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.
Peace Love Run Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, March 26
Where: Crocker Park, 211 O St., Sacramento
Cost: $70 (half), $40 (10K), $30 (5K)
Reason to Run: It’s a novelty run with a groovy ’60s theme but, unlike many novelty runs, it actually is competitive. People are encouraged to dress up in hippie garb or as notable people from the era.
Knickerbocker Canyon 35K/Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 8:30 a.m., Saturday, March 26
Where: American River Canyon Overlook, 855 Pacific Ave., Auburn
Cost: $75 (35K), $65 (half), $55 (10K), $45 (5K)
Reason to Run: The trails used are some of the best and most traveled in the state. And, for 35K and half-marathon runners, you must ascend the notorious K2, a mile-long torture fest.
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 late, lamented 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 flatter than the California International Marathon. Yes, it’s USATF-certified.