“I have found that running is the gift you can give away and still keep,” was only one of Jacob Wells’ reasons for sharing his passion for running. In 11 years, Wells ran 154 marathons and completed hundreds of races, covering more than 20,000 miles while using his gift to motivate others.
Wells had an undetected heart condition. He collapsed Nov. 1, 2014, during the Mid-South Championship Marathon in Wynne and died a week later. He had been working on a marathon for Little Rock, 3 Bridges Marathon.
When the fifth annual 3 Bridges Marathon begins at 7 a.m. Saturday at Two Rivers Bridge, 4468 River Mountain Road, many friends and family members will turn out to support the event in his honor.
The course will cross three of central Arkansas’ bridges: the Big Dam Bridge at Miles 1 and 18, the Clinton Presidential Bridge at Mile 9, and the Two Rivers Bridge at Mile 19 and 26.
Online registration ends 11:59 tonight for $85.
Trolleys will shuttle participants and spectators to the starting line. An early-start option is available at 5 a.m.; those racers must park by 4:30 a.m. at Trinity Assembly of God, 11210 Cantrell Road. All other runners and spectators will have two parking locations, starting at 5 a.m., First Baptist Church at 62 Pleasant Valley Drive and the Cantrell West Building, 11300 Cantrell Road.
Only emergency vehicles, race officials and volunteers will park on River Mountain Road.
Finisher medals will be given to every runner who completes the race. The award ceremony starts at 11 a.m.
For more information and online registration, go to 3bridgesmarathon.com.
— Charli Williams
Dam Jingle Bell Run 5K
The Arkadelphia High School Student Advisors team up with the community in support of Arkansas Children’s Hospital at the Dam Jingle Bell Run 5K. The race starts at 9 a.m. Saturday at the DeGray Lake spillway, 284 Skyline Drive, Arkadelphia. Registration opens at 8 a.m. Fees for students are $15, $30 for adults.
Participants are encouraged to run in Christmas attire. T-shirts are included in the registration fee.
For more information, email email@example.com.
— Charli Williams
Mount Nebo Bench Trail 4M
Take the scenic route of Mount Nebo State Park at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Online registration for the Mount Nebo Bench Trail Race is available until 4:59 p.m. Friday for $25. This 4-mile race caters to runners and walkers.
Registration and packet pickup will be available at 7 a.m. Saturday at the main pavilion on the top of the mountain. As a warmup, runners can park and walk a half-mile to the start line, or they can take advantage of the shuttle service.
Afterward, the Dardanelle Rotary Club will serve chili and potato soup.
The park is at 16728 Arkansas 155 in Dardanelle. Check facebook.com/mtnebobenchtrailrace for more information.
— Charli Williams
Arkansas Bicycle Club
The Arkansas Bicycle Club holds a handful of weekly rides, but most notable for first-timers are the River Trail rides from 1 to 4 p.m. each Sunday in December, weather permitting.
The ride begins at Two Rivers Bridge and can go 18 to 35 miles. The group takes the Little Rock River Trail to the Clinton Bridge and then the North Little Rock River Trail to Cook’s Landing and back. Riders often stop by Community Bakery on the return trip to socialize over coffee.
Helmets are required and riders are encouraged to carry water.
There also are standing rides Monday through Thursday and the first Friday of each month, and various special rides.
The rides are open to all at no cost; club memberships cost $15 a year.
For more information, visit arkansasbicycleclub.org.
— Conley Byrd III
Christmas Bird Count
It’s time again — the 118th time — for the coolest (figuratively and literally) birding of the year.
Bird watchers are circling up for the Christmas Bird Count to be held around the Americas today through early January. This is a citizen-science project that has created the world’s oldest database of the birds in the Western Hemisphere, a list that’s useful to zoologists and climate scientists.
The Christmas count is a systematic census of birds within designated areas called circles, each 15 miles wide. Volunteers are assigned to a specific circle, which they visit during one 24-hour period and count all the birds they see.
The public is invited to help, and there’s no fee. All birding skill levels are welcome. If you live within a circle, you can count birds that visit feeders at your house and report them; but there are organized groups led by experienced birders who will make an adventure of it for you. Beginners have the opportunity to learn a lot simply by joining a circle group.
The only requirement is that anyone who wishes to participate must contact a circle compiler in advance — preferably the one who lives closest to you.
Little Rock’s count will be Dec. 16; Lonoke’s count will be Dec. 17; both counts are organized by Dan Scheiman, firstname.lastname@example.org. There will also be a count at Lake Ouachita State Park on Dec. 16 organized by Kayla Gomance, email@example.com.
For general information about the Arkansas Christmas Bird Count and to find counts across the state, contact Leif Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a message at (479) 284-3150, Extension 3151, or visit christmasbirdcount.org.
For information about the Audubon Society of Central Arkansas, visit ascabird.org. For information about Audubon Arkansas, visit ar.audubon.org or call (501) 244-2229.
— Conley Byrd III
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ActiveStyle on 12/11/2017