Races in San Diego

Fall Races in San Diego and How to Prepare for Them


Fall is a beautiful time for running outside, especially in sunny California! Here is a list of races in San Diego from now until just after Thanksgiving that will provide you with a chance to have fun, meet new people, and get great exercise, whether you’re a seasoned runner or this is your first race. The key is moving your body and feeling good while doing it.


Training Tips

If this is your first race, go easy on yourself to start. Begin at a slower pace and exercise for shorter times throughout the day. Work your way up to moving faster and more extended periods as you get stronger. Once you can do 30 minutes at a time, start on a regular training schedule. 

Engage in a mix of running, walking, and resting to prepare for your race. A good balance of these three reduces the risk of injury, stress, and fatigue. And you can always mix in exercises such as swimming, cycling, or rowing to build strength and endurance while maintaining variety in your training schedule. Slowly, you’ll run more and walk less each day. Here’s a sample training schedule from the Mayo Clinic that you can adapt to your needs.


Preparing for the Big Day

From how much sleep to what to eat, here are a few tips for getting ready for race day:

  1. Get at least 7-9 hours of sleep the night before your race.
  2. Have a nutritious breakfast.
    1. Unless you are active for 90 minutes or more, don’t try to load up on carbs. Too many carbs can make you feel sluggish.
  3. Stay hydrated.
  4. Do a pre-race warmup to get your body ready.


Fall Races In San Diego

This fall, don’t miss these great race opportunities in America’s Finest City!


San Diego Triathlon Challenge by the Challenged Athletes Foundation

When: Sunday, October 23rd 

Cost: $100 for individual registration, $0 for challenged athletes (see details on the website) 

1-MILE SWIM, 36-MILE BIKE, 10-MILE RUN. The San Diego Triathlon Challenge, presented by Dan & Geof, invites participants to swim, bike, and run. Your fundraising efforts will support challenged athletes with grants for adaptive sports equipment, coaching, and competition expenses. Options: Full tri, swim, bike, run only, or select multiple segments. They also offer individual and relay team options. 

See the website here!


Lake Hodges Trail Runs

When: Saturday, October 22nd-Sunday October 23rd
Cost: Ranges from $15 to $145-Bundle to Save!

THE LAKE HODGES TRAIL RUNS & OFF ROAD RUN/BIKE is an annual trail running experience you don’t want to miss. They offer something for the whole family to enjoy. Choose from the Lake Hodges 50K, 15K, 10k, 5k, and bring the kids for the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run!

Check out the website here.


Marine Corps Bootcamp Challenge 

When: Saturday, October 22nd (registration closes October 19th) 

Cost: $45 per person, $225 per five-person team, $5 Military Discount for active-duty military 

The Boot Camp Challenge is a 3-mile race at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Area. Marine Corps Drill Instructors will be encouraging and motivating runners along the course. This trail is designed to give an idea of what men and women face when training to be marines. The race is meant for all fitness levels. 

Click here to view the website.


Furilicious 5k/10k Pup Run

When: Saturday, October 29th

Cost: $35 in-person, $30 virtual

Join your fellow dog-loving San Diegans as they run for (and with) pups! Our inaugural 5K/10K pup run will raise money for both Second Chance K9 rescue founded by former Green Beret and San Diegan, Travis Hall, and the San Diego County Deputy Sheriffs Foundation. Bring the whole family and your well-behaved pup to this fun-filled event! Early risers can join in on a free group class to help prepare their body for the run/walk or stroll. 

See the website here! 


Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5k

When: Thursday, November 24th 

Cost: $45 for adult fun runners, $50 for timed runners, $30 for youth (under 18) fun runners, $35 for timed youth runners

San Diego’s original & longest-standing Thanksgiving Day turkey trot is back in town at the beautiful Balboa Park! Help provide life-changing meals to feed hungry neighbors in need through Father Joe’s Villages’ Food Services Program. 

Check the event website here.


Black Mountain Turkey Burner 

When: Sunday, November 27th
Cost: Half Marathon: $84.00, 10K: $54.00, 5K: $39.00

The Turkey Burner is, you guessed it, a race designed to burn off all the turkey you consumed at Thanksgiving! All runners will start and finish at the Black Mountain Community Park. Both the Half and 10K will experience some major “hill” climbing on some very technical trails, while the 5K will feature some smaller hills with a little more groomed, less technical dirt trails. All courses are 100% dirt trail with elevation gains up to 2000′ for the Half Marathon.

Check out their website here.


There are many ways to experience fall in the city, but these races in San Diego are the perfect opportunity to enjoy the season and bring the whole family along for a fun and healthy time out in town. Interested in viewing other plans for the entire family? Visit our local activities page to find fun fall experiences for you and your family in San Diego!


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