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Now, Three Super Ways to Gain Shoreline Yardage

<i> Rick VanderKnyff is a member of the Times Orange County Edition staff</i>

Southern California’s marathon season is coming up, with Long Beach on Feb. 5 and Los Angeles on March 10.

And for runners looking for a tuneup event, the Super Bowl Sunday Shoreline run will premiere Jan. 29 (natch) in Huntington Beach. Three distances--a 5K, 10K and half-marathon--are offered.

The event began life as the Big Game Stampede, a 5K in Santa Ana, sponsored for the past two years by the Dana Point-based RacePace Promotions.

“We have moved it to a prettier location,” said Scott Muirhead of RacePace. Not only is the scenery new, but the two longer distances have been added.

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Based on early registrations, Muirhead expects to attract more than 1,000 runners, with the half-marathon being the most popular event. Two-thirds of the registrations that had been received as of early this week were for the half-marathon.

All three distances are out-and-back courses, heading north from the Huntington Beach Pier and then along the bluffs “on the wet side of PCH,” Muirhead said.

The 5K will start at 7:30 a.m., the 10K and half-marathon together at 8 a.m. After the race, a tailgate party is planned at the Huntington Beach Beer Co.

On Saturday night, the restaurant, a race sponsor, will hold a “carbo party” for race participants from 5 to 8, with pasta and a soft drink (or specialty ale) for $6. The brew pub is at Walnut and Main streets, a block from the pier.

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An alert for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians: All county backcountry trails were closed during the recent storms, and most remain closed. Some county parks reported moderate storm damage, but the trails are closed primarily to let them dry. (Mountain bikes in particular can do terrific damage to wet trails.)

Reopenings will depend on the weather, so it’s best to call ahead. Whiting Ranch Regional Park will probably remain closed at least another week, ranger John Gannaway said.

The backcountry of Crystal Cove State Park is off-limits, while the portion on the ocean side of Coast Highway remains open.

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The closures are indefinite, but a Crystal Cove ranger estimated it would be at least a couple of weeks.

Call (714) 494-3539 for Crystal Cove and (714) 589-4729 for Whiting Ranch.

What: Super Bowl Sunday Shoreline 5K, 10K and half-marathon.

When: Sunday, Jan. 29: 7:30 a.m. for the 5K and 8 a.m. for the 10K and half-marathon. Race-day registration opens at 6 a.m.

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Where: Starts at Huntington Beach Pier.

Whereabouts: Take Pacific Coast Highway to Main Street in Huntington Beach. There are several large parking lots and structures near the pier.

Wherewithal: $17, including T-shirt, through today; $20 beginning Friday, Jan. 20.

Where to call: (714) 661-6062.

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* RECREATION LISTINGS, Page 22


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