Running Adventures in Ventura

Screeeeeeech!!! Wait! Stop! It’s banana hammocks run amuck! Okay, so these greybeards in top hats have nothing to do with the outdoor running activities in Ventura, California, but really, could I have found a better photo to get you moving? If you’re ready to lace up something other than a mankini (like, say, your sneakers) there’s no better place to do it than Ventura, that scenic coastal town located between Malibu and Santa Barbara with miles of trails, roads and beachfront to run (and walk) on. From springtime half-marathons to outdoor boogie nights all summer long, there are so many ways to enjoy Ventura on foot. On your mark, get set, go! (Because do you really want to look the guys in the picture?)

Half-Marathon of the Harbors & Ventura Harbor 5K
Sunday, April 1
This race is one of a series of harbor runs throughout California. The flat and fast half-marathon course begins opposite the Ventura Harbor Village, winds through the Mandalay and Hollywood Beach neighborhoods in Oxnard and runs along the Channel Islands Harbor. The 5K gives sightseers a scenic tour of Ventura Harbor and the surrounding area. More info:

Earth Day Green Run
Saturday, April 14
Compete Green has partnered with the Ventura Earth Day Eco Fest to host a 10K, 5K and 1K kiddie “fun run” to coincide with the Earth Day festivities at Seaside Promenade Park. Following the race, runners and spectators can enjoy the popular Earth Day celebration which starts at 10am and includes free family-friendly entertainment, education, children’s activities, crafts, eco-friendly project displays and green exhibitor booths. More info: &

29th Annual Ventura County Law Day 5K Run/Walk
Saturday, May 19
The “flattest, fastest 5K in the West” takes off from the Ventura County Government Center. There will be $2,000 in total prizes for raffle winners along with t-shirts and food for all. Proceeds benefit the Ventura County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Services Program. More info:

Boogie Nights Summer 5K Run Series
Wednesdays, May 23-August 15
The first series of Boogie Nights will be at the oceanfront Ventura Beach Promenade, taking place eight consecutive Wednesdays (except July 4) from May 23 to July 18. The second phase will be on the trails of Ventura’s Arroyo Verde Park with four consecutive Wednesday evenings from July 25 to August 15. Participants can expect a fun and challenging weeknight workout and can hang out afterwards with friends and family. The race will raise money for Buena High School’s Cross Country Team. More info:

O2O Ojai 2 Ocean Marathon & Half-Marathon
Sunday, June 3
Although this marathon begins 700 feet above sea level in Ojai, the course gradually descends to the finish line near the Ventura pier. The O2O Half-Marathon is a fast point-to-point 13.1 mile course while the full marathon course is 26.2 miles of mountain and oceanfront scenery. The latter is a fast, USATF sanctioned Boston Marathon Qualifier and limited to the first 1000 entrants. More info:

City Impact’s 2nd Annual Ventura Beachfront Half-Marathon & 5K
Saturday, June 16
The half-marathon and 5K support City Impact, an outreach organization for at-risk youth and families in Ventura County. The races begin at the Ventura Pier and offer ocean views throughout. More info:

Vendurance Tribe Run Club
Wednesdays & Sundays
This run club offers structured track workouts on Wednesday nights, a Tribe technical run top, race discounts, discounts at Tri Running (10%-20% off) and club socials. (Membership is $50 for the year.) Sunday morning runs at 7:30am are open to members and visitors alike  and meet in front of the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the Ventura Beach Promenade. More info:

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K
Saturday, August 18
A low-key event for those who would rather walk (yes, please!), the third annual Making Strides Walk is a non-competitive 5K scenic morning event at Ventura Harbor, followed by a pancake breakfast. (Sounds like my kinda marathon.) More info:

Sulphur Mountain Road
This road near Ojai climbs gently for a good workout whether running or biking. Lake Casitas can be seen to the west while Santa Paula and the Santa Clara River Valley to the southeast. More info:

Arroyo Verde Park (Foothill at Day Road)
Follow Victoria North to its end at Foothill Road then turn left (west) until you come to Arroyo Verde Park on your right, about 1.5 miles west of Victoria Avenue opposite Day Road. A map is posted on a signboard next to the house at the entrance to the park. The park is a great array of trails and hills. More info:

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