Being Active is a Dirty Feat in Lansing


It would seem that Lansing area folks are trying to make up for the many wintry, inactive months we’ve succumbed to this year. Last weekend mid Michigan residents were able to choose from Be A Tourist in Your Own Town, The BWL Chili Cook-Off, Chalk of the Town and Hawk Island Triathlon. This weekend has World Day at Hunter Park, The 14th Annual Mayor’s Riverwalk and Dirty Feat. I was also invited to the ePIFanNOW Pass it Forward event and the Lansing Eastern Alumni fundraiser for Relay for Life which is a 24 hour walking event at East Lansing High School.
The Dirty Feat is an adventure race that takes participants all over the Lansing/East Lansing area by bike, foot and boat. The racers do not get to know the path until they arrive the morning of the race, which really adds to the adventure. Each team comes equipped with a bike, biking gear, first aid gear, note gear, directional gear, and safety gear. The object is to stop at all the checkpoints preselected on the map. Each checkpoint also has an extremely helpful written clue to help locate the check point. The entire race is expected to take 6 hours.
I arrived at Valley Court in East Lansing a little after 7:30. By this time most of the racers were in place and going over the map. Some were securing their gear in plastic bags. Despite being a cool 60 degrees the foggy humidity made it feel much warmer. A sense of excitement bounced off the low hanging clouds. I was greeted many times with a smile and a good morning. It took only one pass through the crowd to run into familiar faces. My cousin, Shawn was participating for her second time. There was a large group from the TIC that was either racing or part of the organization crew. It wasn’t long before the roughly 250 participants were lined up and listening to the commencement directions. And with the squawk of the canned horn, they were off! Within 5 minutes they were all on their bikes; after a quick run around the park, and on their way.

I headed into Lansing and decided to park at the Ralph W. Crego Park off Aurelius. Just as I got out two sets of Dirty Feat bikers came down the trail looking for the check in. The volunteers were just barely out of their car. I tagged along to watch the first set race into the mosquito infested swamps off the beaten path to find their prize.

My journey continued north on Aurelius. I wanted to make a stop at Hunter Park where they would be setting up for World Day. The event starts at noon today. The walk was one I had never been on before. I have driven Aurelius many times. Walking allows you the luxury of stopping and reading signs. I also get to stop and take the picture of the landmarks that get passed while in a car. It also takes a lot longer! In about one and a half hours I can walk about 4 miles. Part of me was wishing I was on a bike like the Dirty Feat racers.
I walked my way through Hunter Park and back around to Pennsylvania. I passed Potter Park and headed into the Lindbergh neighborhood. I took Sunnyside around to Mt. Hope and despite the lack of sidewalks it wasn’t a bad walk. I then made my way back to Aurelius. At one point there was a convergence of activity. The Dirty Feat bikers were moving about the sidewalk just as the Mayor’s Family River Walk participants were heading out on their walk. Add to that the regular exercisers (and me) and the small walking trail was easily crowded! Lansing folk might not come out in droves when it’s cold and snowy but we sure do make up for it when it gets nice outside!

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