A Flat-Out Race 'Round the Circle, Mall in Orange

Rick VanderKnyff is a free-lance writer who contributes regularly to The Times Orange County Edition.

Things have been a bit slow over the winter months, but now the running season is starting to pick up the pace.

Sunday will see the running of the popular 'Round Orange Race, a combined 5K and 10K event that starts near the Mall of Orange. Both courses proceed south along Tustin Street, with the 5K turning around just before Chapman Avenue.

The 10K turns right on Chapman and heads to the historic district before doubling back on the traffic circle and returning to the mall area. It's a flat, fast race: Course records on the 5K are 14 minutes, 12 seconds for Mark Junkerman and 16:45 for Kathy Smith; for the 10K, records are 29:30 for Alfred Vigueras and 33:24 for Kathy Bowman.

Even those who don't run times approaching those will be eligible for the best prizes, to be handed out after the race by random drawing, topped by a new car donated by race sponsor Toyota of Orange.

Runners who elect to register the day of the race should do so at Peralta Junior High School, behind the mall. The entry fee includes a pancake breakfast at Peralta after the race. (Non-entrants can take part for $3).

On a hardier note, the fourth annual Duathlon in Exile spring series is under way, with the second event set to take place Sunday in Foothill Ranch. The sprint course entails a 5K run, a 20K bike race and another 5K run and is includes described as challenging, with several short climbs and quick descents.

Race-day registration ($45 for Triathlon Federation members, $50 for non-members) will begin at 6:30 a.m., with the race at 8 a.m. The final event in the series takes place May 15 at Rancho Santa Margarita and is a regional qualifier for the world duathlon championships.

For location and other information, call (714) 858-7386.

* What: 'Round Orange Race, 10K and 5K, with 1-mile Kids Run at 8:45 a.m.

* When: Sunday, April 17, 7:30 a.m. (registration opens at 6 a.m.)

* Where: Race parking at Mall of Orange. Race starts at nearby Toyota of Orange.

* Whereabouts: From the Newport (55) Freeway, exit at Lincoln Avenue and go west to Tustin Street. Turn south and proceed to Mall of Orange, parking at southern end of lot.

* Wherewithal: $20 (includes T-shirt and pancake breakfast).

* Where to call: (714) 385-8110.

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