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Trips to Bountiful: Fall Races Have Athletes on the Run

October 27, 1994|RICK VANDERKNYFF | Rick VanderKnyff is a member of The Times Orange County Edition staff. and

Local runners have a fall bounty of races to choose from this weekend, from short-and-sweet 5K jaunts to an annual 50-mile trek through the Cleveland National Forest.

The biggest event in the county this weekend is the 14th annual Heart & Sole Classic, to be held Saturday in Irvine. In past years, the event has raised as much as $225,000 for research, education and community programs for the American Heart Assn.

More than 6,000 participants are expected, including about 300 corporate teams. The event starts at Jamboree Center in Irvine, just north of of the San Diego Freeway (motorists beware--Main Street will be closed in the vicinity).

There are a number of events from which to choose.

First up will be a 7 a.m. aerobics workout, followed at 7:30 a.m. by the Executive's Mile, a run/walk event for business leaders. At 8 a.m., it's a 25K bike ride that will loop around Upper Newport Bay. The 10K run, which starts at 8:20 a.m., will route competitors out toward UC Irvine, while the 5K run/walk, starting at 8:30 a.m., stays close to City Hall and environs.

Officially, there is no entry fee, although participants are encouraged to collect donations. A $35 donation will secure an event T-shirt, and grand prizes will be awarded to the five participants who raise the most money.

Elsewhere, runners can look forward to a couple of additional choices Sunday:

* The Monster Mash Dash is a Halloween-themed 5K set to take off from South Coast Plaza Village in Santa Ana at 8 a.m.; a Planet Hollywood 1K follows at 9 a.m. Among the attractions: a costume contest and a post-race party. Entry for the 5K is $20 with T-shirt, and $15 for the 1K with T-shirt. Information: (714) 661-6062.

* The second annual Run Beneath the Peaks 8K is a scenic rolling loop course through the hills of Rancho Santa Margarita. Entry is $10 with T-shirt. Information: (714) 858-7386.


Then there's the granddaddy of local ultra races, the San Juan Trail 50--that's 50 as in miles--which takes off at 6 a.m. Saturday from Blue Jay Campground, off Ortega Highway near the village of El Cariso. Only the hardiest of runners need apply.

Chances are if you didn't already, know about this race you're not going to make this challenging test a last-minute addition to your schedule. However, race director Baz Hawley, the state's leading ultra-race impresario (and a man who spends his winters in Orange County), has in recent years initiated a series of shorter off-road runs for those who want to try the sport.

His next local race is an all-new venture--in fact, he claims it is the first off-road marathon ever. Planned for Dec. 4, the run will start at Falcon Campground off Ortega Highway (about 3,300 feet) and hits its highest point on top of Orange County's highest point, Santiago Peak (at more than 5,500 feet, one of two peaks that make up Old Saddleback).

For information, write Hawley at P.O. Box 2821, Mission Viejo, CA 92692.

Meanwhile, Hawley said he may be able to accommodate a few last-minute entries for Saturday's race through Friday at the latest. He recommends picking up a race entry form at a Snail's Pace, a running shop in Fountain Valley. Information: (714) 842-2337.

* What: Heart & Sole Classic.

* When: Saturday, Oct. 29; registration begins at 6:30 a.m., 25K bike ride at 8 a.m., 10K run at 8:20 a.m., 5K run/walk at 8:30 a.m.

* Where: Jamboree Center in Irvine.

* Whereabouts: From the San Diego (405) Freeway, exit north on Jamboree Road and turn into the Hyatt parking lot.

* Wherewithal: Free, but donations requested. $35 minimum donation for T-shirt.

* Where to call: (714) 856-3555.

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