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Summer races worth running

A round up of summer races that local runners won't want to miss.
Underwriting support from:

Read and Run with Scott Jurek

Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek will be at Schuler Books & Music at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 21. He will talk about his new book, "Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

Jurek, who has won the 100 mile Western States Endurance Run seven times, is vegan, which is unusual for a runner of his caliber.
Before the book event, local runners can join Jurek on a trail run at 5:30 p.m. at Robinettes. Registration is requested.

Runner with Steam Pig

Runner with Steam Pig /Josh Duggan

Color Run Denver, Colorado

Color Run Denver, Colorado /Josh Hunter

Cover of Eat and Run

Cover of Eat and Run /Courtesy of Scott Jurek

Even though a few weeks have passed since the 5/3 River Bank Run, most runners that took on Grand Rapids' big race are still fit and race-ready. That's good because the Grand Rapids area has a few races coming up that should not be missed.

Saturday, June 9--South of town a few miles in Cutlerville, the Brian Diemer Amerikam 5k kicks off at 9 a.m. at Legacy Christian Middle School. Anyone who beats three-time Olympian Brian Diemer gets a donut. Registration is $25.

Sunday, June 10--Run as 1: be part of West Michigan's Pride by running a 5k race. The race begins at 10 a.m. at Richmond Park. Relax afterward with GLBT pride people and others who support them. Registration is a bargain at $10.

Saturday, June 16--Hurt the Dirt race series. Choose from a 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon trail race through the hardwood forest of Ada's Seidman Park around 8 a.m. "Many trail runners find Seidman Park to be the finest running trail in West Michigan. The trail surface is fast and hard, with a few hilly and rooty sections to keep things interesting. No trail race has been held here before. We're grateful to Kent County Parks and director Roger Sabine for allowing us to race. We hope it will be a venue for years to come," said Mark VanTongeren, race director. This off-road race is organized by the people who have brought a whole series of new races to the community--Michigan Adventure Racing. For a year now they've staged several urban adventure races and a zombie dash and this Hurt the Dirt is the latest offering. In addition to the three timed races, there's a family kids run, too. "Street runners who are trying trails for the first time may not run a personal record for the distance, but many find that running through such beautiful terrain takes their mind off fatigue. They actually run quite fast and discover a fantastic new format for running," he said. Fees vary. Patagonia Footwear and Gazelle Sports are sponsors of this race.

Saturday, June 30--Reeds Lake Run. The 10k will take you around the lake. There's also a 5k and kids run for this popular event. Race starts are staggered and begin around 8 a.m. Fees start at $25, less for kids race.

Wednesday, July 4--Out in Lowell at Fallasburg Park there's the odd T-Rex Ten Miler. This is a trail run with the funkiest website around. Less than 100 finishers so pretty much everyone places in their age group. No online registration, just a pink and yellow printable mail in form. Fees: $20. For wimps running the 8k, just $!0. Race starts at 8 am.

Sunday, August 5--Grand Rapids Color Run. Another new race and probably the most interesting. Runners and walkers take a 5k route that begins and ends in downtown Grand Rapids. Runners wear white and at each kilometer marker they are voluntarily splashed with a non-toxic, supposedly edible (but not tasty) powder paint. When it is all done, participants are full of color. Start time is established closer to race date, but is somewhere between 8-10 a.m. The website promises a post-race party with live music. The Color Run Grand Rapids is part of a national tour of races. Fees vary with registration date, but are generally $45.

Happy running!

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