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There is no better motivation to exercise than signing your name to a race or organized event entry form. Whether you’re registering for a 5K fun run, a group backpacking trip or a century bike ride, you’ll want to be prepared. And the best way to prepare is to get out the door and cover some miles.
Those of us who have suffered through marathons, centuries or other events for which we weren’t quite as ready as we should have been know how much it hurts to hit the wall. Wanting to avoid that painful mistake is a great motivator, believe me.
Last week, I listed numerous organized runs, rides and triathlons through the end of April. Not sure that you can be ready in time for one of those events? Then consider a May event, of which there are several good ones in the region.
Before I get going with the May events, however, I need to add one more run to the April calendar. That’s the second annual Mike Schweitzer Memorial Challenge, April 24, in Etna. The event honors a U.S. Forest Service firefighter (and marathon runner) who died two years ago in a motorcycle crash. The half-marathon, 10K and 5K races follow roads and trails in and around the Siskiyou County town. The 10K and 5K courses are similar to those used for the now-defunct Dash and Splash race. Info: www.wffoundation.org.
On to the May events:
• 3F Century, May 1, Colusa. Flat country roads with virtually no climbing are the attraction at this bike ride. The courses cover 109 (that’s a century-plus!), 63 or 39 miles. Info: http://3FCENTURY.com.
• Shasta Wheelmen Jamboree Century, May 2, Turtle Bay, Redding. The 40th annual Jamboree features a century (100-mile) ride on roads winding through Redding, Shasta Lake, Old Shasta, Igo, Cottonwood, Parkville and Anderson. Also scheduled are a metric century (actually about 67 miles), a quarter-century (about 23 miles) and a family-oriented 10-miler. Let’s hope for better weather this year! Info: www.jamboreecentury.com.
• City of Gold Triathlon and Duathlon, May 8, Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. This is a popular event for beginners. The tri is composed of a half-mile lake swim, a 12-mile road bike ride and a 5K trail run. The duathlon has a 12-mile bike ride sandwiched between 5K runs. Relay teams are welcome. Info: www.active.com.
• Whiskeytown Off-Road Duathlon, May 15, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. This unique event has a 3-mile trail run followed by an 8-mile mountain bike ride before a finishing 3-mile trail run. It’s open to individuals or two-person relay teams. Info: www.sweatrc.com.
• Anderson River Park Century, May 15, Anderson. One of the tougher 100-mile rides in the region, this one begins in the park’s friendly confines before heading east and climbing through Inwood, Whitmore, Fern and Oak Run. There are also 60-, 40- and 25-mile courses. Info: www.centurybikeride.com.
• Blazing Saddles Mountain Bike Race Series, May 21 and 28, June 4, 11 and 18, Swasey recreation area, Redding. Back for its second year, this five-race series makes great use of the sweet trails on Bureau of Land Management territory just west of Redding. Each week offers both a 10-mile expert course and a much tamer 5.5-mile ride. Info: www.teamsoar.net/soareventsbs.php.
• Burton Pickle Memorial 5K run/walk and children’s 1K, May 30, Hawkins Bar. Now in its fifth year, this low-cost event is popular with families. Nearly half of last year’s participants were too young to drive. Info: www.theburtonpickle5k.com.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and a poor mountain bike rider. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.