The California International Marathon – and Other Runs on the Grid
From what I have seen, there are two kinds of runners out there: those who run fast and those who run far.
There is also supposedly a mythical creature out there who can run both fast and far…but that’s just a rumor. I am not, nor will I ever be, a runner who runs fast. I will never run a 5-minute mile, or a 6- minute mile for that matter, and most days even a seven-minute mile seems a bit out of reach.
I am the type of runner that runs far, so the California International Marathon is perfect for me.
On December 2, I will line up with 9,000 brand new friends to run, jog, walk or hobble 26.2 miles from Folsom to downtown and gain bragging rights, at least until the race rolls around again next year.
CIM is ideal because it is close to home, rolls gradually downhill, and includes seventeen conveniently located water stations, which means no thirsty miles. It is considered one of the fastest marathons in the U.S. and an ideal Boston Marathon qualifier. Other benefits of running CIM include carbo-loading on leftover pumpkin pie before the race, a finish line on the grid where your friends can cheer you on, and of course, the cool t-shirt and finisher’s medal.
No quite ready to run this year’s CIM?
If you want to get a jump start on preparing for next year’s run, or any other race for that matter, there are tons of awesome running groups on the grid to help you find running friends that will keep you going. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Fleet Feet Tuesday Fun Runs: At 6:00pm on Tuesday night, anywhere from 15 to fifty-something runners gather in front of the Fleet Feet store (23 and J Streets) to do a 3-mile loop around either McKinley Park or the Capitol (depending on the night). Paces vary widely from crazy sprinters to people walking the entire way. Some weeks, the runs are sponsored by shoe or clothing companies, with free raffles (new shoes anyone?) and gear demos.
- Lululemon Run Club: This largely female running group meets at the Lululemon show room at 6:00pm on Thursday nights. Runs range from three to six miles at a range of paces from nine minute miles to 12 minute miles. The group picks local races to train for together. They recently got really cute “Run Lulu Run” shirts made for Run to Feed the Hungry.
- Sacramento Hash House Harriers: So I have never run with this group, but I have met a few of the members, and it sounds like a lot of fun. Based on an old British drinking game, the group meets at a bar, has a few drinks, and one member, the harrier, leaves the bar and goes for a run, leaving a trail in flour along the route marking the way. The harrier can run for as far as he or she wants and stop off at as many bars as he or she wants. The rest of the group follows behind, trying to catch up to the harrier, and having drinks along the way. The group is social and non-competitive. Runs are typically on Saturdays or Sundays.