(credit: Daxiao Productions/shutterstock)

(credit: Daxiao Productions/shutterstock)


The Orange County climate and landscape lend themselves easily to running. The spring and summer months in 2016 offer some truly great marathons, half marathons and other foot races. A few notable races take place in extremely popular tourist areas, while others pit runners against the challenges of Mother Nature. Other events offer the chance to get really down and dirty. This spring, lace up those running shoes and check out these OC races.
(Credit: Courtesy of Irvine Lake Mud Run)

(Credit: Courtesy of Irvine Lake Mud Run)


Irvine Lake Mud Run
Oak Canyon Park
5305 Santiago Canyon Road
Silverado, CA 92676
www.irvinelakemudrun.com
Date: Saturday, June 18, 2016

Arguably one of the dirtiest races in Orange County, the Irvine Lake Mud Run guarantees that you will need a change of clothes. Conducted as part of KROQ’s “Summer of Mud,” the 5K race begins and ends at Irvine Lake, with plenty of wet mud and slop along the way. There’s also a “Mud Puddles” race for kids. After cleaning up, enjoy the food, beer garden and live music at this great location in Silverado.

(credit: Christopher Schmidt)

(credit: Christopher Schmidt)


Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend
Disneyland Resort
1313 South Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92803-3232
(407) 939-iRun (4786)
www.rundisney.com
September 1-4, 2016

Feel like you’ve walked miles and miles with the family at Disneyland? Then it’s time to lace up your running shoes at the Magic Kingdom. The half-marathon course (13.1 miles) takes runners through the California Adventure Park, Disneyland and out into the streets of nearby Anaheim. Mickey, Pluto and a host of other Disney characters will be on the course to cheer everyone on to victory. Serious runners can register for the Dumbo Double Dare, which means tackling the half-marathon and a 10K race. The Disneyland Half Marathon takes place over Labor Day weekend, so make sure to sign up early and reserve your hotel room in advance.

(credit: Emil C./yelp)

(credit: Emil C./yelp)


City of Laguna Hills Memorial Day Half Marathon
Parking available at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center
24451 Health Center Drive
and Laguna Hills Mall
24155 Laguna Hills Mall
Laguna Hills, CA 
(949) 975-8506
www.lagunahillshalfmarathon.com
Monday, May 30, 2016

Laguna Hills a great place to be on Memorial Day, especially if you like running. This annual event honors the United States Marine Corps Dark Horse Battalion. On May 30, this beautiful Orange County city hosts 5K and 10K races starting at 7 a.m. and the Kids Half-Mile Race begins at 9:30 a.m. The adult races winds its way through Laguna Niguel and Aliso Viejo as well making some beautiful scenery. For the little ones, there’s also a Diaper Dash for visitors ages 3 and under. The finish line is located at the Laguna Hills Community Center (LHCC) at 25555 Alicia Parkway, and approved parking is available at Saddleback Memorial Hospital and at the Laguna Hills Mall.

Related:  Best Running Clubs In Orange County

(credit: Craig F./yelp)

(credit: Craig F./yelp)


Rock It On The San Juan Hills
29211 Vista Montana
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
www.rockitracingoc.com
Saturday, June 4, 2016

San Juan is a beautiful city in Orange County with some of the toughest hills to tackle. This event offers 5K and 15K races beginning at 8:30 a.m., with awards given out afterward. Registration fees are $40 for the 5K and $50 for the 15K, which includes a custom race medal and T-shirt for all participants. While cooling down, San Juan Capistrano also is a great place to relax and enjoy some great food, craft beer and other libations.

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 31:  Fans enter Angel Stadium of Anaheim on Opening Day prior to the start of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on March 31, 2014 in Anaheim, California.  (Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

(Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


The Halo Mile @the Big A
Angels Stadium
2000 E Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA  92806
www.scausatf.org
Sunday, June 19, 2016

Driving through Anaheim, it’s hard to miss seeing the giant halo-covered “A” that marks the location of Angeles Stadium. The Halo Mile run takes participants around the Big A, with the first race starting at 8 a.m. There are divisions divided by age plus categories for race walking and wheelchair participants. The top three finishers in each division will receive a championship award.

Related: Best Races for Getting Dirty Near OC

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Steven Bryan calls Irvine, California his home. A freelance writer for more than 20 years, he has interviewed a wide range of notable celebrities, including a variety of up-and-coming musicians and artists as well. Passionate about movies and comic books, he also makes an annual pilgrimage to the San Diego Comic-Con.