Running, Cycling Options Blossom Like Spring Flowers

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Congratulations to the nearly 700 runners who competed in last Saturday’s Nor-Cal John Frank Memorial 10-, 3- and 1-mile races on the Sacramento River bike path in Redding. Congrats also to everyone who competed in the Frosty Fun Runs series, which concluded with the Nor-Cal event. The low-key but still competitive fun runs drew more than 100 participants to seven of its eight events, despite some truly frosty weather at times.

No matter how fast you are, it takes a high level of dedication to roll out of a warm bed on a dark winter morning to go running in the cold and damp. Thankfully for those of us who lack such dedication, the weather should be starting to improve and there are plenty of organized runs – as well as bike rides and other events – from which to choose during coming weeks.

I recently ran down the regional calendar through early April. The following list gets us through the first full weekend in May.

• April 9: Red Bluff Spring Run, Sacramento River Discovery Center, Red Bluff. The Soroptomist International of Red Bluff’s 11th annual event offers a 10K race, a 5K run/walk and a casual 1-miler. The courses are paved, flat and ideal for a PR. Details: www.facebook.com.

• April 23: Tehama Wildflower Trail Runs, Sacramento River Bend Area, Red Bluff. Back for the fifth year are the 50K, and 50K two-person relay. There is also a 10K run and, for the first time, a 5K race. All of the events make good use of the trail system just east of the Sacramento River. Details: www.SunsweetWildflowers.blogspot.com.

• April 30: Lemurian Shasta Classic mountain bike race, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Redding Mountain Biking club is officially and fully in charge of the 24th Lemurian, our area’s legendary mountain bike race, which has nicely settled into its new home at Whiskeytown. The classic 26-miler includes ridiculous climbs, steep descents and plenty of technical trail. The intermediate 20-mile course isn’t a whole lot easier, and even the 8-miler isn’t for beginners. But that’s the point of the Lemurian. It’s hard, and you get to boast after you finish. Details: www.shastalemurian.com.

• May 1: Jamboree Century, Redding. The biggest event of the year for the Shasta Wheelmen road cycling club offers 100-, 67-, 28- and 10-mile rides, all of which start and finish at the Sundial Bridge. The full century (it’s actually 102 miles) takes in Shasta Dam, Old Shasta, Igo and downtown Cottonwood before returning through east Redding. The metric century (again, it’s a little long) takes in all of that except for Shasta Dam. The shortest ride sticks to the Sacramento River bike path and arboretum. I bet someone out there is crazy enough to ride the full Lemurian on Saturday and the century on Sunday. Century details: www.jamboreecentury.com.

• May 1: 30th anniversary Wildflower Century, Chico. One of the West Coast’s must-do century bike rides, the Wildflower attracts up to 4,000 cyclists (yes, 4,000) on routes of 100, 65, 60 and 30 miles. There’s also a 15-miler for kids. Most participants take on the fairly hilly long rides on Butte County’s rural roads. I think it’s unfortunate that cyclists have to choose between the Jamboree and the Wildflower. I guess that’s why there’s “next year.” Wildflower details: www.chicovelo.org.

• May 7: Burney Fun Run, McArthur-Burney Falls State Park. This fundraiser for the Burney Chamber of Commerce offers a 4-miler on roads and trails, and a 2-miler in which the winners are the runners closest to their predicted times (no watches!). One event entry covers both races, which start an hour apart. Entry form: BURNEY_FUN_RUN_application_2011.pdf.

• May 7: Mike Schweitzer Memorial Challenge, Etna. Now in its third year, this event in honor of a fallen firefighter for the first time features a half-marathon in addition to 10K and 5K runs. The courses are a mix of roads and some fairly tough trails around town. Entry form: SchweitzerChallenge2011.pdf.

May 7: Tough as Nails Mountain Run, Medford, Oregon. The 10-miler lives up to its name, as it traverses the very hilly and rugged trails of Roxy Ann Peak. For the less-ambitious, there’s a flat 5K. Entry form: http://sorunners.org.

May 7: Tour of the Unknown Coast century, Ferndale. This longstanding Humboldt County event likes to bill itself as “California’s Toughest Century.” Considering the nearly 10,000 feet of climbing and typically windy conditions, that’s not an idle boast. In addition to the 100-mile ride, there are courses of 100K, and 50, 20 and 10 miles. Gluttons who can’t get enough may ride the 100-mile course twice to complete a rare double-century. Details: http://tuccycle.org.

shigley-mugshotPaul Shigley is senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a frequent contributor to Planning magazine and won’t be riding any double-centuries. Ever. He lives in Centerville. Paul Shigley may be reached at pauls.anewscafe@gmail.com.

A News Cafe, founded in Shasta County by Redding, CA journalist Doni Greenberg, is the place for people craving local Northern California news, commentary, food, arts and entertainment.

Paul Shigley

has been a professional journalist since 1987. For 12 years, he served as editor or senior editor of California Planning & Development Report, a statewide trade publication for land use planners, real estate development professionals and attorneys. Prior to that, he worked as a reporter or editor at newspapers in Redding, Grass Valley, Napa and Calistoga. Shigley's work also has appeared in the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Planning magazine, Governing magazine, California Law Week, National Speed Sport News and elsewhere. In addition, he is co-author of Guide to California Planning, a college text and reference book, and is currently working on a book for the American Planning Association about the Bay Delta and California water resources. A graduate of California State University, Sacramento, Shigley has contributed to A News Cafe since 2009. He and his wife, Dana, live in western Shasta County.