by Nerissa Kresge
For skiers and snowboarders, winter’s end is a sad time of year. The snow begins to melt and the weather forecast predicts sunny and clear skies for days, if not weeks. Those sunny skies bring with them the perfect temperatures to head outside and run.
Exercise is one of the best things anyone, especially college students who need their brains, can do to keep their brain active and focused. John Medina, in his book “Brain Rules,” writes an extensive chapter on all of the benefits of staying active.
“All of the evidence points in one direction: Physical activity is cognitive candy,” Medina writes.
If you find yourself slipping into a boredom coma while reading a dense text on philosophy, stop reading, put your running shoes on and go for a run.
If that is not enough of a motivating factor, you might want to consider signing up for a race or two.
Master of business student Matt Didsbury has been running for more than 20 years. He has found that one of the best motivators for running on a consistent basis is running in races.
“[Races are] motivation for training — to set a goal and have to prepare for it,” Didsbury said.
Spokane has plenty of races to choose from.
One of the best resources in Spokane to find information about upcoming races is the Bloomsday Road Runners Club. There are also several websites that keep track of races, some of the best are active.com and runningintheusa.com.
Below is a list of some of the more interesting races to choose from in the next couple of months:
Rapid Rabbit Run — March 24
Runners of the Rapid Rabbit Run have the option of running a three mile run that is not timed, or a five mile run that is a second seed qualifying race for Bloomsday. Bloomsday has several different start times and earning a spot in the second seed places runners right behind the elite group.
The race starts at East Valley High School at 10 a.m. and costs $15. Money raised by the race benefits the EVHS class of 2012’s “Senior All-Knighter,” which is the after graduation party for the graduates.
“The Senior All-Knighter is a safe place for us to go after graduation,” said Cody Griffith, EVHS ASB president. “All the seniors who want to go to Hugos and hang out all night, for fun and games, bowling, food, and to win prizes for life after high school.”
A registration form can be found online.
Bloomsday — May 6
Spend a little time in Spokane and it is almost guaranteed someone will ask you if you have participated in Bloomsday.
Bloomsday stops activity in downtown Spokane for hours until the 12k (7.46 miles) is completed. Thousands of people (last year there was more than 56,000 people) put on their shoes and run in this race, competing with some of the top athletes in the world.
Registration for the race includes a finisher’s T-shirt and as many samples as you can possibly stick into your bag during the expo.
Online registration is quick and easy, and prior to April 22, it costs $17 (plus a transaction fee).
Over the Dam Run — May 12
Take a mini road trip and head to the Grand Coulee Dam to run either a 5k, 10k or half marathon. Coolest feature of the run? Participants get to run across the dam, which according to the Over the Dam Run’s website is the largest concrete structure in North America. The rest of the run follows the beautiful Columbia River and finishes in the middle of the Colorama Festival. Stick around and watch the rodeo or hang out in the carnival.
Registration can be done online and costs vary depending on the race.
Dirty Dash — June 16
The latest trend in running is racing through obstacle courses. These courses guarantee every participant leaves needing to change out of their muddy outfits. If you run this race, make sure there is a change of clothes in the car.
The Dirty Dash, Spokane edition, takes place in Riverside State Park Equestrian area and is about a 4.5-mile run taking you over walls, crawling through pipes, climbing on nets and slipping and sliding. The race benefits local charities, comes with a T-shirt and costs $45 if you register online before June 12.
Let’s Climb a Mountain — July 7
Running does not have to be a solo venture. Let’s Climb a Mountain is a 34 mile race that gives you the opportunity to create a team and run a relay (you can also run the race solo). The race starts at the clock tower in Riverfront Park and winds all the way up to the peak of Mt. Spokane.
Registration for the race can be done online. The cost for solo is $50 and the cost for a team is $20 per member.
Contact Nerissa Kresge at email@example.com.