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.
Folsom Blues Breakout Half Marathon, 5K
When: 7:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18
Where: Johnny Cash Bridge, Folsom
Cost: $75 (half); $90 (relay); $35 (5K)
Reason to Run: Aside from the great T-shirts of the Man in Black and, no doubt, the Johnny Cash music that will serenade you throughout, this is a net downhill race. Can anyone say PR (personal record)? Folsom’s Jesse Barragan won last year’s race at 1:15:23, holding off the women’s winner, Jane Kibii, of Colfax (by way of Kenya), who finished at 1:15:40.
That Dam Run Half Marathon, 10K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 17
Where: Northside Elementary School, Cool
Cost: $65 (half); $55 (10K)
Reason to Run: You’ll be swearing under your breath when you get to the long, grueling switchbacks for more than a mile and a half. But both courses also feature lovely singletrack and fire roads on the Olmstead Loop. Garrett Seawell (1:21:54) and Jen Pfeifer (1:41:51) hold the half-marathon course records.
Run to Feed the Hungry 10K, 5K
When: 8:15 a.m. (10K); 9 a.m. (5K), Thursday, Nov. 26
Where: J Street just west of the entrance to the Sacramento State campus
Cost: $35 (until Nov. 21); $20 (youth, 17-under)
Reason to Run: It’s a Sacramento Thanksgiving tradition. Sure, it’s crowded and parking is a pain, but the race itself is loads of fun, and proceeds go to the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services.