This weekend belongs to obscure sports that make up for their lack of mainstream popularity with an abundance of toughness and excitement. While the U.S. Australian Football League plays its rough-and-tumble championship matches, equally if not more underground Cyclocross competitors will be mounting, dismounting and mounting their bikes again at two racecourses in Kansas City. Cyclocross is kind of like mountain biking on an obstacle course. One of the main Cyclocross strategies is to maintain the speed you had on two wheels as you dismount to clear obstacles on two feet. Six classes of Cyclocross races will be held at Lot L in the Arrowhead Stadium parking lot on Saturday; the “first-timers” race starts at 10 a.m., and the “A” race starts at 2 p.m. The next day, Gillham Park (47th Street and Gillham Road) hosts the Boss Cross, with registration beginning at 10:30 a.m. and races starting at noon and 1:30 p.m. For information about the races at Arrowhead, call 913-495-3904. For the Sunday races, call 816-668-2555.— Michael Vennard
No Pads, No Helmets
The Australian Football League hits Kansas City.
As teams in Kansas City go, most of us don’t know what we have until it’s gone. That’s why it’s important not only to be informed about the existence of Kansas City’s Australian Football League team — the Kansas City Power — but also to know that it’s hosting the national championship tournament this weekend. At two fields along Blue River Road (one at 99th Street, the other at 122nd Street), a total of 22 padless teams will make the NFL look like a bunch of sissies all weekend long. We don’t claim to know anything about the rules of footy, but we do like it when the umpires point their fingers and wave flags around after every goal. Sunday is the big day, with the final and semifinal games as well as a junior clinic and the first all-ladies footy game (with modified contact rules). Did we mention there’ll be beer? See kcpower.com — Vennard
Run Run Run
There are two kinds of runners: those who jog for health and those who run only when chased. If the health benefits of jogging won’t do the trick, reluctant runners may be inspired if it’s for a good cause. Lee’s Summit puts on its Race for the Future 5K run/walk this Saturday to benefit the city’s schools. (Call 816-986-1015 for details.) Also on Saturday, Run for Success sponsors a 4-mile race and a 1-mile family fun run at the Clinton Lake Overlook in Lawrence. (See runforsuccess.org to register.) Corporate Woods hosts the Head for the Cure 5K run to benefit brain-tumor research on Sunday. (Call 816-822-9000 for information.) Register in advance for these events, and stretch.— Vennard