For the last 19 years, Dick Fislar has run a race perfect for the giving season.
This Sunday, the Reindeer Ramble is taking another step in that charitable direction.
Moline's annual Christmas-time road race is collecting gently used running and other types of shoes for Rock Island's Christian Care Center.
The Ramble already donates its proceeds to charity, spreading funds among several local organizations, and last year benefitted survivors of the outbreak of tornadoes here in the Midwest.
"When we were delivering food last week, (Center officials) said the homeless and needy really could benefit from a new pair of shoes, too," Fislar said. "So we're going to have a collection box Sunday, asking runners and spectators alike to dig deep into their closests. I hope the warm weather forecast this weekend will get us a lot of shoes to donate.''
With temperatures expected in the mid-to-upper 50s, Fislar's race is up 30-percent in pre-registrations, and expects to exceed the event's all-time participation high.
Ironically, those 280 runners turned out in the early 1990s despite frozen rain on race day.
"Our usual runners expect all kinds of weather, but not this," Fislar said.
Ramblers also have come to expect one of the best post-race parties on the local running scene.
A full meal is served, with sloppy joe's, potato salad or cole slaw and fresh fruit, plus an assortment of pies or cakes for dessert.
Participants also get special race sweatshirts, and awards go to the top three men and women, with age-group prizes ranging all of the way up to 75 and over.
"We might be a little tight on shirts come race day," Fislar said. "But that's a good problem to have. If we need to, we'll order more.
The Ramble starts at 9 a.m. Sunday, beginning and ending at Moline's IBEW Union Hall, just south of SouthPark Mall.
Packet pickip and late registration runs 7:30-8:30 a.m. raceday at the hall.
For ways to donate to the cause, or to sign-up before raceday, call Fisler at (309) 788-1811.
This Saturday: The Quad Cities Bicycle Club's schedule of December group rides starts Saturday at 9 a.m. from the downtown Hardee's on the Moline/East Moline border.
Group rides also are offered at 1 p.m. each Sunday, starting from the Davenport Hy-Vee at Kimberly and Spring St., and each Wednesday at 10 a.m. from the same Hardee's as the Saturday rides.
None of the rides land on a holiday, so this is a great way to keep biking through the early stages of winter before that first snowfall.
All bicyclists are welcome. For more information, visit the club Website at qcbc.org.
Also this weekend: The QC Women's Outdoor Club is offering one of its most-eclectic activities Saturday with a Scavenger Hunt in the Village of East Davenport.
The hunt runs 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Meet at the Lindsey Park softball field, where participants will be broken up into teams. The fun is free for club members.
For more details, including joining the club and signing up for events, please contact event's coordinator Kelly Fleener by phone (309-798-9345) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). You also can visit the club Website at qcwoc.com.
Coming Monday: QC's Friends of Off-Road Cycling is hosting a membership meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Sippies in Davenport (406 W. 2nd St.). If you're interested in Mountain Biking, and use the various trails offered locally, considering attending and joining to meet others like you.The club Website is qcforc.org.