Let Freedom Run

Who says all lawyers are evil? In the wake of the September 11 tragedy, the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers wanted to do its part in helping victims and their families. In a few short weeks, the group managed to secure a location and gather all the necessary permits and sponsorships, and thus the Freedom Run was born. It was a dreary gray Saturday morning, but runners happily plodded through the downtown streets and around the American Airlines Center knowing that the hastily assembled event was for a worthy cause. Now in its third year, the Freedom Run is still organized by those do-good young lawyers, but this time it benefits the Dallas Police Department's Assist the Officer Foundation. The 5K run and one-mile walk will be followed by a festival featuring a concert with Dallas honky-tonk stalwart Jack Ingram as well as Roger Creager and Dierks Bentley. So if you don't have fun at the race or enjoy the concert, blame the lawyers. It's Thursday at 7 p.m. in the West End. Entry is $20 in advance or $25 race day. Visit www.freedomrun.com. --Jay Webb

Hot in Here

The McKinney Fire Association will host its first Firefighter 5K September 13 starting at 8 a.m. The run for charity will benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation and the McKinney Boys and Girls Club. Entry fees for the race--which will start at Collin County Community College Fire Science School--are $10 for children 12 and under and $15 for people 13 and over. Call Russell Griffen at 903-891-3651. --John Gonzalez

Get Out

We don't get a lot of outdoor time here at the Observer. The majority of us are pasty white and break out in hives if we're in the elements for too long. But if you're the grizzled, granola sort, you ought to get out to the Heard Museum on September 13 and September 14 (or, barring that, you ought to take a shower). They'll be celebrating the great outdoors with various activities including fly-fishing, wall climbing, camping demonstrations and the like. No buffalo hunting (unfortunately). Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children 3-12 and senior citizens. Heard Museum is located at One Nature Place in McKinney. Call 972-548-9119 or go to www.heardmuseum.org. --John Gonzalez

Can You Canoe?

We are proud of our ability to operate a paddleboat without injuring ducks, turtles or small children in the vicinity. Despite the assurances people may give you and the squarish, seemingly sturdy base of the paddleboat, this innocent-looking pleasure craft has the ability to flip over and trap you underneath. Trust us on this one. Fortunately, the Trinity River Challenge, a flat water paddling competition, involves none of those wily craft, depending instead on the trusty canoe. The 11-mile race begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday at McInnish Park, 2340 Sandy Lake Road, Carrollton. Pre-registration fees are $20 to $25 and $25 to $30 on race day. Call 972-979-2519. --Michelle Martinez