Over the past few weeks, we've talked about setting goals for a healthier and happier life.
Now here we are, solidly into the new year, and if you're at all like me, it's time to assess those goals and tweak those plans. To help keep you on track, here are some highlights of running, walking and other fitness-based events that take place in our community over the coming weeks.
On Feb. 10 is the low-key, low-cost Fine Valentine Couple's Relay, produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, with an open four-miler, an open two-mile run/walk and a relay with varied categories in which team members each run two miles on the UA campus. (Details and registration at www.azroadrunners.org)
On Feb. 16 is the Laps for Literacy 5K Fun Run/Walk, held at Reid Park to raise funds for the Make Way for Books/Pima County Public Library Story Town project (altrusalapsforliteracy.eventbrite.com).
The next day, on Feb. 17, is the Pueblo's Rodeo Run 4-Miler, which starts at the Spectrum Mall, put on by Tagg Running Events. (taggrun.com)
On Feb. 23 in the Quail Creek community of Green Valley is the Quail Creek 5K Run, which features a doggy-dash division (www.quailcreekrun.com).
The first weekend in March is a busy time for runners and walkers. On March 2, the Marana Chamber of Commerce is putting on the Marana 5K and 10K, while at Flowing Wells Park is the Third Annual Carden Peace Builder 5K Fun Run and Walk (www.active.com).
On March 3 is the sole women-only road race in the region, the Be TucsonWomen's 5K with a three-lap course at La Encantada. Part of the La Encantada Women's Beauty and Health Expo, the race is produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners and is open to female runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. There is a kids race, too, and men, don't fret: You can do the Be Tucson Men's Mile as a kickoff to the day (www.azroadrunners.org).
March 9 is also a busy day, with the Everyone Runs Midtown Sertoma 5K Run and Walk (www.everyoneruns.net) and the National MS Society Arizona Chapter's Tucson Walk MS at Reid Park (walkaza.nationalmssociety.org).
Mid-March sees a three race weekend: the Green Isle Mile and Running with the Irish 5K on Sunday the 17th (taggrun.com), and the Dave's Run for ALS Research 5K, produced by the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, also on the 17th (www.azroadrunners.org).
Also on March 17 is the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K, the region's largest noncompetitive walk, and companion competitive 5K race (komensaz.org). This year, the Race for the Cure is at the University of Arizona.
That's a lot, I know. But there is no excuse to skip exercising.
Oh, you want something free? That's easy: Every Monday night is the free Meet Me at Maynard's walk and run in downtown Tucson, and every Wednesday night is a free fitness extravaganza at Meet Me at La Encantada, with a walk, run, tai chi, yoga and more - all for free!
See www.azroadrunners.org for additional details on all these wonderful community events, then get out and get moving, Tucson!
Randy Accetta, a past president of the Southern Arizona Roadrunners, writes an occasional column for Caliente. He is the director of several races and teaches at the University of Arizona.