St. Patrick’s Day 15K
March 16, Temecula, Calif.
Temecula, which is about an hour northeast of San Diego, is quickly becoming a favorite weekend getaway spot for Southern California residents, largely because of its bucolic setting and growing wine industry. If wine and country living are your thing, consider signing up for the second annual Temecula St. Patrick’s Day 15K, which offers participants a hilly, challenging course and a glass of green champagne at the finish line. Participants also get post-race deals and specials at the Cougar Vineyard and Winery. If you decide to make a weekend out of your stay in Temecula, check out the available horseback riding in the area; the scallops served at Ponte Winery’s restaurant are also a must.
March 30, Carlsbad, Calif.
If you’re in the mood for a 5K PR this year, consider signing up for the Carlsbad 5000, which houses 16 world records and hosts some of the world’s speediest pros and age groupers annually. Although the course is mostly flat and fast along the coast, there are some ever-slight inclines for newbies — be prepared to let the enormous local support and spectators help you crush to a 3.1-mile PR. If you’ve got kids, the race also offers a diaper dash, toddler trot, and quarter-mile, half-mile and 1-mile races. Feeling ambitious? Tackle the All-Day 25K, where participants compete in all five age-group events (runners can only place in their respective age group).
Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon San Francisco
April 6, San Francisco
The 2014 Transamerica Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon San Francisco will feature an all-new course, which will start next to the ocean on the Great Highway, run through neighborhoods — the Richmond District, Sea Cliff, Presidio and Marina District — roll back and forth across the Golden Gate Bridge and finish at Civic Center Plaza. With plenty of notoriously challenging hills, San Francisco may not be an ideal course for a PR performance; it is a great option, however, if you’re looking for gorgeous scenery and a hip city to explore once the race is over.