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.
Valentine Run 4-Mile/1.8-mile
When: 8:35 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: Macy’s at Country Club Plaza Mall (El Camino Avenue and Butano Drive for parking)
Reason to run: Benefiting Legal Services of Northern California, this race features “best dressed” and “fastest attorney” awards. Better hope Iain Mickle, attorney for Boutin-Jones, isn’t running. He clocked a 21:46 last year in the longer run.
Bay Breeze Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 8 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 13
Where: San Leandro Marina Park
Cost: $70; $54; $49
Reason to run: For those who like their “trail” races on wide paths of crushed granite, with some asphalt paths and grassy fields thrown in, this is the race for you. It’s pretty darn flat as you run along the Hayward shoreline. Times will be fast.
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 (last year’s winners: Malcolm Richards at 1:06:34; Jane Kibii at 1:14:56) but there are waves for slower runners. Half-marathon too long? Try the 5K the day before.