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Mammoth Mountain 5K race to the top, using snowshoes, skis or sneakers

Mammoth Mountain 5K race to the top, using snowshoes, skis or sneakers
On your mark, get set ... well, these aren't real contenders. They are posing as a runner, snowshoer and cross-country skier for Mammoth Mountain's first 5K race to the top on April 4. (Peter Morning / Mammoth Mountain Ski Area)

Start training now if you like the rush of racing at high elevation at night.

Mammoth Mountain will host the first Ezakimak (that's "kamikaze" spelled backward) 11,053-Foot Full Moon Challenge on April 4 in which contestants compete on foot, in snowshoes or on cross-country skis.

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It's a 5K race that climbs a punishing 2,000 feet to the top of the popular ski mountain under a "pink moon." According to the Farmers' Almanac, a pink moon celebrates the arrival of the first spring flowers, wild pink phlox.

Athletes of all abilities are welcome. You can sign up in six categories: run, cross-country ski and snowshoe -- or "novice" in the same categories.

The Ezakimak Challenge begins at 7 p.m. from the mountain's Broadway Express lift. Awards will be handed out starting around 8:20 p.m. at the finish line atop the mountain.

It costs $40 per person, which covers the race, beer at the finish line, DJs along the way, bag check and a gondola ride back down the mountain.

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