Chapel Hill: Sports

Rec offerings will heat up as the weather cools down

The local NFL Punt Pass & Kick competition for youth will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, in Carrboro’s Anderson Park. It’s open to anyone age 6 through 16 years old.
The local NFL Punt Pass & Kick competition for youth will be held Sunday, Sept. 11, in Carrboro’s Anderson Park. It’s open to anyone age 6 through 16 years old.

People love to talk about the weather, and the more miserable the heat or cold, the more we talk, as if comparisons, similes and sayings make it all a little more tolerable.

On the one hand, it’s “hotter than tarnation.” But what makes it worse is: “It’s a steam bath, alright ... why, if it was any more humid, I’d need gills.”

Perhaps Fleet Feet Sports Training Coordinator Nora Ayers most aptly summed up recent training conditions: “It’s like running through hummus.”

Autumn is in the air, however, and activities always heat up when the temps cool off. Here’s a look at just a few to choose from this fall.

Both Chapel Hill and Carrboro recreation departments are already gearing up for fall.

“Youth football practices have already begun,” Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation athletics specialist Michael Troutman said. “Adult coed softball registration is continuing though, and we are still accepting more teams. Those games will begin in September.”

Fall / winter program registration began Aug. 8 for Orange County residents and Aug. 15 for non-residents. Troutman said those interested in signing up can check out program offerings and register online at or register in person at Chapel Hill Community Center, 120 S. Estes Drive; Hargraves Community Center, 216 N. Roberson St.; or Homestead Aquatic Center, 300 Aquatic Drive.

“That includes youth and adult basketball registration,” he explained. “Adult leagues begin in October, and youth will begin practicing in November.”

Online registration for his agency’s fall / winter programs through begins Aug. 31 (8:30 a.m.) for Carrboro residents and Sept. 1 for non-residents.

Harrington said that those who haven’t registered for that agency’s programs before need to create an account, which is best to do prior to the actual start of registration.

“Leave a couple business days to help give time to get those approved,” Harrington explained. “Anyone who’s registered before, though, just needs to log in with their login name and password.”

“This registration is for our primary athletic leagues, including youth basketball,” Harrington added. “But we’ve also got our girls field hockey instructional program, and it’s in its third year. Our adult ultimate Frisbee league is in its 14th season.”

One of the first events on Carrboro’s fall calendar is the annual NFL Punt Pass and Kick Football Competition on Sunday, Sept. 11, 1 p.m. at Carrboro’s Anderson Park, which allows boys and girls 6-to-16 to showcase football talents in punting, passing and placekicking with scores based on distance and accuracy. It’s open to kids from Carrboro and Chapel Hill. Online pre-registration is required at

Harrington said Carrboro will also host a fishing clinic on Sept. 17, a disc golf clinic on Oct. 1, a Senior Tennis Day event at Wilson Park on Oct. 5, and a horseshoe tournament on Oct. 15.

In Hillsborough, summer running comes to a head this Saturday with the Active Families Day 5K at the Orange County SportsPlex.

Elsewhere, Sadly, the Trooper Challenge Mud Run in Saxapahaw has been canceled. The obstacle-course run seemed to be a hit with those who tried it, but organizers said they get get enough entrants this yeaer. See for more information.

In the running

Few things are as popular in this area as running. Here’s a list at some of the upcoming events for recreational and competitive runners.

Aug. 20 – Active Families Day 5K at the Orange County SportsPlex.

Aug. 20 – Run for One: 4-mile and 1-mile trail runs, starting at Down 2 Earth Farms in Rougemont. For more information, see

Aug. 27 – Run This Way Twilight 5K: A popular 5K in Durham, starting as the sun goes down and temperatures begin to dip. Information:

Sept. 10 – 12th annual Aging in Stride 5K: At UNC, sponsored by Carolina Pharmacy Students and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy;

Sept. 10 – Mustang Stampede 5K in Briar Chapel to benefit Pollard Middle Schoo.

Sept. 10 – Mebane on the Move 5K/10K: 10th annual race in downtown Mebane.

Sept. 10 – Chatham County Alzheimer’s Walk / 5K: sixth annual running at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington in Pittsboro.

Sept. 17 – the Hog Days 5K: along the newly built Riverwalk in Downtown Historic Hillsborough.

Sept. 25 – Guardians on the Hill 5K: third annual 5K in Chapel Hill’s Southern Community Park, benefiting Chapel Hill Police’s designated charity, North Carolina Special Olympics.

Sept. 25 – Kilometers For The Kids: Carolina for the Kids Foundation’s event on on the UNC campus.

Oct. 1 – Carrboro 10K:marking the second race in the Cardinal Track Club’s 2016 Tour de Carrboro series.

Oct. 2 – Historic Hillsborough Half Marathon and Fleet Feet 5K, which showcases many of Hillsborough’s picturesque and historic landmarks.

Oct. 22Eno River Run: offering six and 11-mile single-track trail runs at Eno River State Park in Durham.

Nov. 12Eve Carson Memorial 5K for Education: oAnnual running of the event that honors the late UNC student body president. Starts on the UNC campus at 9 a.m.

Nov. 20 – Run 4 Peace 4K: The Unity Center of Peace (off Seawell School Road) hosts the 1-mile run on the beloved Pumpkin Loop trail.

Nov. 24 – the Gallop and Gorge 8K: this annual race on Thanksgiving morning will mark the last event in the club’s annual Tour de Carrboro series.

From the starting line

Registration is open for most local Girls on the Run training sites, to include Briar Creek, Estes Hills, Glenwood and New Hope Elementary Schools. The registration fee is $205 for the program, designed to help girls aged 8-12 gain a running momentum, and scholarships are available. Starting this season, all Girls on the Run registrations will be via lottery to occur three days after the opening date of registration for each site. For more information, call Girls on the Run at 919-401-6307.

Nora Ayers said Fleet Feet Carrboro’s Mini-milers youth running program starts Sept. 6 at Glenwood Elementary School in Chapel Hill. The program runs 5 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays for boys and girls, 6-12-years old.

Fleet Feet’s adult programs include a “No Boundaries” beginners’ 5K training program, a mid-distance program with 5-mile and 10K goal races sponsored by Saucony, half and full-marathon training with a variety of pace groups, and a speed training group to produce faster pace.

For information, visit the “Training” link through the Fleet Feet Carrboro website ( or email

Registration has ended for the fall Chapel Hill / Carrboro Pacers Youth Running Club program, which starts its fall cross-country program in September. For a list of volunteer roles and more information on the Pacers program, please visit or call the Pacers at 919-260-5340.

Family fun

The Orange County SportsPlex kicks off the fall season with their Active Families Day

this Saturday, Aug. 20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be membership discounts, inflatables, games, giveaways, free ice skating lessons, skating, swimming and chair massages.

Registration for the Chapel Hill / Carrboro YMCA’s popular fall soccer leagues typically runs through the first week of public school. All registrations can be processed online by selecting the “register” link is at the top of or in person at the YMCA (980 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.)

Now fill in your fall calendars and get moving ... through the hummus, or any other snack spread for that matter.

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