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.
Lucky Run Half Marathon/7-Mile/7K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, March 19
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Where: Davis Community Park, 315 W. 14th St., Davis
Cost: $65 (half); $36 (7-mile, 7K)
Reason to Run: The great thing about competing in a race with odd distances (in this case, 7 miles or 7 kilometers) is that you’re liable to get a PR because you’ve never run the distance before. This race is flat and fast.
Pony Express Marathon/Half/5K/Relay
When: 7 a.m. May 1
Where: Capitol Mall, Sacramento
Cost: $150 (marathon), $70 (half), $235 (relay), $40 5K
Reason to Run: Ever since the Cowtown Marathon shrunk to a half, we’ve been waiting for a second road marathon to grace Sacramento. It is here. This race, mostly along the Sacramento River near Raley Field and Land Park, seems even flatter than the California International Marathon. Yes, it’s USATF-certified, for those trying for a Boston Qualifier.
Buzz Oates No Excuses 5K
When: 8:15 a.m. May 22
Where: William Land Park, Village Green, Sacramento
Cost: $30 (prior to May 16)
Reason to Run: We’ve said this before, but this may be the best 5K in Northern California. Why? (A) It has age-graded results; (B) Killer T-shirts with a list of “excuses” for not running fast on the back; (C) A fast, flat, PR-friendly course; (D) The 50th place finisher wins an easy chair.