If you’re reading this, then there is about 98.7% chance that you know about all the goings-on in the Bay Area trail running community. I thought this might be a good time to outline all the different trail race options that us Bay Area residents are so fortunate to have. For each series, I tried to pull two or three race reports from people I respect.
As John M. points out in the comments, this is oldest of the Bay Area race organizers. Many classics such as Miwok 100k, Ohlone Wilderness 50k and Quad Dipsea are organized by this group. (With the exception of Lake Sonoma 50 mile, these races are also all part of the PA/USATF schedule listed below.)
I have yet to run a Brazen Racing event, but they are getting nothing but rave reviews. The races tend to be half-marathon/10k/5k distances with some variation (notably the Diablo Trails Challenge 50k).
It may not seem like it, but Coastal has been around for over two years now. I’ve been running many their races since the series’ inception. They are always professional and work hard to care for all runners’ needs. Sometimes the turn out for races is small, but, watch out!: Coastal is definitely growing.
Envirosports has been around forever. You’ll find a different scene here than at any of the other organizers. There tend to be more trail run newbies, which can be refreshing. I have run two of their races, and while their aid stations aren’t my favorite, Envirosports is always a good back up option in my opinion.
- Golden Gate Headlands Trail Marathon (my old blog)
On a recommendation by Tri-Karen-Tri, I am including Fleet Feet Sacramento’s races. This is a mix of trail and road runs.
Julie Fingar has a superb reputation as a RD and an impressive line-up of classic ultras in Northern California. I haven’t run any of her races, but Dick Collins, which is run on my backyard trails, is #1 of my race bucket list right now. (Note, there is some overlap with the PA/USATF calendar listed below).
There are many, many classic races on the calendar for PA/USATF. And while they haven’t released the 2012 calendar, it will likely look very similar to 2011. This list includes many
This race series is actually new to the scene as of last year. I really like the variety of courses that they advertise, especially those deeper in the Sierra, such as the Echo Summit Trail Challenge. Look for me at one of these runs in 2012!
This group is out of Sacramento and generally runs low-key races in the Sacramento area and the Sierra Nevada Foothills. I have really enjoyed their races in the past. The low key atmosphere is much to my liking. Their annual Lake of the Sky runs are very high on my to-do list.
Update: In very tragic news, RD Robert Mathis and his wife died after getting struck by a vehicle while crossing a street. I did not know Robert well, but he was always kind in the few interactions I had with him. May Robert and his wife rest in piece.
I won’t say much here. If you’re looking for facts, read Scott’s summary. If you’re looking for drama, check out the comment section of that blog post.
All in all, us Bay Area runners are blessed with so many trail race options. As someone who moved here from the East Coast, I have not forgotten how wonderful that is.
Enjoy the trails!