Best Upcoming Running Races for Fall in Los Angeles

October 20, 2012 6:00 AM

Los Angeles’ classically sunny weather lends itself to year-round racing events. Whether you are a runner, speedwalker, adventurist or socializer, the Los Angeles area has the perfect race for you this fall. Pack up the family, train up a little and hit the pavement for the best upcoming races this fall.

LA Cancer Challenge 5K/10K Walk/Run and Kids Can Cure Fun Run
Veterans Administration Grounds in West LA
Cross streets: Brentwood and Santa Monica to the west

Price: $40 5/10K registration/$45 after Oct. 24/$20 kids’ run/$25 after Oct. 24/$10 parking
Hours: Oct. 28 10K – 7:30 a.m.; 5K – 9 a.m.

If you’re looking for an opportunity for the whole family to don Halloween costumes and prepare for an event that is healthier than collecting candy, this is the event for you. This year marks the 15th-annual run for the Hirshberg Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.  This kid-friendly race is one of the few that allows children to accompany an adult on the 5K/10K walk/run. Children running in the Kids Can Cure Run, a 1K run or walk open to children younger than 10, must be registered and will receive a finisher’s prize. The huge expo beginning before the races at 7 a.m. and continuing until after finish times features music, food, health and fitness booths, and costume contests.

Conejo Valley Halloween Mud Run
Dos Vientos Community Park
4801 Borchard Road
Newbury Park, CA

(805) 375-1003

Price: $65/$85 for the short or long course/ $60 to $80 per person for the short or long course
Date: Oct. 28

If your family boasts a more earthy, competitive edge, here’s a Halloween-themed adventure mud run that people of all ages can enjoy.  On top of traditional mud-run obstacles such as crawls, tunnels and wall climbs, the seasonal obstacles of hay bales, a grave area and the Mountain of Misery give this run an element of Halloween macabre. Benefiting the Thousand Oaks Teen Center, two courses are offered: the 5K short course designed for family fun, and a 10K long course for the more serious athlete. There is even a Kiddies Mud Run for children ages 10 and younger,  free of charge.

We Run The City: USC vs. UCLA Rivalry Run/UCLA
UCLA Intramural Field

10920 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
(310) 825-4321

Price: $35 per runner
Hours: Nov. 11 – 9 a.m.

Whether you are an athlete, fan or alumni of either university, this is a great way to kick off Rivalry Week before the USC vs UCLA football match-up. This 5K run benefiting Special Olympics Southern California requires each runner must declare allegiance to either USC  or UCLA upon registration or donation to the race. Each week day until the race, the race’s website displays the percentage of participants each team has registered, fueling competition at every level. After the Veteran’s Day 5K, bragging rights will be awarded to either Team USC or Team UCLA in the categories of most donations, most registered runners and fastest runners. Of course, no college tailgate party would be complete without music, food, merchandise and a beer garden, which will all be featured at a Fan Fest throughout the race.

Griffith Park Trail Half Marathon and 10K
4730 Crystal Springs Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Price: $135 half marathon/$75 10K
Hours: Nov. 17 and Nov. 18 – 8:30 a.m.

Enjoy the crisp autumn air and the beautiful scenery in Hollywood’s historic Griffith Park. The half marathon and 10K are separate races on separate days, requiring separate registrations. For those who are game to participate in both, a series commemorative medal will be awarded. Griffith Park’s trails, caves and hills are fully explored on these race courses. Veterans promise the Whole Food’s lunch provided to all finishers is one of this race’s highlights.

The 35th Annual Dana Point Turkey Trot
Dana Point Chamber of Commerce
24681 La Plaza Suite 115
Dana Point, CA

(949) 496-1555

Price: $40, $45 and $55 for the 5K, 10K or both races/$50, $55 and $65 on-site for the 5K, 10K or both races/$12 kid’s gobble wobble race
Hours: Nov. 22 10K – 7 a.m.; 5K 7:30 a.m.

This Turkey Trot is the perfect way for the whole family to work up an appetite Thanksgiving morning. The 5K and 10K courses cover Dana Point’s famously majestic beaches, cliffs and coves while proceeds benefit Dana Point 5th Marine Regiment Support Group to provide support and outreach for deployed Marines. Active, retired and reserve members of the military receive 50 percent off of their registration fee. Children ages 5 to 12 may participate in the Gobble Wobble run.

Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on

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