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.
Zoo Zoom 5K/10K
When: 8 a.m. (5K); 9 a.m. (10K) Sunday, April 17
Where: William Land Park, Sacramento
Reason to Run: Some crazy (and speedy) runners will actually try to pull a double and race both distances. Go knock yourselves out, people. The course is pancake flat and exceedingly fast, as proven by the 31 minutes 18 seconds Kevin Pool laid down in last year’s 10K. Some even run really fast in plush animal costumes, giving new meaning to the phrase “cos-play.”
Diablo Trail Challenge 50K/Half Marathon/10K/5K
When: 6:30 a.m. (50K); 8:30 (Half); 9 a.m. (10K); 9:30 a.m. (5K), Sunday, April 17.
Where: 1700 Castle Rock Road, Walnut Creek
Cost: $127 (50K); $84 (Half); $63 (10K); $58 (5K)
Reason to Run: Because golden eagles are nesting in the Round Valley area near Mount Diablo, the 50K, which used to be a rare point-to-point ultra, now is one big loop around and over the mountain. That’s 8,246 feet in elevation gain.
American River Parkway Half Marathon/5K
When: 7:45 a.m. (half); 8 a.m. (5K), Saturday, April 30
Where: William Pond Park, 5700 Arden Way, Sacramento
Cost: $75 (Half); $40 (5K)
Reason to Run: There’s a slightly new course for this year’s popular run along the American River Parkway. Still, it’ll be a fast course, with only a few undulations.