It has been a slow summer for road races, but runners will be offered two runs this weekend--one event on Saturday, one on Sunday, both in county regional parks.
Sunday's race is an 8K run, with the entire course contained in Irvine Regional Park. Race director Matt Capelouto said the first-time event features a flat course with few turns. Steve Scott, American record holder in the mile, will be on hand to start the race.
"There are a lot of top local runners in this event," said Capelouto. The title of the run is "A Snail's Pace 8K," after the sponsoring shop (A Snail's Pace is a technical running store that has been doing business in Fountain Valley for 15 years). Proceeds will benefit the cross-country program at Huntington Beach High School.
Capelouto said the number of road races has dwindled in recent years because registration has dropped, causing income to go down, and because corporate sponsorships are down. A Snail's Pace recently established a race management division in hopes of organizing more events, including an annual edition of Sunday's run.
On Saturday, Centennial Park in Santa Ana will be the site of 12K and 5K event sponsored by the Santa Ana/Tustin YMCA as a benefit for the organization's Kids Camp.
The event, inaugurated last year, will kick off at 6:30 a.m. with a group warm-up and will be followed by a pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
Both courses, which promise to be flat and fast, start and finish in Centennial Park and will include portions of the Santa Ana River Trail. According to a spokeswoman for the YMCA, last year's event drew about 300 runners; as many as 500 are expected this time around.
Finally, a quick note for those weekend warriors who'd rather do more than run: The Big Bear Lake Triathlon Series holds its third and final event on Sunday, with a half-mile swim, 15-mile bike ride and four-mile run. Late entry fees for the race are $53 to $58. The event is produced by SBR Sports in Irvine; call (714) 733-2727 for information.