Devotees of the Valley Runner of the Year Series have to wait until next month to get their groove on.
For the first time in recent memory, the popular race series does not have a January event after the Break the Barriers Dream Run was canceled after an 18-year run. Instead, the 2013 schedule begins Feb. 16 with the Race Judicata Fun Run in Old Town Clovis.
"It's the first time in many, many years that we won't have a January race," series organizer Ken Takeuchi said. "But that's OK. Everything works out."
Joining the 15-race series is the Fiesta Run on Oct. 12. The 5-mile Fiesta Run will be the first series race held in Reedley and the third during October.
The switch from the Dream Run to the Fiesta Run represents the first change to the series schedule in several years.
"The Fiesta Run is a good event, so everything is going to be all right," Takeuchi said.
Beginning its 27th year, the Valley Runner of the Year Series pits local runners against each other in a combination of distances in three age groups: open division (39 and under), masters (40-49) and seniors (50 and over).
The 15 races are divided into three point categories (10, 20 and 30) based on factors such as history and attendance.
A runner's point total is then determined by his or her three best finishes in each category.
Winners from 2012 were Matthew Morales of Visalia (men's open), Andrea Samansky of Fresno (women's open), Oswaldo Lopez of Madera (men's masters), Julia Johnson of Reedley (women's masters), Nestor Ayala of Coalinga (men's seniors) and Katherine Bilello of Fresno (women's seniors).
Morales, Samansky and Johnson were all first-time overall winners.
More than 1,200 individual runners scored at least one point in last year's series, Takeuchi said.
Valley Runner of the Year Series details: proracegroup.com.
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