When it’s hotter than Hades day after day, I find myself needing motivation to leave an air conditioned house and head outside for the daily run or bike ride. I get the necessary motivation in the form of a race entry. Whether I want to go fast, go far or simply not suffer too badly on race day, I use the future race date as a reason to keep going through the dog days of summer.
If you’re having trouble leaving the air conditioned comfort of home or office, just fill out an entry blank or two. The fear of what you’ve just gotten yourself into will provide all the motivation you need.
So let’s have a look at the event calendar for August and September.
• We’ll start with a couple of out-of-town runs, both on August 7 and both in somewhat cooler climes. The Round Valley Run is a 5.4-mile race mostly on dirt trails at Round Valley Lake near the Plumas County town of Greenville. This very scenic event also offers a 2-mile walk and shorter races for teenagers and children – so it’s a nice getaway for families. The other August 7 event is the Mt. Ashland Hill Climb, an insanely difficult 13.3-mile trail run from downtown Ashland (elevation 1,900) to the top of Mt. Ashland (elevation 7,533). The race is full this year, but you may head to the Mt. Ashland ski area to get inspired as you watch competitors charging (walking? trudging?) up the steep hill. You might also decide that 52 weeks is just barely enough time to get prepared for the 2011 version of this bad boy.
• The Sunset Through the Trees running series still has a long way to go. Short races scheduled on Tuesday evenings August 10, 17, 24 and 31, and September 7.
• The Moonlight Madness 2-mile run across Shasta Dam is back for a second year on August 28. This race is appealing for two reasons. First, the course is as flat as you’re going to find away from a track, so a personal record is very possible. Second, the event offers the opportunity to run across the giant dam at night, which is a pretty wild experience. Race director John Luaces is hoping for a field of 200 this year.
• The always popular Mount Shasta Tinman Triathlon is scheduled for September 5, which is Sunday of Labor Day weekend at Lake Siskiyou. The event features a 740-yard lake swim, a 10-mile bicycle ride and a 4.5-mile run. The Tinman has a reputation for being both beginner-friendly and extremely fast for experienced triathletes.
• The second annual John Lipsey Memorial 5K run is scheduled for September 11 at North Cottonwood School. Run on roads in John’s old neighborhood, the event honors the longtime running coach who died last year. Organizers boast of a pet-friendly, stroller-friendly and family-friendly atmosphere.
• The Pacific Masters Swimming open water championship is scheduled for September 12 at Whiskeytown Lake. Both the 1-mile and 2-mile swims begin and end at Brandy Creek Beach. Last year, the two distances drew fields of nearly 100 swimmers apiece.
• September 19 is the date for the 35th running of the Whiskeytown Relays, a four-person, 19.9-mile relay race on paved and dirt roads around Whiskeytown Lake. This well-organized event is a must on many runners’ annual race calendar. If you can’t come up with four runners for your squad, let race director Tori Park know. She’ll do her best to find you a teammate or even three.
• The Salmon Run is a part of the Salmon Festival on September 25 in Oroville. The 10K run, 5K run/walk, 1-mile fun run and half-mile kids run are all on the very nice Feather River multiuse trail.
• The fourth edition of the Whiskeytown Cross Country Classic mountain bike race is scheduled for September 26. You have your choice of one, two or three laps of the 10-mile, mostly single-track course.
You might want to keep in mind a few more distant dates, too. I’ll have details in the future.
• Team Bigfoot’s 8-hour and 24-hour endurance mountain bike races at Whiskeytown are scheduled the first weekend of October.
• Shasta Orienteering and Adventure Racing’s event at Whiskeytown is the second weekend of October.
• The Turtle Bay Half-Marathon is set for October 10.
• The Whiskeytown Trail Runs of 50K, 30K and 8.3 miles are October 23.
If you know of other good events in our area, feel free to shoot me an email.
Paul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and is filling out entry forms right now. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at email@example.com.