Running for health and exercise is virtuous, but sometimes you just want to pin on a bib number and race against hundreds of others. Here’s our weekly best bet for races of various lengths and surfaces.
Jingle Bell 5K
When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12
Where: Crocker Park, 211 O St., Sacramento
Reason to Run: People are encouraged to dress as Santa and tie bells to their shoelaces for this flat run downtown and along the riverbank.
Hunter S. Thompson Fear and Loathing 50K, 50 Miles
When: 7 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5
Where: Twin Peaks Boulevard, near Christmas Tree Point Road, San Francisco
Reason to Run: This is the 30th year of this free event. From the organizers: “No fee, no aid stations, no goodies, no award. Just show up and run. However, we are kind and generous to provide aid stations every 5-8 miles. To encourage runners to go farther, we are planning to give special swags for those 50-mile runners.”
Jed Smith Ultra Classic 50-Mile, 50K, 30K, Half Marathon
When: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 6
Where: American River Parkway, Watt Avenue access
Cost: $70 (50-mile); $60 (50K); $45 (30K); $40 (half-marathon)
Reason to Run: It will be the 38th running of this ultra, sponsored by the Buffalo Chips Running Club. It’s not a trail ultra nor a road ultra. It’s parkway ultra, run on both crushed granite and asphalt and a few dirt paths. If you want to compete against the really speedy runners, try the 50-mile.