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.
River Run 10K/5K
When: 9 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 27
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Where: Shanghai Bend Levee, Yuba City
Reason to run: Yes, a free run. Thank the Yuba Sutter Tri Club for that. This is the fifth annual run, one of the precious few races in the Yuba City/Marysville metroplex. Register online.
Cool Yule Jingle Jog 10K/6K
When: 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 25
Where: Meadow Vista Park, 1101 Meadow Vista Road, Meadow Vista
Reason to run: Gordy Ainsleigh, the man who invented trail running and the Western States 100 Mile Run, is sponsoring this get-together where the courses are mostly dirt trails. Male and female winner receive large “Living Bouquets” from Eisley Nursery in Auburn.
Jed Smith Ultra Classic 50-Mile, 50K, 30K, Half-Marathon
When: 7:30 a.m. Feb. 6
Where: American River Parkway, Watt Avenue access
Cost: $70 (50-mile); $60 (50K); $45 (30K); $40 (half-marathon)
Reason to run: It will be the 38th running of this ultra, sponsored by the Buffalo Chips Running Club. It’s not a trail ultra nor a road ultra. It’s run on both crushed granite and asphalt and a few dirt paths. If you want to compete against the really speedy runners, try the 50-mile.