing season approaches, local running clubs are working to fill their calendars with events – some virtual, some in person, and some both.
The in-person events won’t look like the races you may remember. Expect limits on total numbers of racers (and spectators), mask requirements (except when racing), staggered starts to encourage social distancing on the course, limits on water stations during the race and activities after it.
The virtual events will have a time span during which you participate and submit results, software or app requirements to capture and post your time, and possibly other criteria and concerns.
For either type of event, you’ll want to check out the organizers’ website for information and restrictions… and, of course, plan to be flexible in case conditions change and further medical requirements are imposed by local or state officials.
Nevertheless, for those who love to race (or who want to try out their newfound lockdown fitness), it’s a welcome return to a measure of normalcy. Here are some upcoming options from now to the new year:
FORT MYERS TRACK CLUB (ftmyerstrackclub.com):
- Cops & Joggers Virtual 5K, July 10-Oct. 10 (virtual)
- Sanibel Island 10K Race 4 F.I.S.H., Aug. 18-Oct. 31 (virtual)
- Cape Coral Turkey Trot 5K, Sept. 17-Nov. 26 (virtual)
- City of Palms River Run 10K, Sept. 17-Dec. 5 (virtual)
- Lazy Flamingo Half Marathon & 2-Person Relay, Sept. 17-Dec. 20 (virtual)
GC RUNNERS (gcrunner.org):
- Snip Collier 5K, Saturday, Oct. 3 (in-person event is full, virtual event still open)
- Gulf to Gulf 80 Mile Relay, Saturday, Oct. 17 (in-person)
- Halloween Monster 5K (Naples), Saturday, Oct. 31 (virtual)
- Old Naples 10K, Saturday, Nov. 7 (in-person & virtual)
- GCR Thanksgiving 5K, Thursday, Nov. 26 (in-person & virtual)
- Naples Daily News Half Marathon, Saturday, Jan. 17 (in-person & virtual)
ELITE EVENTS (runeliteevents.com):
- Rocktoberfest 10K and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Oct. 10
- Fall Classic Half Marathon and 5K, Naples, Saturday, Nov. 21
- Thanksgiving Day 5K Run and Walk, Estero, Thursday, Nov. 26
- Naples Christmas Glow Run 5K, Saturday, Dec. 5
- Naples Distance Classic 5K, 10K and Half Marathon, Sunday, Dec. 6
- 2020 LCEC Goblin Gallop 5K, Oct. 31, Jaycee Park, Cape Coral (in-person) (active.com)
- Run for Foster Kids, Oct. 1-31 (virtual) (runsignup.com)
Cyclists looking for organized events are still limited in their choices… no surprise, since even in non-Covid times the local ride calendars were pretty sparse.
The Caloosa Riders are offering member rides, but some are open to non-members (and it wouldn’t hurt you to join the club); check their ride calendar (caloosariders.org) for a description of the distance and speed, and to see if the ride is open to all.
SW Florida Critical Mass is offering their usual slate of family-friendly rides, although the NE Lee ride seems to be lacking a leader and thus is not on the calendar. The options are below, and you can check out their line-up online (http://www.meetup.com/Biking-SWFL/events/) for details and times.
- SW Florida Critical Mass ride, first Friday of the month. A family-friendly slow night ride through Fort Myers. Front and rear bike lights required. Helmet and lights required, meet in the parking lot at 2180 West First Street, Fort Myers.
- Sanibel Critical Mass night ride, second Tuesday of the month. Gathers at Jerry’s Shopping Center, 1700 Periwinkle Way, on Sanibel. Lights required, helmets recommended.
- Cape Coral Critical Mass ride, fourth Friday of the month. Gather at the Southwest Florida Military Museum parking lot at 4820 Leonard Street for a family-friendly night ride through the Cape; helmets and lights required.
- Saturday Morning Slow Roll, fourth Saturday of the month. Meet-up at 2160 McGregor Blvd., Fort Myers. Recommended for inexperienced/young riders. Distance is 6 miles, includes group ride instruction.
If racing is not your thing but you’d like to support their return nonetheless, consider volunteering to help out at the few in-person offerings ahead. With Covid concerns still corralling some of the club’s usual volunteers, a few new helping hands would certainly be welcomed.