Sorry folks, if you haven't already signed up for Saturday's Krispy Kreme Challenge, the race is all full. As of this morning, the cap of 5,000 runner-eaters had been reached. In fact, the race has overindulged slightly: 5,038 folks are registered. (Meaning if all 5,038 competitors were to eat a dozen, that would be 60,456 donuts down the hatch.)
We are again receiving complaints about the contents of an obituary published in our news pages. At least one reader has demanded an "apology" for the contents of the recent obituary of Marguerite Lightner, the widow of Raleigh's first and only black mayor. The obituary noted that Mrs. Lightner was tried and acquitted in 1975 of knowingly accepting stolen goods. The complaints from Mrs. Lightner's friends and families are similar to questions we invariably receive when the subject of a news obit has a life history that includes elements that are not entirely positive.
A fair question raised by readers is why bring up something that happened so long ago? Not everything in a person's past has to be examined, but some things do not lose their significance with the passage of time.
When we set out to write an obituary of a person in the public eye, we are not insensitive to the feelings of family and friends of the deceased. But an obituary that appears in the news pages is not a tribute, such as the notices published in the News & Observer under the auspices of the classified advertising department, which collects payments for obituaries written by family members or their representatives.
A person chosen for a news obit may have been selected because of a meritorious life of public service. Most often, the subject is simpy someone who holds a public position or is well-known within a community we cover.
The news obit when done well connects the individual's life story to the cultural and social context of the community and the community's history.
Because of her involvement in civic endeavors, Marguerite Lightner may have been chosen even if she had not been Clarence Lightner's widow. But she was and her 1974 arrest was not an insignificant factor in ending the political career of a man who surprised the nation in 1973 by winning a popular election for mayor of a Southern city where blacks were just 16 percent of the registered voters. This was less than a decade after passage of the 1964 Voting Rights Act and the region was still significantly segregated in jobs, schools and housing.
To this day many in Raleigh believe that the mayor's wife was set up by his political enemies. Such a conspiracy was never proven. Nor did the state prove that Mrs. Lightner committed a crime, according to a Wake County jury.
Despite the not guilty verdict that ended a trial receiving national attention, Clarence Lightner lost his bid for reelection after serving just one term.
I was here during that period and contributed to the news coverage. It is understandable that many people do not want to be reminded of such an unsettling event. But it is a part of Mrs. Lightner's life story.
Just got word from the folks at TORC that Saturday's Heel of a Race 6-hour mountain bike race at Carolina North has been postponed due to wet weather. Rain date: Next Saturday, Nov. 22. Not only is it dang wet today, but another system is moving in tomorrow and "there is a good possibility of intense storms prior to the passage of the front. As we all know, it seems to take only a little wind to bring down pine trees in the forest."
Good enough for me.
In these post-election letters, several readers reminisce about life in a segregated South and say they're proud of how far the country has come.
Second race in TORC's endurance series will be at Carolina North Forest.
While we're waiting for details to be hammered out for the next two races in the TORC endurance race series (Carolina North tentatively scheduled for Nov. 1 and Race on the River at Little River Regional Park in January), TORC spokesman tells us of another six-hour race Down East.
If six hours of mountain bike racing isn't enough for you at Carolina North on Nov. 1, drive (or ride) down to Greenville Nov. 2 for Six Hours for Beau's Buddies. This is a daytime race, starting at 10 a.m., on a nine-mile course at the Bicycle Post Trail just outside of town. It's been a while since I've ridden these trails (which are on private land; you must sign a waiver at one of the two Bicycle Post locations in Greenville and there's a $2 fee to ride) but I do recall them being surprisingly rolly for the Coastal Plain; no surprise, then, that they advertise 750 feet of climbing on the course.
$50 to ride solo, $80 for a team. A pig pickin' follows. Proceeds go to the Beau's Buddies Cancer Fund.
Two more endurance races scheduled in local series.
Another podium finish? Or another day bringing up the rear?
Rain is no friend of the mountain biker. But with improving trail-building techniques, it appears to be a decreasing threat. Tomorrow's debut of the Briar Chapel mountain bike trail network, part of the new development south of Chapel Hill, is still on, according to TORC spokesman Tim Lee. The TORC volunteers building the trail, between four and five miles of which will be ridable, have taken particular care to make the trail shed rain; thus, even with yesterday's drencher, the trails should be ridable for Saturday's unveiling.
Not so waterproof are the trails out at Beaverdam, which were to host the 2008 Leith BMW Triangle MTB XC Race Series on Sunday. Wet trails and debris have forced cancellation of the event, which had already been rescheduled because of rain from earlier in the month. A double shame considering the negotiating TORC had to go through to get the Falls Lake State Recreation Area to hold the event. An awards ceremony for the top finishers in each category will be held at next Saturday's Fat Tire Festival at Lake Crabtree County Park.
Umstead 100 online slots go in 19 minutes.