The fifth annual Mountain Bike Pow Wow--a taxing tour through the Santa Ana Mountains--has sold out its 200 spots for today's races.
Sponsored by the Warrior's Society, the pow wow is made up of three events: The Vision Quest, a 52.5-mile mountain-bike ride and 11,500-foot elevation gain, and its siblings, Counting Coup, a 40-mile, 8,000-foot ride and Seek the Peak, a 5,000-foot gain.
The rides are increasingly popular alternatives to the shorter cross-country races at ski resorts.
It's probably the most difficult event in Southern California and that is one of its main draws, according to Rancho Santa Margarita's Emilio Cervantes, who finished third in the Vision Quest last year. It's also different from most National Off-Road Bicycle Assn. events.
"This is more the old-school, traditional, informal event," Cervantes said. "NORBA is geared toward TV, lots of logos and neon. This race is the antithesis of that."
The next Warrior's Society organized ride, the 27.5-mile Toad Festival, is Oct. 27. Call (714) 894-8211 or click on http://www.warriorssociety.org for more information.
The Catalina Island Marathon--considered one of the nation's most challenging yet scenic 26.2-mile runs--also gets underway today.
That caused a conflict for some endurance athletes like Paul Miller of Santa Ana.
Miller, 42, has run in the Catalina marathon nine times and rode the Vision Quest three times. He was torn when he thought he'd have to choose. But it turns out he won't be competing in either. He wasn't properly trained for the ride, and couldn't afford the marathon for financial reasons.
The Volcom Stone Totally Crustaceous Tour, which bills itself as a grass-roots surfing circuit, is holding its first overall championship event today and Sunday at 54th Street in Newport Beach.
Volcom, the Costa Mesa surf, skateboard and snowboard apparel company, started holding low-key--and free--amateur surfing competitions in Newport Beach about five years ago, said Brad Dougherty, Volcom's surf team manager. It has grown to 10 series in California, Hawaii, the eastern United States and Puerto Rico. The Volcom events are still free of charge for contestants.
The event this weekend will pit the top finishers from each series in three divisions, men's pro-am (18 and older), juniors (15-17) and groms (14 and younger).
Surfing starts at 8 a.m. today and runs until 5 p.m. Sunday's competition starts at 8 a.m. with the finals starting at 10:50 a.m. and finishing at 12:30 p.m.
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