Running Events in California
- Oaktown Half Marathon, 5K and Stomper's Stomp14Aug
Oaktown Half Marathon, 5K and Stomper's StompRunning ‧ Oakland13.1 mi • 3.1 mi • 0.2 mi • 16.2 mi • 26.2 mi$9 – $98
- Big Sur International Marathon24Apr2022
Big Sur International MarathonMarathon ‧ Monterey County26.2 mi
- Herbalife24 Triathlon24Oct
Herbalife24 TriathlonMulti-Sport ‧ Los Angeles3.1 mi • 22.0 mi
- The Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run26Jun
The Western States 100 Mile Endurance RunUltramarathon ‧ Sanger100.0 mi
- The Dipsea Race7Nov
The Dipsea RaceRunning ‧ Mill Valley7.4 mi
- Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon26Feb2022
Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas MarathonRunning ‧ Las Vegas26.2 mi • 6.2 mi • 3.1 mi
- Dove Dash10Jul2022
Dove DashRunning ‧ Trabuco Canyon6.2 mi • 3.1 mi
- Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K10May2023
Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K5k ‧ San Diego3.1 mi$28 – $45
- Virtual Bay to Breakers16May
Virtual Bay to BreakersRunning ‧ San Francisco7.5 mi
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Running in California
Californians are world famous for their active lifestyle. The Golden State draws people in from all over the world for its sporting events - and running is no exception. With near perfect weather and gorgeous surroundings it's no wonder that some of the world's biggest and most famous running events are hosted here. Expect beautiful scenery, amazing people and big crowds on this international scene. But, if you'd prefer to stay off the beaten path, California's culture has created the perfect breeding ground for all sorts of smaller events too.
What you need to know about running
Anyone can start running, all you need are a pair of running shoes and the proper motivation to get going. Cali has a super varied running scene. So whether it's something on the shorter side like a 5k or 10k, or maybe you'd prefer a more lengthy challenge, check out half marathons, marathons, or ultramarathons in California, you'll be able to find something that suits. These races can vary from the competitive to the downright ridiculous and everywhere in between - you'll even find races that greet you with a glass of wine at the finish line.
New to running? The 5k or 10k events can be a great challenge to help you find your running feet. You'll discover that these events often like to mix in a bit of fun too. The LA Color Run is all about covering everyone around you in giant clouds of colour. Then there's the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot which will pitch your best costume up against 25,000 other competitors. Finishing times can vary widely for these events, the 5k can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour, whereas the 10k can take anything from an hour upwards. Our advice if you're on the fence, get yourself to a big event where the cheering crowd will spur you on to the finish line.
If you're looking to stretch your legs further, check out our pages for the half marathon and marathon. If you're not too worried about smashing your PR, then you might enjoy the lighter side of these events at the Disney World Marathon Weekender. But, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a speed demon, then the California International Marathon has a reputation for being fast - and it's a Boston Qualifier event.
For those endurance addicts out there, Cali is also famous for it's ultramarathon events. These are any footrace measuring over 26.2 miles in length, and can get seriously long. For example the Badwater Ultramarathon lasts for 135 miles through Death Valley. The comparatively 'tame' Western States 100-Mile Endurance Race is another famous and stunning example. You'll want to take your time in these events, enjoy the scenery and strap in for the long haul. We've found that both the competitors and crowds at Ultras are some of the friendliest around.
Training for a running event
Training is hard, but we think it's essential. Try to link up with some friends and start a training plan together ahead of a big race - this really helps with motivation and can bring a real edge to your training. Have a look at some of our suggested training plans to get you up to race pace: 5k Training Plan; 10k Training Plan; Half Marathon Training Plan; Marathon Training Plan; Ultramarathon Training Plan.