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Running Races on the Rise in Redding, CA and Shasta Cascade

National and International Competitions, Three Boston Marathon Qualifiers and Now a New Tri-city Triathlon on Acclaimed Trails that offer Limitless Fun and Adventure for Runners of Every Level

Redding, CA – October 19, 2015 – Shasta Cascade’s bustling hub city of Redding is just the starting line for several celebrated races in one of America’s most spectacular and scenic regional destinations. The proud home of 225+ miles of trails within a 15-mile radius of town, Redding is “the gem of the U.S. Trail System,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle. This northern California city is surrounded on three sides by millions of acres of public land, including seven national forests, 14 national and state parks, and several mountain ranges, such as the pristine Trinity Alps, the northern Sierra Nevada, and the California Cascade range. Located two hours north of Sacramento and three hours northeast of San Francisco, Redding is easily accessible for runners and boasts 300 days of sunshine per year, making it the perfect spot to run all year long. 

In the works for 2016 is a three-day, tri-city triathlon competition, planned for Memorial Day Weekend:  The Shasta Cascade Weekend Sports Festival, a huge event covering the cities of Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake. But first things first: the annual Redding Marathon winds along the mighty Sacramento River, keeping runners warm every January as just one of THREE Boston qualifier races in the region. The two others are located in Shasta Cascade: the popular Running with the Bears Marathon, a small town qualifier held each August in Greenfield, CA, where dogs are welcome and proceeds benefit local kids in foster care, and the Bizz Johnson race, with a scenic course through the woods in Lassen National Forest during the spectacular changing of the seasons, every October. 

Popular Running Trails
Take your pick! Set out from the popular Sundial Bridge (view live streaming video here), considered the hub of the Sacramento River National Recreation Trail, or pack some dirt on your running shoes en route to waterfalls in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Bring your best friend, whether they are dog, horse, or person, and see what kind of plants and wildlife you can spot on your chosen stretch of trail. Enjoy river views, glassy lakes, rolling foothills and sweeping valley vistas along the well-maintained trails, with amenities and kindred spirits scattered along the way. Short loops close to town and long stretches through the hills mean all abilities and any schedule can be accommodated.

If you seek a wider expanse of nature, the mountains around Redding offer more options. To the north of Redding, Castle Crags State Park offers unmatched views of Mt. Shasta, and to the east, Lassen Volcanic National Park has numerous scenic trails that take visitors to bubbling mudpots, boiling lakes, and majestic vistas.

Redding’s trails are free to all, and most are dog-friendly, which means the whole family can explore together. With most lodging just a short ride from the trail system, and several sporting goods shops offering maps, advice, and gear, more and more Redding visitors are coming to town with running shoes in tow. Be sure to pick up your free trail map at the Redding Visitor Center in the Turtle Bay Coffee Bar and Store, or at area shops and lodging locations.

The New Shasta Cascade Weekend Sports Festival
The big news for runners, and of course cyclists and swimmers, in 2016 is the brand new Shasta Cascade Weekend Sports Festival, planned for Memorial Day Weekend. It’s an event so big, unique and fun, it takes three cities to make it happen. Northern California’s trifecta of recreation – Redding, Anderson and Shasta Lake – will join forces to offer athletes, families, and friends of all ages a festival getaway that will become a tradition for years to come. The natural jackpot of the region features Shasta Lake, California’s most significant body of water, plus the beautiful Sacramento River, and hundreds of miles of trails winding through scenic foothills. 

What better place to have a come-one-come-all bonanza of athletic fun? The Shasta Cascade Weekend Sports Festival will include a long course triathlon, a marathon and half marathon, Olympic distance tri and duathlons, 5K and 10K run/walks, non-competitive bike tours, and tons of kids events. Two thousand athletes are expected to tackle Shasta County’s finest outdoor courses, and the three-day weekend will be its own Sports Expo, packed with gear, clothing, health products, live entertainment, food and beverages, a beer garden, and all of the region’s usual beauty and adventure. Organizers believe the Shasta Cascade Weekend Sports Festival is on track to become one of the top athletic events in the West, and a destination race for athletes and families from across the nation. Registration is open now with special early bird pricing.

Additional details on Redding Running Events 
Redding feeds the hunger for year-round excitement and entertainment through its annual roster of cultural, food and wine, and sporting events. Running enthusiasts can find special events all year-round including:

Sac River Trail Marathon, October 24, 2015
Trail running is becoming more popular, and Redding is the place to experience it at its best! This marathon races along unpaved trails, offering a great way to see all the fall colors while you run. After a one-mile out-and-back on Shasta Dam, the Trail Marathon follows single-track trails down the Upper Sacramento Ditch trail, the Hornbeck Trail, and the 9.3 mile Francis Berg Trail, before joining the paved Sacramento River Trail for the last 5 miles to the finish, near the Sundial Bridge. The Marathon course is mostly flat or gently rolling with a net elevation loss of 800′. 

The Redding Marathon and Marathon Relay, January 17, 2016
The Redding Marathon is a Boston qualifying marathon known by avid runners as “26.2 with a view.” Enjoy a point-to-point race on paved trails that wind their way along the Sacramento River. This Shasta Dam to Sundial Bridge race also includes a 3-person marathon relay and the Sundial 5k for all ages. Watch for bald eagles, osprey and other wildlife as this route goes over the Shasta Dam, through an old railroad tunnel and across three historic bridges: Diestelhorst Bridge, the Ribbon Suspension Bridge and the world famous Sundial Bridge, which makes a stunning finish line.  

Running With The Bears Marathon, Half and 10K, August 20, 2016
A hidden emerald for outdoors enthusiasts ever since it was founded back in the late 1840s — thanks to its gorgeous green mountain views and wide, expansive alpine meadows — the Greenville area attracts thousands of bikers, hikers, campers, skiers and fishermen year-round. These days, it also welcomes the annual Running With The Bears Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K. The marathon is a Boston qualifier.

The Bizz Johnson Marathon, October 8 - 9, 2016
Runners in the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon (Boston qualifier), Half Marathon, 50K & 10K get one of those rare treats seldom found at any race event, whether road race or trail race: a course that’s nearly all downhill, which has made it known as the “fastest marathon in the West,” according to race organizers. This annual event travels through scenic Lassen National Forest in Westwood and Susanville. Not to be missed!

To discover all Redding has to offer this fall, including adventures, attractions and additional information about the many things to do and see, visit www.visitredding.com

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About Redding, CA
Situated at the northern end of the Sacramento River Valley, Redding is the hub city in Shasta Cascade and is located just two hours north of Sacramento and three hours northeast of San Francisco. Boasting 300+ days of beautiful weather a year, Redding offers outdoor adventure and attractions all year long, along with great wine, food, sporting and cultural events, dining, lodging and entertainment. The great Sacramento River runs through the center of town, helping earn Redding the fame of being America’s “Unofficial Capital of Kayaking” according to Time Magazine. Nearby scenic lakes, rivers, state and national parks, including Shasta Lake, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Lassen Volcanic National Park, make Redding a fantastic base-camp for exploration in Shasta Cascade, offering Any Adventure, Any Day. Redding is conveniently located at the crossroads of I-5 and California state routes 299 and 44, and is accessible by daily flights from San Francisco. For more information or to order a visitor’s guide, visit www.visitredding.com, like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/VisitReddingCA or find us on twitter at www.twitter.com/visitreddingca.  

About Shasta Cascade
Covering an area roughly the size of Ireland, the Shasta Cascade region is the perfect place to get back to nature, relax and enjoy the great outdoors. Comprised of eight rural counties historically known for being part of the pioneer gold rush in the mid-1800s, this majestic region of northern California is abundantly scattered with lakes, rivers, mountains and historic mining towns, and includes Lassen Volcanic National Park, two national monuments, six national forests and seven California state parks offering unforgettable fun and adventure. This area offers boundless outdoor recreation with magnificent landscapes and breathtaking vistas: from towering volcanoes, alpine ranges, and glaciers, to waterfalls, lush forests, pristine lakes, and roaring rivers; this travel destination is one of a kind. Shasta Cascade is easy to get to by auto, air, or Amtrak, and offers an off-the-beaten-path experience where people discover the abundance of nature in one of the few unspoiled areas remaining in California. For more information or to request a visitor’s guide, visit www.shastacascade.com, like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/ShastaCascade, or find us on twitter www.twitter.com/ShastaCascade. 

Media Contacts:

Susan Hartzler
Mental Marketing
818-585-8641
shartzler@mentalmarketing.com
www.mentalmarketing.com

Lisa May
Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association
530-365-7504
lisa@shastacascade.org
www.shastacascade.com 



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