Falls & Flowers 

Pray for no rain

SUN 3/13 Who knows what evil -- or good -- lurks in the heart of the sky this weekend? Only the shadow knows (and maybe that funny little guy who controls the weather from inside Mt. Tam). Well, let's pray for sunny skies, because the Berkeley Hiking Club has a lovely, hearty trek planned for Sunday: Waterfalls & Wildflowers -- Mt. Diablo State Park begins at 9:30 a.m. at the Donner Canyon trailhead and takes some steep, narrow trails to a 1,300-foot elevation gain. Sticks are recommended on this six-miler; call 925-944-9068 for trail conditions the day before. Heavy rain cancels. BerkeleyHikingClub.pair.com -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 3/13

Get Yer Irish Up

... and running in Dublin

Roses are red, violets are bluish; a leprechaun told us St. Patrick was Jewish: Anybody can get a running start on St. Paddy's Day by participating in the seventh annual City of Dublin Shamrock 5K Fun Run and Walk this weekend. Stroll or trot the 3.1-mile certified course to a post-race celebration featuring refreshments, entertainment, and drawings for prizes that include round-trip tickets anywhere Southwest can take you. The first 1,500 preregistered participants get a goodie bag and a T-shirt. The Alameda County Firefighters Local 55 and the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs' Association are sponsoring a competition between Dublin elementary schools, with cash prizes ($150-$550) awarded to the Parent Faculty Clubs at the schools based on the total registration received from each one. Preregister online at Active.com, or show up at the race site, Shamrock Village Shopping Center (Amador Valley Blvd. at Regional St.), at 7:30 a.m. on the day. Start time is 8:30 a.m. – Stefanie Kalem

SAT 3/12

Chopping Flock

Channel your inner Mr. Miyagi at the Lone Wolf Karate Championship, the kickoff event for the 2005 Gold Cup Circuit. Starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, Albany High School will be the venue for division competitions ranging from ages five and younger first-time kata (choreographed fight sequence) to women's 29-and-older middleweight and men's 49-and-older heavyweight kumite (sparring). New this year are the adult Chinese kata divisions. The entire day is in honor of Great Grand Master Charles Gaylord, an author and longtime San Leandro instructor who, in 1995, was awarded a tenth-degree black belt in the hard- and heavy-hitting art of kajukenbo. Online registration is closed, but you can still pay $55 at the door to compete (or watch for free). Info: Active.com and GoldCupCircuit.com -- Stefanie Kalem

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