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.
Sacramento Fab 40s 5K Run
When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday
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Where: East Lawn Memorial Park, 4300 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento
Reason to Run: As road 5Ks go, this is a bucolic course, heading past those gorgeous houses in East Sacramento and finishing with a loop around East Lawn Memorial Park. It also has a few “hills” – well, Sacramento’s puny version of same. Expect ridiculously fast runners to show up. Last year’s races were won by ex-University of Texas distance runner Olivia Mickle and Folsom’s Camron Shahmirzadi.
Pear Fair 5-Mile, 10-Mile
When: Sunday, 7:30 a.m. (10-mile); 8 a.m. (5-mile)
Where: Bates Elementary School, Courtland
Reason to Run: Best thing about this race is the age-group award trophies in the shape of anthropomorphized pears wearing headbands. This is a completely flat “trail” race through the orchards and vineyards with boasts that it’s “99.2 percent pavement free.” Stay afterward and enjoy the annual Pear Fair.
Redwood Anvil 10-Mile/20-Mile
When: 8 a.m. Sunday
Where: Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
Cost: $63 (10-mile); $75 (20-mile)
Reason to Compete: The area’s premier trail event on this day, Blood, Sweat and Beers, in Auburn has been sold out for a while, so why not try this inaugural trail race in the Oakland hills (mostly Redwood Regional Park)? It features the French Trail, perhaps the most beautiful trail – winding, tree-canopied, lush – in the state. You’ll gain 3,600 feet in elevation.