Run Catalina Island
Catalina Island is known for its wonderful hiking trails but if you have a bit of a competitive spirit kick it up a notch with some great races throughout the year. Catalina Island serves as the perfect backdrop for any running enthusiast. From the experienced runner to the enthusiastic novice Catalina Island has a race to please everyone with various distances and levels.
To start the New Year with a bang, the Island offers the Avalon 50k/50m Benefit Run. If you are an ultra-distance runner, this is definitely the race for you. You can choose to conquer the entire Island in the traditional 50 Mile Run, now going into its 41st year, or start off with the Avalon 50K Run (31 miles). This race weekend is renowned as one of the country’s most challenging and scenic runs. No cars, no smog, just great terrain, incredible views, fascinating historical sites, a well-organized race, nice people and great food await you. As extra motivation all the pledges the runners collect benefit the Avalon Lions Club.
Coming up on its 46th anniversary, this run is considered California’s oldest trail marathon. This “bucket list” race features the exciting and historic marathon course used largely since the first year on the Catalina Island Conservancy’s lands. This course features much of the rugged terrain, spectacular vistas, challenging climbs and special challenges enjoyed by thousands of runners over the years! If you are not up for a marathon just yet a 10k, 5k and Kid’s Fun Run are also offered.
If running just isn’t enough of a challenge how about tackling a triathlon? The race starts with a ½ mile swim in Avalon Bay, followed by a 17k race on your bike through Avalon and end with a brisk 5k through the Avalon hills. Experience the beauty of Catalina Island and the City of Avalon with the perfect start of the season triathlon. If swimming isn’t your thing try the duathlon where you start and end with running a 5k and still do the 17k bike portion. Finally, if you still want to be part of the action but not up for the triathlon or duathlon, a 5k run/walk is also offered.
This beautiful trail half marathon course starts runners in the city of Avalon and quickly climbs to over 1600 feet in elevation. Runners enjoy the expansive Catalina Island Conservancy Nature Preserve with its spectacular vistas while being challenged by the rugged terrain. The organizers say “It’s the hardest race you will ever love!” Get lost in the spectacular views that you forget you are running a race.
If any of these races are calling your name start training and take a Catalina Express over and experience the beauty Catalina Island has to offer as you run past. For more information about runs on Catalina Island, please visit RunCatalina.com.
Last Two Photos by Scott Stolarz