There’s an excellent, triple-digit reason that most organized runs, bike rides, triathlons and other such events in these parts are scheduled for either the spring or fall. Even those of us who revel in the heat aren’t keen on competing when it’s 110 in the shade.
But that doesn’t mean the summertime calendar is empty. For the most part, you need to get out of the baking valley and into the mountains, where the temps are cooler. For those who live in the Redding and Red Bluff areas, these out-of-town events offer a great excuse to hit the road and see some new places.
Before I get to the June and July calendar, however, let me add a couple to the list for May.
• First up is a non-competitive event: Redding Mountain Biking Club’s annual beginner class. Free for club members (membership cost is only $20 a year or $25 for the whole family), the classes run six consecutive Wednesday evenings starting May 5. The classes are scheduled for six different locations in the Redding area, with the first gathering at the BLM’s trails on Swasey Road. Details: www.reddingmountainbiking.com.
• The Watershed Celebration 10K and 5K runs and walks are set for May 8 in Red Bluff. Organized by the Sacramento River Discovery Center, the events make good use of the dirt roads and trails around the center. Details in this pdf.
• The 12 Hours of Weaverville mountain bike race returns on May 22 to Trinity High School. The event uses an 11.6-mile course of fire roads and single track, beginning with a brutal 3-mile-long, 1,500-foot climb. The event is open to solo riders and teams of up to 4 people. There is also a six-hour event for solo riders and two-person teams. Details: www.teambigfoot.net.
• One more note: The schedule for the Blazing Saddles mountain bike race series at the Swasey trails has changed a bit. The first race remains May 13: Details in this pdf.
All righty then, on to the June and July events:
• The first Shane’s Way 5K and 3K poker run/walk is set for June 5 at Mountain View Middle School in Redding. Poker runs are great in that winners are determined based on card draws at various stations around the course. Finally, we back-of-the-packers have a chance for glory! Details in this pdf.
• The second annual Hayfork Century is set for June 12. Cyclists will get their money’s worth here, as the “century” actually covers 115 miles, the “metric century” is a full 70 miles and even the short course is 45 miles long. Whatever distance you choose, expect nothing but great Trinity County scenery – and Trinity County hills. Details: www.hayforkcentury.com.
• The Humbug Hurry-up mountain bike race in Yreka returns on June 19 after a hiatus. The expert course covers 24 miles of often difficult trails and Forest Service roads, while the sport course is a slightly gentler 15 miles and the beginner route goes for 10 miles. There’s also a free 1-mile race for children. Details: http://humbughurryup.com.
• Also returning after an absence – and on also on June 19 – is the Mountain Lakes Challenge, a century or metric century ride on the very hilly roads of southern Oregon. This event was known as the Ashland Triple Challenge. Details: www.mountainlakeschallenge.com.
• One of the biggest annual running events in the region is the Fourth of July race in Mount Shasta. The 5-mile race and 2-mile fun run and walk draw more than 1,000 participants, many of whom hang around for the Independence Day parade and other festivities that fill downtown. You must register in advance for this event. Details: http://mtshastachamber.com.
• I tell every runner I know that they need to check out the Siskiyou Outback (SOB) trail runs, which go on July 10. The 50K and 15K courses use the Pacific Crest Trail and Forest Service roads starting and finishing at Mount Ashland Lodge. If the 6,000-plus feet of elevation doesn’t take away your breath, the endless views and spectacular wildflowers will. Unfortunately, the 50K is already full. But you can still get into the 15K if you hurry. Details: www.siskiyououtback.com.
• The Fall River Century is scheduled for July 17 in far eastern Shasta County. Courses of 200K (125 miles), 100 miles, 100K (62 miles) and 25 miles are offered, with an entry fee discount for the shortest ride. Details: www.fallrivercentury.com.
• The Sunset Through the Trees running series kicks off July 27 at Lake Redding Park. This is a low-cost, eight-race series on trails and recreation paths in the Redding area. I’ll have more information as the weekly races draw closer, but if you can’t wait to start your speed work, read up here: www.midniteracing.net.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and questions whether he has enough time to get ready for even the 45-miler in Hayfork. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.