Less than one month remains before the area’s biggest running event of the year.
The Two Cities Marathon & Half, now in its 15th year and ninth with a full marathon, is Nov. 6 in north Fresno and Clovis.
None of the races are sold out, though remaining spots are limited – just more than 300 are left for the marathon and 200 in the Clovis half.
The full course begins at Friant Road, then takes runners into Old Town Clovis via the Fresno-Clovis Rail and Sugar Pine trails. Runners will loop back the way they came, then north onto Friant until the turnaround just south of Willow Avenue for the final 5-mile stretch into Woodward Park.
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The Clovis half does not include the out-and-back along Friant. The Fresno half follows both courses before turning around at Cedar and Shepherd avenues and returning to Friant Road for the final 10 miles.
Registration is $125 for the marathon and $105 for the half-marathons (run, walk and relay).
Local Ironman – Local triathlete Chris Montross will attempt to defend his men’s 55-59 age division title at the Ironman World Championship on Saturday in Kona, Hawaii.
A year ago, the 56-year-old airplane pilot from Clovis finished the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and marathon in 10 hours, 6 minutes and 35 seconds – more than 10 minutes ahead of the next competitor in his age group and fast enough for 342nd overall.
He qualified for this year’s Boston Marathon, completing that in 3:02:15.
Last month, Montross was second in his division and 89th overall at the Ironman 70.3 Santa Cruz in 4:48:34. Formerly known as the Big Kahuna Triathlon, the event consists of a 1.2-mile swim, 56-mile bike ride and a half-marathon.
Get updates on Montross at www.facebook.com/ChrisMontrossIRONMAN.
Birding for beginners – A free Introduction to Birding course is being offered by the Fresno Audubon Society, Sierra Foothill Conservancy and the San Joaquin River Gorge Special Recreation Management Area.
The first class is 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 22 at the San Joaquin River Gorge. Participants will learn how to identify migrating and local year-round birds.
▪ On Monday, the San Joaquin River Parkway Trust will celebrate Christopher Columbus Day with a birding hike at Lost Lake Park. Led by guide and retired entomologist Judy Johnson, participants will hike about 1 mile over two hours. Some loaner binoculars will be available, but it is recommended participants bring their own. The group will meet at the River Center at 8:30 a.m. and carpool to the park. Children 12 and older are welcome; dogs are not allowed. For information, contact Molly Schnur-Salimbene at firstname.lastname@example.org or 559-248-8480 x104.
▪ The Fresno Audubon Society will have its biweekly birding walk Oct. 12. The group will meet at 7:30 a.m. at the River Center, birding the Hidden Homes trail and neighboring ponds until noon. For more details and to RSVP, call trip leader George Folsom at 559-351-7192.