A muddy challenge course could be coming to Abilene, Texas. Stay tuned!

If you’re planning on visiting Abilene soon and looking to rope in an athletic event or two, you’re in luck! There are plenty of events headed your way!

This Saturday, ACU’s Student Dietetic Association will host a 5K Fun Run at Abilene Christian University. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. Cost: $12 for students and $15 for adults. All registrants will receive a t-shirt and a chance to win an Abilene Raffle Basket. For more information, contact Bob Taillon at 325-201-7357 or visit www.abilenerunners.com.

Going to have to sit that event out? No worries, there are plenty of athletic events on the calendar throughout the spring and summer months in Abilene!

The Kirk Goodwin 5K Run will take place on Saturday, April 9 at Abilene Christian University, right outside the Hardin Admin Building. The event will begin at 8 a.m. Pre-registration cost: $15 and race day registration: $20. This is the 28th annual event hosted by the Galaxy Men’s Social Club to aid families who have incurred unforeseen medical expenses. It will be chip timed and there will be prizes for the top finishers in each category. All participants will receive a t-shirt. Info: 325-201-7357 or www.abilenerunners.com.

The Mayor’s 5K Run, Walk, Wheel is coming up right around the corner – Saturday, April 16 starting and ending at the Civic Center. The event will feature a wheelchair race, beginning at 7:55 a.m. The 5K walk/run will begin at 8 a.m. and the Family Fun Run will begin around 8:45 a.m. Special rates are available for families and chip timing is available for the 5K. Preregistration is recommended, however, forms will still be accepted on the morning of. Register online athttp://www.active.com/running/abilene-tx/mayors-5k-2010 or call 325-676-6246.

The fourth annual Mayor’s Hike will take place on June 4 around Lake Abilene at the State Park. The event begins at 8 a.m. and is expected to last approximately 2.5 hours. No preregistration required, as it is free to the public. Participants may select from three different levels of trails with distances varying from 3-5 miles. Don’t forget to bring water and sunscreen; and wear light colored clothing and comfortable shoes. This event is pet-friendly – dogs must be on a leash. Info: 325-676-6246 or visit www.myfitnessabilene.com.

Cyclists – get those bikes ready for the 2011 Tour de Gap race, July 23 in Buffalo Gap. Routes: 11 miles, 27 miles, 52 miles and 77 miles. A family route is also available. The tour and race will benefit the Food Bank of West Central Texas. Info: 325-677-BIKE or http://tourdegap.wordpress.com.

Be on the lookout for upcoming dates for the Texas Forts Tour. It’s three days of bike riding in the West Texas countryside: 3 days, 3 forts and 255 miles! The event is held in October on Columbus Day weekend (9, 10, & 11) and starts/ends at Fort Richardson State Park. You don’t have to ride all three days – you can ride any or all of the days for an entry fee of around $100. Each rest stop will have snacks, water and the option of stopping to explore the sights in the area. For updates regarding this race, visit www.weechita.org.

If you’re in the Abilene area and looking for group rides or special cyclist events, check outhttp://biketown.com/articles/rides-and-events-pg37.htm. To keep posted on additional running opportunities and races, visit www.abilenerunnners.com. Lastly, be on the lookout for the first-ever “Mud Run” event coming to Abilene in early September. Think “Warrior Dash”-type event on this one. I’ll write a subsequent blog on that event as it gets closer and details are finalized. Stay tuned!