There's no place like home for Declan Synnott -- even if it's on a wide-screen TV at Parnell's Pub, via European Soccer Matches. Every weekend, between September and June, the native Irishman fires up his bar's televisions to air the sport's weekly games. In the first match of the season Saturday, Ireland takes on Russia in Dublin.
Parnell's is the only local bar showing the matches, which are on time-delay (there are time differences between countries, and there's a two-hour licensing holdup). The bar's Gaelic decor adds to the environment. "I got a jersey in the bathroom from the World Cup, signed by the Irish team," Synnott boasts.
As the clock ticks down to the end of a 90-minute match, fans whoop and cheer for their favorite team. "You never know what's gonna happen in a [game]," Synnott says. When the match is over, pints are raised, and a toast to soccer is made. "If someone comes in as a novice at soccer, I hope he would have learned something and had a good time," he says. The game airs 11 a.m. Saturday at Parnell's Pub, 2167 Lee Road in Cleveland Heights. Admission is $20; call 216-321-3469. -- Cris Glaser
Race goes over the river and through the woods.
Bill Plessinger calls the Hemisphere Adventure Race, a 25-mile course that starts and finishes in the same place, a "dirty triathlon." Competitors take off, on foot, on a series of trails before jumping on mountain bikes. The halfway mark is a kayak race on Lake Erie. And on the way back, there's more running and biking. (Along the route, participants crawl through pipes and carry logs, beams, and stones.) "You don't want to get out of bed and decide you want to do this race," says Plessinger, one of Lake Metroparks's recreation supervisors. At the end of the race, plaques are given to the top three placers in various categories. But this isn't for athletes who don't like to get dirty. "If you're bringing white tennis shoes, they will not be white at the finish." Hemisphere Adventure Race is at 9 a.m. Sunday at Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park, 301 Huntington Beach Drive in Fairport Harbor. Entry fee is $50; call 440-585-2800. -- Cris Glaser
Hiking under the harvest moon.
Back when people were more in tune with nature, the harvest moon offered farmers some bonus time in the fields after the sun went down. "It's bright enough at night that it casts a shadow," says Cleveland Metroparks naturalist Deb Marcinski. "For many people, it was the last chance to get the harvest going before the frost."
You won't have to gather any grain at the Metroparks' Twelve Moons of 2003 hike Wednesday. Instead, you'll be trekking two and a half miles at North Chagrin Reservation, taking in the rays of the full moon. It happens from 8 to 9:30 p.m. at the North Chagrin Nature Center (Buttermilk Falls Parkway, off Sunset Lane in Mayfield Village). Admission is free; call 440-473-3370. -- Allen Miller
On Your Marks . . .
The trails next to Wallace Lake are usually magnets for weekend hikers. But this weekend, they're the starting point for River Run, which consists of a half-mile Kiddie Run, a 5K, a 12.1-mile inline-skating race, and a half-marathon. It starts at 8:15 a.m. Saturday and 7:50 a.m. Sunday between Wallace Lake, on Valley Parkway in the Mill Stream Run Reservation in Berea, and Memorial Fields on Hogsback Lane in Rocky River. Admission is free; call 216-623-9933. -- Cris Glaser
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