Race Planning for 2011

Get out your calendar, iPhone or Blackberry and get ready to enter some key dates. We are going to help you plan your race schedule for 2011.

In the “old days” most runners decided what race to run based on whether your training was going well and if you had sufficient sleep the night before. On race morning all you had to do was pull on your nylon shorts and white cotton t-shirt, head for the starting line, sign up, pay your $5.00, and you were ready to race.

There are a few races early in the year where you can still do that (except for the $5.00). See how you feel after New Year’s Eve, then head out to the Rio Resolution Run on January 1st. You can choose the 5K or the 10K and sign up at the Rio Grill at the Crossroads shopping center in Carmel. On February 13th you can run the 5K or 10K Together with Love run at Lover’s Point with your favorite valentine.

After that it gets more difficult. The Big Sur Marathon used to be the only “destination” race in our area that required early entry, but now we have four others that are going to draw not only local runners but runners from virtually every state as well. Planning your schedule requires some logistical support.

Do you want to run the Big Sur Marathon on May 1st? We hope we are not the first to tell you that it’s too late. That’s right – it sold out over six months before race day. You cannot get in. Check out Bsim.org and see if some of the shorter races are still available. Better yet, think outside the box and enter the relay; you can still run the whole course by running each leg yourself.

Two other Big Sur events needing very early entry are the March 26th Mud Run and the November 20th Half Marathon on Monterey Bay.

We also have a first time event in Carmel on Father’s Day, June 19th, called the Run in the Name of Love. This 5k for runners and 2K for walkers and their dogs will certainly become one of the most popular events in our area. Enter early because it is limited to 1,000 runners and 300 walkers. The website is runinthenameoflove.org. This unique event is dedicated to the memory of Brian Love, a Carmel High graduate, who died in a tragic snowboard accident while competing for the University of Virginia.

The race offers runners and walkers the opportunity to honor a loved one of their choice. The 5K course is extremely fast, starting at the Sunset Center, and passing the Carmel Mission and Carmel River State Beach, and finishing along Scenic Avenue near Ocean Avenue. The 2K course is equally scenic and encourages dogs, even offering doggie race shirts.

Last year’s inaugural Salinas Valley Half Marathon sold out two months early and the 2nd edition scheduled for August 6th is sure to sell out even more quickly. Last year runners loved the wine country course along River Road, the finish line festivities with wine and beer, the luxurious buses used for transportion, and the Double Magnums given to age group winners. This year’s race has even more surprises. Go to salinasvalleyhalfmarathon.org for more information.

On-line entry to all these races, except the Big Sur Half Marathon (opens April 1st), are available now on active.com. We hope to see you at all of these great local races.

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