Brooke Nicholls Nelson: Fitness multitaskers pull double duty by crosstraining
by Brooke Nicholls Nelson
Special to The Star
Jul 28, 2013 | 4625 views |  0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
We are a generation of multitaskers. This is never more evident than when you consider our communication channels, where our thumbs — those magical opposable phalanges that separate us from other animals — are tasked with the bulk of the nonverbal duties, tapping away on smartphone keys while our mouths handle the verbal end of it.

No surprise then that our propensity for juggling multiple tasks would bleed over into sports. Local multi-sports enthusiasts commonly enjoy an overlap of the disciplines of running, biking and swimming. In the minds of these multitaskers, Anniston should be known as “Multi-Sports City, USA,” instead of “Bike City, USA.”

Duathlons — where you bike, then run, then bike again — and triathlons — where you swim, then bike, then run — are two of the more well-known events that multi-sports athletes enjoy.

To compete in these types of races, an athlete must crosstrain, honing skills in all disciplines. Our area is a fertile training ground for getting experience whether you need to perfect your swim strokes, spend time in the bike saddle or hit the ground running.

Swim training

The Anniston YMCA and McClellan’s Aquatic and Fitness Center offer many options for lap swimming. Anniston Runners Club’s Tri Team holds open water swim training throughout the summer. Contact the YMCA at 256-238-9622 and McClellan Aquatic and Fitness Center at 256-847-7349.

Bike training

The Northeast Alabama Bicycle Association (NEABA) offers organized rides ranging from kid-friendly to advanced levels during the week and on weekends throughout the year for road and mountain bikers. Check information at

Run training

Anniston Runners Club (ARC) holds training runs every week throughout the year for all levels of runners. If you are looking for local training runs or races, go to the event calendar at

Brooke Nicholls Nelson is a freelance writer who lives in the Talladega National Mountain near Cheaha Mountain.


ARC and NEABA are putting on the first Woodstock 5K and Coldwater Mountain Fat Tire Fest weekend, combining the running club’s signature race, the Historic Woodstock 5K in Anniston, and NEABA’s Fat Tire Fest on Coldwater Mountain, as the two clubs join forces to bring multi-sports athletes what event organizers call “the most fun ever packed into one weekend.”

Saturday, Aug. 3

Woodstock 5K:

• 7:30 a.m. — Run the Woodstock 5K or Kidstock 1 mile, then enjoy the post-race fun and food.

• 8:25 a.m.-1 p.m. — Woodstock Revival Concerts with Jim Parks, Gypsy Begonias, Doublewide Soul, Abby Parks and McPherson Struts

• 9:30 a.m. — Awards Ceremony, see who gets the bling

Coldwater Mountain Trailhead:

• 3 p.m. — After you run the Woodstock 5K and pick up your awards, come on up to CWM to enjoy music, demo some bikes from Wig’s Wheels, win door prizes or just ride.

• 7 p.m. — Enjoy a free cookout at CWM Trailhead and an outdoor movie under the stars. Bring lawn chairs. To RSVP email

Sunday, Aug. 4

• 7:30 a.m. — Free breakfast before you run and/or ride.

• 8 a.m. — Run the 10-mile loop. Bring your own water source, handheld or backpack. ARC Ultra-Trail Running Director Todd Henderson will lead the run.

• 9 a.m. — Ride the trails at CWM
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