TAKE YOUR MARK & RUN NEWPORT BEACH
From trails to races, Newport Beach has many options for active runners of all ages. For instance, the 35th annual Corona del Mar Scenic 5K, occurred on June 4, throughout our picturesque seaside city. This 3.1-mile road race attracts about 1,000 runners each year. Beginning on Ocean Boulevard and winding through our charming neighborhoods, the event featured separate heats for men, women and kiddos: Athletes under age 12 are divided into three age groups and challenge one another in the timed, 2-mile Dolphin Dash series. Here are more great ways to “run Newport Beach”!
From mellow, paved paths to rugged dirt trails, Newport Beach offers a diverse network of routes for you to get in shape. Whether you’ve signed up for the 5K for a leisurely, social jog or you’re a competitive runner, the perfect practice run is right here. For easier outings, hit the asphalt that snakes about 3 miles along the coast at Crystal Cove State Park. You’ll pay a parking fee to access the park, but the sweeping ocean views and salty breeze are well worth the $15. Mid-evening is an especially epic time to take this path; catch the sun dip below the horizon as it lights the sky up with a spectrum of colors, and birds circle the shallow waters during their dinner hour. If you’d prefer to go barefoot and get your toes wet, head down to the beach beside Crystal Cove’s Historic District (where the cluster of colorful cottages are nestled). Low tide leaves behind a swath of compact sand along the shore, providing the perfect terrain for a low-impact jog all the way to Reef Point. Want to up the intensity a bit? Dip your feet in the surf and then into the soft sand, and really work those muscles as you move.
Newport’s Back Bay is another great location for a paved run — whatever your level. Upper Newport Bay’s 10.5-mile loop trail winds around the body of water, with multiple entry points, beautiful views and interesting places to stop (take a water break at the Peter and Mary Muth Interpretive center or the Science Center at Shellmaker Island, for instance). Outdoor enthusiasts and bird-lovers will enjoy this spot above all others.
If a run through the local wilderness is more your speed, hop to the “inland” side of the park — during this time of year, you’ll want to stick to coastal trails, complemented by a cool breeze on your descent. The 4-mile El Moro Canyon loop is considered moderate, but the inclines and declines make for a more intense run (as does your pace, of course). A longer stretch — a little over 10 miles — can be had in Newport Coast from Bommer Ridge to Moro Ridge. The trails are marked with maps, but it’s best to pull one up on your Smartphone, as they can get a bit confusing.
When running in the hills, always be on the lookout for fellow adventurers — hikers, mountain bikers and even horseback riders. If you’re going to listen to music, use only one ear bud and stay alert. It goes without saying that plenty of water and a hefty layer of sunscreen are also essential, as you’ll be exposed to the elements.
You’ve registered for the race, picked a few practice routes, and now you just need some proper running attire. First and foremost, you’ll want comfortable shoes. Even if you’ve been training barefoot in the sand, you’ll need to break in a pair for the road race. Nike Running in Fashion Island will help you find the perfect fit, and you can find “barefoot” running shoes like the Nike Free here, too. If you opt for kicks that require socks, slip on a pair of Nike Dri-FITs to absorb the sweat and avoid blistering.
Also on the “island” is Lululemon Athletica, featuring an array of running attire for men and women. From breathable sports bras and tanks to high-cut shorts and snug spandex to accessories like hats and headbands, this outfitter has got you covered. Around the corner, Athleta for women offers many similar options, with the addition of a running skirt.
Head over to Whole Foods for some extra fuel to stash in your fanny pack: Kleen Kanteen water bottles, energy bars, granola and other good finds line these health-food shelves.