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Your Best Bets for Summer Races in California

We’re partnering with our friends at Running Lushes to bring you race recaps from across the United States – be sure to check out more from the Lushes on their website!

Summer. The time for BBQs, green grass, warm weather and race-cations! We are counting down our top picks in each category for great summer races. Read on and grab one of our race discount codes so you can run with us and #spotthelush!

The living is easy at these races. Here is why we love them and why you should run them too!

Road Races

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego

When: June 1-2
Where: San Diego, CA
Website: https://www.runrocknroll.com/Events/San-Diego

Why We Love It: The Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego is the birthplace of the of the Rock ‘n’ Roll series and is probably one of the largest Rock ‘n’ Roll events! Its early June date signifies the start of the summer, and San Diego residents celebrate this race that runs through all of their iconic neighborhoods. The spectators come out in full force to cheer! The course features many sanctioned and non-sanctioned aid stations (we love you, Mile 4.5 bar), tons of entertainment and a great downhill finish. The finish line festival is on the water and June weather is perfect for running and sightseeing. It features a 5k, half marathon and marathon distances with bonus medals for running multiple races on the same weekend.

Santa Rosa Marathon

When: August 24-25
Where: Santa Rosa, CA
Website: http://santarosamarathon.com/
Running Lushes Discount: LUSH35 for $35 off 1/2 or full; LUSH10 for 10% off 5k or 10k

Why We Love It: The Santa Rosa Marathon is in the middle of wine country and like a bookend from Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego, it happens in late August and is one of the last races to be able to hold on to that summertime vibe! It has a real hometown feel to it and great course support. The swag on this race is top notch – you get a bottle of wine, a quarter zip or jacket and a great big medal. The post-race finish festival has a pancake breakfast and craft brew festival. The course is a scenic, fast, flat, Boston Qualifier and runs down the historic creek trail. The full marathon is unique in that it goes through the DeLoach Vineyard barrel room. It has 5k, 10k, half marathon and marathon distances and bonus medals for running multiple races in the same weekend.

Trail Races

Ragnar Tahoe Trail Relay

When: July 12-13
Where: Lake Tahoe, CA
Website: https://www.runragnar.com/
Running Lushes Discount: 
LUSHES19 for $80 off

Why We Love It: Who thought running all night with no sleep in a 24 hour span would be fun? Ragnar Relays are life changing as is, but being in the mountains of Tahoe running on a hilly trail at 2 AM with the stars overhead is an experience that cannot be explained! There is something pretty special about being a part of an 8-person team conquering this challenge together in a tent and on trails. The views on the course are outstanding and the camp has a party and celebratory vibe as there is 24 hour entertainment — s’mores, bands, and movies playing on continual repeat. Get a team together and go for it. You will not regret it!

Brazen Double Dipsea

When: June 15
Where: Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, CA
Website: https://brazenracing.com/doubledipsea/

Why We Love It: One of the most challenging trail races in the Bay Area. It will break you with the ups and downs, but in a good way. The Dipsea Trail is stunningly beautiful, and includes ocean views and forest trails. This is a difficult course, no doubt about it, and portions of it are very technical including sections of single track and stairs. But, Brazen Racing does an excellent job producing all their races and we especially love the post-race buffet of snacks — It’s It ice cream sandwiches are a staple! There is a limited number of participants each year, so being able to brag that you ran and completed it puts you in an elite crowd.

Unusual Runs

City Beer Runs BrewFest

When: June 23
Where: San Mateo, CA
Website: http://www.citybeerruns.com/5k10k-brewfest.html
Running Lushes Discount: LUSH19 for $5 off

Why We Love It: The title of this race pretty much says it all! All of the City Beer Runs 5k and 10k runs have a great local vibe. They start and end at different breweries, giving its participants an opportunity to explore many cool local spots. The BrewFest at Coyote Point in San Mateo will feature some of the best Bay Area breweries. Participants can run either a 5k or 10k, and then enjoy the beer, music, lawn games and food trucks.

Across the Bay 12k and 5k

When: July 14
Where: San Francisco, CA
Website: http://race415.com/
Running Lushes Discount: RepresentLUSH for 10% off

Why We Love It: The Across the Bay 12k is a part of the Run the Bay Challenge Series produced by Represent Running. This is a road race, but is unusual in that runners are bused to the start line of this point-to-point race in Sausalito for one of the most beautiful races anywhere. From Sausalito, runners descend to Fort Baker with amazing views of San Francisco and the Bay. The course includes running across the iconic the Golden Gate Bridge and Crissy Field before ending in the scenic Aquatic Park. The 12k distance makes this an accessible race for runners of all skill levels. And, you can count on the Represent Running organization to make sure participants get great swag! There is also a 5k option aka 415k.

Summer Scramble Series

When: May 11, June 8, July 20, Sept 21
Where: San Francisco, CA
Website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-summer-scramble-series-sat-511-sat-68-sat-720-sat-921-tickets-59617355114

Why We Love It: Sasquatch Racing director Matt Forsman (aka Marathon Matt) tried something new this summer with a 4-part run series including trails in San Francisco. These aren’t races, and there is no timing for these, but they are fully supported with course instructions, aid stations, and of course, swag!  This is a great way to see new and interesting parts of the city!

We know there are a ton of races out there. Do you have a race you love? Share in the comments so we can put it on our race calendar!

Hot ‘Damn’ Cocktail

4 Lemons – juiced
1/8c – 1/4c sugar (to taste)
1/2c water
1 c strawberries
1 Jalapeno
3oz vodka

Cut the jalapeno in half width-wise and slice one half. De-seed the other half and finely chop. Set aside 3-4 strawberries and quarter. Combine lemon juice, sugar, water, strawberries in a blender with ice and blend until smooth. Add the chopped jalapenos (to taste/heat) and vodka to the blender and blend 15-30 more seconds. Pour in a lowball and garnish with the sliced jalapeno and quartered strawberries! Cheers!

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