Fall Racing Season

Let’s say you’ve been running all summer and getting into pretty decent shape. The timing is perfect to test your fitness in some races.

Fall is a popular racing season nationwide, and the Monterey Peninsula is no exception. There are several great events coming up in the next few months – so break out your racing shoes and get your game face on; fall racing season is officially here!

This Saturday (Sept 26th) is the Stevenson Run in the Forest at 8AM. Registration starts at 7AM at Wilson Field at Stevenson School. There is a 10K and a 5K Run/Walk. Proceeds benefit Stevenson’s academic, athletic, and financial aid programs. It’s the ONLY road race held within the secluded confines of Pebble Beach. $30 will get you a wonderful buffet breakfast and a t-shirt as well.

This run is what we affectionately like to call a “SDFU” race: start downhill, finish uphill. SDFUs are the toughest test for a racer. Many runners fly downhill past the 1st fairway at Spyglass, only to have the wheels come off when they face the long uphill at the end of the race. Race smart out there.

October 4th brings a new race called the Grape Stampede that starts at the Soledad Mission at 8AM. Registration begins at 7AM for the 10K run, 5K run/walk, or Just Run kids race at 9:15. Your $30 entry goes to the Soledad Recreation Foundation and the Soledad-Mission Recreation District. Racers receive a t-shirt and raffle ticket. The Soledad Mission Fiesta and Grape Stomp follows the race.

This run is relatively F and F: flat and fast. There’s a little bit of dirt and a few rolling hills, but come ready to blaze a fast time.

The Big Sur River Run is October 24th. We’ve written about this race before as it’s always one of our favorites. Wildfires cancelled last year’s event, but the race is back on the schedule this year. The River Run is a 10K through the campgrounds at Pfeiffer State Park. Start time is at 10AM, so you don’t have to rush the scenic drive down Highway 1 to the race. Registration starts at 9AM and costs $28.

This one is a slight SDFU as you make two loops through the beautiful redwoods alongside the Big Sur River. You’ll see the beauty of Big Sur, smell the bacon and pancakes cooking in nearby campgrounds, and possibly even catch a scent of the previous night’s ganja parties lingering in the air. Good times all around.

November 14 and 15 is Big Sur Half Marathon race weekend. Our local half-marathon has become one of the best and most popular half marathons in the United States - and like all Big Sur International Marathon races, it is a world class event, where every runner is treated like royalty.

Saturday’s events include the Just Run 3K for all family members and the Run Forrest Run 5K along Cannery Row. Sunday morning is the main event – the Big Sur Half-Marathon on Monterey Bay.

If you’ve been procrastinating, it’s too late to sign up for the Half-Marathon, which is officially sold out. There’s a 10-mile event you can sign up for instead, or pick one of the shorter Saturday races – and make sure next year that you register early.

Choose one race, or choose them all, and put your summer training to good use by participating in these great local events. We’re certain that you’ll enjoy the experience.

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