Davis is a wonderful city.
In 1966, city planners began adding bicycle lanes to the streets, driving a cultural identity that would further shape the city for decades to come. There are now over 100 miles of Bike Lanes and Bike Paths throughout the City and surrounding area, and these miles of pathways are shared by walkers and runners alike.
Davis offers a breadth of bicycle and running events throughout the year, most recently the Labor Day Races, hosted by the well-dressed Golden Valley Harriers.
From the GVH website:
Our Labor Day Races celebrates a true grass-roots community event organized entirely by volunteers. For the past Seven (7) years, the event has raised over $10,000 per year for local schools, Team Davis and other community running programs. Additionally, the races serve as a featured event for cultural exchange with visiting runners from Davis’ Sister City – Inuyama, Japan. Each year, Taiko drummers start the races with a bang!
It is as delightful as it sounds.
Two years ago, my wife and I ran our first GVH Labor Day race, finishing the 5k together.
We ran together, marking her first running race ever, and my first official barefoot race.
The 2015 Event
On a whim, we signed up for the race again this year, as it is a very stroller-friendly course. When Monday rolled around we piled into the car, grabbed a cup of coffee and a bagel each and made out way to Davis.
We arrived at the starting location in Central Park, where the Davis Farmer’s market is held, to pick up our bibs and enjoy the pre-race buzz. Bib pick-up was a cinch, as the Harriers handle logistics….in stride. *ba dum tss*. They also have a multitude of laptops, lined up and open to their timing results; allowing every runner to access their official times within moments after finishing.
The Taiko drummers provide the heartbeat of the event; their rhythmic music creating both atmosphere and excitement.
There was also a 5k Doggy Dash and Kid’s Fun Run, both of which were a treat to watch.
We even bumped into some friends from the AR50!
The course was well marked; offering a fast, flat, scenic tour through Davis – certainly a place to PR if you are looking to do so. Many local residents and students of UC Davis are on the sidelines to cheer the runners on as well, from the kids with signs to the shirtless frat boys with the letters R-U-N-N-G-I-N on their chests.
…wait a sec…..get back on the end, Jeff….R-U-N-N-I-N…G…much better.
For the 10K, there is one aid station at mile marker 1/mile marker 5 (the course loops back and the first and last mile are the same) providing cups of water and nothing more. You should not need to eat anything during a 6 mile effort, but if you need water – bring a handheld.
There is not much else to say other than it is a wonderful race, at a great price ($28-$32 depending on when you sign up) with a great technical shirt included in the deal. You won’t walk away with a finishers medal, but if you take an overall time or age group, you can score a sweet pint glass.
If you are in the Sacramento/Davis area and are looking for a fun, inexpensive, and family friendly event – add this one to your calendar. You’ll love it.
- Parking is free and in great supply. Don’t worry!
- Porta-potties provided, in ample supply, but only a single men’s/woman’s public park facility [think prison cell] half way.
- Bring a handheld for water if you want.
- Enjoy Davis! It is a beautiful city filled with lovely houses, fantastic restaurants, pubs, shops, and culture. Make a day of it.
-The Winged Ling
Golden Valley Harriers