Calling all Sport Utility Persons

SAT 7/19

If the idea of competing in an endurance TV reality show ever appealed to you, but the idea of going without soap and pork rinds for six weeks is a bit too extreme, then the Red Tail Adventure Race on Saturday is for you. The race will allow you to jog, pedal, and row yourself ragged, and still make it home for hotcakes in the morning and a few hours of licking your wounds before heading back to work on Monday. But be forewarned: The race, held at Briones Park, nestled between the towns of Lafayette and Martinez, is not for slackers, beginners, or those who get winded reaching for the TV remote. Athletes competing in this adventure have to be serious endurance freaks with a good pair of running shoes, a mountain bike, and of course a kayak. You have to figure that if you own your own kayak, you're pretty serious about outdoors sports. But actually, if you don't have one, a limited number will be available for rent.

The race, described as a "nonstop, multidiscipline team event," includes six miles of kayaking on the San Pablo Reservoir, twenty-plus miles of mountain biking up hills that top out at a 3,000-foot altitude, and a half-dozen miles of off-road running. Winners are determined on an overall point basis. Participants are encouraged to bring compasses and topographic maps, and the race can take from five to eleven hours to complete. Log on to BigBlueAdventure.com for more information or to register for any of the competitions. -- Tony Hayes


Toe to Tow

Q: So why do they call it the 2003 Malibu Open when it takes place in Sacramento? A: Because Malibu Boats is the biggest sponsor. Watch the water-skiers whiz by on Sacramento's Bell Acqua Lakes this weekend in the world-record-capability, cash-prize event, which is open to anyone who meets the requirements. They'll have their hands full with water-ski jumping and competing in the slalom, tricks, and wakeboarding events for men and women -- not to mention trucks, energy drinks, helmets, wetsuits, lube (huh?), beer, engines, and beef jerky, among other items on sale from the vendors. $10 adults, $5 kids under ten. MalibuSeries.com -- Kelly Vance


Swim in It

Every summer there are scads of movies about water sports. But popcorn and subtitles are no match for the real thing -- Berkeley's Swim Program . There are four heated, outdoor pools available, all but one offering lessons and laps for all ages (the Berkeley High pool, at 2246 Milvia St., gives disabled swimmers and folks 55 and older the chance to exercise and swim). Visit www.ci.berkeley.ca.us/recreation/swimschedule.html for registration information, fees, hours, and classes at the Willard Pool (2701 Telegraph Ave.), West Campus Pool (2100 Browning St.), and King Pool (1700 Hopkins St.), or call 510-981-5150 for details. -- Stefanie Kalem

SUN 7/20

Take It on the Lam

Try Dublin's Jail Break Run

No, Thin Lizzy is not going to flee from the Alameda County SWAT Team at Sunday's Jail Break Run at the Alameda County Deputy Sheriffs' Office Training Center in Dublin -- but the SWAT Team will be there, you betcha. Four separate events to choose from: 5K, 10K, kids' half-mile, and kids' mile. The 5K is a fast, flat figure-8 loop; the 10K is flat except for one hill -- the same one potential SWAT Team recruits have to master in their training course. Team members promise to run the hill with Sunday's runners. Trophies will be awarded to the first overall male and female runner in each event, every "escapee" gets a T-shirt, and registration fees ($25, kids $10) benefit the Special Olympics. Check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. at 6289 Broder Blvd., Dublin. Info: 209-795-7832 or OnYourMarkEvents.com -- Kelly Vance


Seeing Stars

Giants ready for second half

By the time you read this, the 74th All Star Game will be history. Bonds will have gone deep, and whichever league wins the game can look forward to having home-field advantage in the World Series. But now it's time for the Giants to solidify their position in the NL West. What better way to start than by going out and making yoyos out of the Other Three teams in the division (the Dodgers are in a special category)? Thursday night (7:15 p.m.), the scrappy Colorado Rockies come to town for a four-game set, followed by the banged-up remnants of the Arizona Diamondbacks and the what-the-hell San Diego Padres. Can the Giants' umm, mature hitters match up the exploits of their young, talented pitching staff in the second half? Will Felipe meet Dusty in the NLDS? Find out slowly, beginning Thursday. Tickets: SFGiants.com or 510-762-2277. -- Kelly Vance


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