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.
Davis Stampede Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 21
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Where: Central Park (Third and B streets), Davis
Cost: $45 (10K/5K); $75 (Half)
Reason to Run: As with all of Davis, the course for the Stampede is pancake flat, so no excuses for a slow time. The Stampede formerly was run on Super Bowl Sunday, but its move back two weeks means you don’t have an excuse (Super Bowl viewing parties) to gorge on Doritos after the race.
Montara Mountain Trail Run 50K/Marathon/20-mile/Half Marathon/10K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20
Where: San Pedro Valley Park, 600 Oddstad Blvd., Pacifica
Cost: $65; $60; $50; $45; $40
Reason to Run: The climb to the north peak of Montara Mountain is brutal and at least the views along the way are beautiful. There’s a race distance for everybody’s inclination, but keep in mind: Even the 10K has lots of climbing (1,200 feet).
Shamrock’n Half Marathon/5K
When: 7:45 a.m. Sunday, March 13
Where: Raley Field, West Sacramento
Cost: $70 through Feb. 12
Reason to Run: Shamrock’n is another Sacramento area race that’s turning into a tradition. Expect some speedy pro runners up front, but there are several waves for slower runners. Half marathon too long? Try the 5K held at the same location the day before.