Dogs, beer and ... doughnuts? Sacramento race schedule for March satisfies all types of runners

Spring is just around the corner and figures to be a perfect time for running before the hot summer months.

Sacramento’s prominent running and fitness community is bolstered by a slew of races to sign up for, whether for advanced runners or those new to running looking to create fitness goals. Some are for serious endurance runners, others include doughnuts (for charity) and dogs.

Here’s a quick rundown of races to look out for in March and how to sign up.

Way Too Cool 50K

When: March 2

Where: Cool (El Dorado County)

Type: Ultra

Participants: 500-1,000

This race calls itself the most sought-after 50K run in the country for those looking for a serious endurance test. It’s not for the faint of heart, as runners deal with with trails and massive elevations changes throughout the Sierra Nevada foothills. The race offers “delicious & hearty fare” after the race, along with a signature frog cupcake. The race costs $175 and has registration through Tuesday available on its website.

Donut Dash

When: March 9

Where: Land Park

Type: Charity run, competitive and non-competitive

The Donut Dash has been around since 2009 and nearly $1.5 million to the Sacramento area child Life programs and non profits. This year, the race’s selling point is straight forward: “4 miles & 4 donuts ... for hospitalized children!”

The race will start in Land Park, where competitive participants will run two loops, eat four doughnuts, and then run two more loops.

Non-competitive participants can be a little more relaxed, choosing to run (or walk) as far as they like, while choosing between three doughnuts, six doughnut holes or nothing at all if doughnuts aren’t their thing. Stops will be made during the race at Marie’s Donuts.

Registration costs $20 to $50, depending on age, distance and number of donuts (seriously!) and can be paid on the race’s website. The race is also accepting donations for UC Davis and Sutter children’s hospitals.

Shamrock’n Half Marathon, 5K, 10K and Leprechaun Dash

When: March 16-17

Where: Sutter Health Park

Type: 5K, 10K, Half-marathon

Participants: 1,000-5,000

One of Sacramento’s most popular annual races has options for just about any runner (or walker) looking to get outside on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The 5K, 10K and Leprechaun Dash will be held on Saturday, while the half marathon will be Sunday morning.

Those participating in races on both days will be awarded a “doubleheader” medal and commemorative shirt. Finishers of the 5K, 10K or half-marathon all receive shirts, a complimentary River Cats ticket, post-race meal and post-race beer (with proper identification, of course).

Registration costs range from $66.50 for single race participants to $151.00 for double headers and can be paid on the race’s website.

Folsom Lake Southside Trail Run

When: March 16

Where: Folsom Point State Park

Type: Kids run, mile, 5K, 10K, 9-mile, half marathon, 30K, 21-mile, trail marathon, 50K

Participants: 1-100

This run has options for all ages and ability levels along the shores of Folsom Lake on the Southside Trail. The race costs $20 to $115 on its website, depending on the distance, and $25 to $120 to register on the day of.

Mighty Dog Trail Runs

When: March 23

Where: Granite Beach, Folsom Lake State Recreation Area

Type: 5K and 10K; dogs allowed

This run is designed for runners and walkers who want to include their four-legged friends.

There are four divisions: small dog (up to 25 pounds), medium dog (26 to 60 pounds) and large dog (61 or more pounds) and Cani Cross (a running harness). The race costs $55 to $60, with $10 add-ons for additional dogs. Registration is available on the race’s website.

Folsom Lake Falcon Crest Trail Run

When: March 30

Where: Falcon Crest Parking Lot / Monte Vista Trailhead, El Dorado Hills

Type: 5K, 10K, 8-mile, half marathon

This trail run offers views from Folsom and Folsom Lake along rolling hills. The races cost $60 to $90, and registration can be paid online or the day of the race.