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.
Let’s Roc 5K
When: 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20
Where: 45th and X streets, Sacramento
Reason to Run: Can anyone beat Charlie Brenneman, the winner in the first two runnings of this flat race in East Sacramento that benefits ovarian cancer research? Brenneman won in 15:27 last year and 15:52 in 2013. Hey, maybe he won’t run this year.
Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19
Where: Contra Loma Regional Park, 1200 Frederickson Lane, Antioch
Cost: $75 (half); $54 (10K); $49 (5K)
Reason to Run: Few people from Sacramento (and even most parts of the Bay Area) are familiar with the trails that wind through the old Black Diamond Mines in the foothills above Antioch, Pittsburg and Clayton. The half marathon comes with 2,718 feet in elevation gain.
Urban Cow Half Marathon/5K
When: 7:30 a.m. Oct. 4
Where: Land Park, Sacramento
Cost: $72 (half) and $40 (5K) through Sept. 27
Reason to Compete: This race is arguably Sacramento’s premier half marathon, drawing the best runners from the area and occasional regional elites. Local Kevin Pool boasts the course records for both distances (14:49 for the 5K in 2012 and 1:06:18 for the half in 2013).