Themed October Running Events in Northern California

October. The month that brings us pumpkin spice latte’s (er, PSL’s for you die-hards), much appreciated cooler weather, Halloween, Oktoberfest, apple and pumpkin picking, and of course, the changing leaves that make our photos so pretty and which we will eventually crunch under our shoes. 

It’s also one of the best months for outdoor running and walking in Northern California, given the mild temperatures. While on any given weekend, one can easily find half a dozen run/walks within a reasonable drive, today we’ve chosen to focus on the incredible range of thematic events that make October in Northern California particularly unique for runners and walkers. 

Theme: Beer

Our own event, Rocktobrewfest, is a spin off on our prior event (Oktobrewfest, which was based on the Oktoberfest celebrations). This event is centered around ‘brew’ and  good old ‘rock’ and roll. Hence, the name Rocktobrewfest. This event takes place at 5 o’clock – cause as you all know (even though Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet reminded us) it is always 5 o’clock somewhere. The event includes post-race music and beer, unique medals, and for those who don’t consume alcohol, are’t yet 21, or who are the designated driver, sno cones are also offered.

Featured Event: Rocktobrewfest

Theme: Beer and music, evening event
2019 Date: Saturday night, October 19
Location: Davis
Distances: 5K and 5 Mile
More Info: Link

Other  Oktoberfest/beer themed events in October 2019:

Theme: Halloween. 

With Halloween taking place at the end of the month, naturally there are some Halloween events! Find a costume, grab some friends, and take a whole album of selfies at a Halloween themed races this year.

We’ll be out at the longstanding tradition known as Pleasanton Rotary Spirit Run, which has moved from June to October and is embracing a Halloween theme this year. 

Featured Event: Pleasanton Rotary Halloween Spirit Run

Theme: Halloween
2019 Date: Sunday, October 27
Location: Downtown Pleasanton
Distances: 10K, 5K, Kids Runs
More Info: Link

Other Halloween themed events:

Theme: The Full Moon. 

Night races aren’t particularly common but they are so much fun! The Palo Alto Moonlight Run is a longstanding tradition of running or walking under the full moon, dating back all the way to 1985!! Entry includes a cotton long sleeve t-shirt, courses travel along the baylands (bring a headlamp!) and there are always tons of post-race snacks and samples from sponsors. 


Event: Palo Alto Weekly Moonlight Run

Theme: Full Moon
2019 Date: Friday night, October 11
Location: Palo Alto Baylands Athletic Center
Distances: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K Run, 5K Walk
More Info: Link



Theme: Cows.

Cows might not be your first thought when it comes to October, but the Urban Cow Half Marathon (formerly the Sacramento Cowtown Marathon, formerly the Sacramento Marathon) is a longstanding staple event for the running community at Sacramento’s William Land Park, dating back to 1976. 

You can earn that iconic cowbell medal this year on Sunday, October 6th.

Event: Urban Cow Half Marathon

urban cow 2019 logoTheme: Cows, cows and more cows 
2019 Date: Sunday, October 6
Location: Land Park, Sacramento
Distances: Half Marathon, Half Relay, 5K, Kids Runs
More Info: Link

Theme: Johnny Cash.

The Folsom Blues Breakout Half Marathon/5K is based on the existence of the Folsom State Prison and themed around Johnny Cash. Don your favorite black and white striped outfit and enjoy the hills along the American River on Sunday, October 20.


Event: Folsom Blues Breakout

Theme: Johnny Cash
2019 Date: Sunday, October 20
Location: Downtown Folsom
Distances: Half Marathon, Half Relay, 5K, Free Kids 1K
More Info: Link

Theme: Tarantulas.

This might be your only chance all year to run or walk a race that is tarantula themed. 

Held at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, this fall tradition has been running on eight legs since 2006. 


Event: Tarantula Run

Theme: all things arachnid
2019 Date: Saturday, October 12
Location: Los Vaqueros Reservoir, near Brentwood
Distances: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K, Free Kids Spider Scramble
More Info: Link

Theme: Mermaids.

This all-women’s event offers 5K, 10K and the Sirena 10 Mile, held in San Francisco. Mermaid dashes are held for kids. All finishers of the timed races receive a unique mermaid finisher necklace AND medal.


Event: Mermaid Run SF

Theme: Mermaids
2019 Date: Sunday, October 20
Location: Downtown San Francisco
Distances: 10 Mile, 10K, 5K
More Info: Link



Theme: The Goonies.

Goonies never say die. Enough said.

Event: Brazen Goonies Trail Adventure Run

Theme: The Goonies, skulls, treasures, all that good goonie stuff
2019 Date: Saturday, October 19
Location: Lagoon Valley Reservoir, Vacaville
Distances: Half Marathon, 10K (single track trails)
More Info: Link


Upcoming Events


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Maya Miramontes

Volunteer and Site Coordinator

Maya participated in her first A Change of Pace event at the age of 3 months. From there she followed her siblings in participating in a multitude of events from runs to kids’ triathlons. While growing up with parents who ran a sports marketing firm, she had no choice but to attend most events her entire youth life. Now as an adult, she has returned (by her own choice) and now serves as the volunteer and site coordinator. In addition, she has also been instrumental in the 2024 design and transitioning of our new website. We are fortunate to have her tackle one of the more critical areas that are considered the backbone of any event, volunteers. Maya resides in Davis and In her spare time she spends time as a dog trainer while simultaneously assisting other local nonprofit organizations such as the Yolo County SPCA and Cancer Champions.

Alec Miramontes

Event Oversight and Volunteer Management

Alec, a graduate of the University of Oregon, oversees course and volunteer management on event day. He also helps coordinate infrastructure set up and tear down, equipment management and assists with race timing.

Dave Miramontes

Executive Director

Dave brings an impressive 36 years of event production, marketing, advertising, and graphic design experience to the team. Dave has not only been a decorated athlete, but he also understands how good teamwork can lead to a successful outcome. Having 4 active kids has allowed him to stay involved in youth sports as well as being active within the community. As the Executive Director of A Change of Pace, he still enjoys his role as the logistics coordinator for all Foundation and outside client events. In addition, he oversees course design & safety, city & police relations, graphic design, advertising, marketing, and creative concepts. Dave resides in Davis with his wife Jen and has 4 very cool kids, all of which has worked at A Change of Pace at one point or another.

Jeannine Henderson

Treasurer, Assistant Race Director & Head Timer

Jeannine not only oversees the day-to-day operations; she handles one of the most critical elements within the organization; the registration and timing department. Aside from overseeing the computerized timing department and client/participant relations, she handles our social media and website changes and medal/award design. Her guidance and organizational skills have become a huge value to the organization as she provides much of the input on special projects such as the Tour De Fit.

Jennifer Miramontes

Board Member

Jennifer has over twenty years of experience in the marketing field, including positions as the Marketing Director for Chevys Fresh Mex restaurants and Real Mex restaurants. Jennifer also has extensive experience developing community programs geared towards children, having served on the Board of Directors for the Davis Schools Foundation as well as the Patwin PTA. Jennifer has a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Pepperdine University, and is also a certified personal trainer. A runner herself, Jennifer has completed numerous triathlons and over 50 marathons, including top age-group finishes in high profile events such as the Boston Marathon and the Rock N Roll Marathon. Jennifer owns FIT House in Davis and enjoys inspiring her clients to reach their fitness goals.