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.
Race for the Cure 10K/5K
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, May 7
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Where: Cal Expo, Sacramento
Cost: $50 (10K); $40 (5K)
Reason to Run: This annual event, raising funds and awareness for breast-cancer research, draws thousands each year and is replete with inspiring survivor stories. Don’t want to run or walk but still want to contribute? You can sign up ($40) for the “Sleep in for the Cure.”
Loop The Lagoon 10K/5K
When: 8:20-8:30 a.m. Saturday, May 7
Where: Lagoon Valley Regional Park, Peña Adobe Road at Rivera Road, Vacaville
Cost: $45 (10K); $40 (5K)
Reason to Run: Lagoon Valley is one of the most under-used venues for trail runners – mountain bikers love the place – but you can get some nice hill work in there. Both the 5K and 10K, however, are relatively flat loops of the lagoon’s dirt trail. However, there is the 10K Tower Challenge, where you gain 735 feet to the summit.
San Francisco Marathon
When: 5:30 a.m. July 31
Where: Embarcadero, San Francisco
Reason to Run: Think of all the sights you’ll see – the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf – while you struggle to finish, er, blaze through a course that has very few hills, considering you’ll be racing in San Francisco along with about 25,000 runners.