Run Across Catalina: The Avalon 50

It's an epic adventure over some epic, Pacific-surrounded landscape.

Catalina Island Chamber of Commerce

ACROSS THE ISLAND: Saying a visit to Catalina Island isn't complete without heading into the interior is a bit of a tried-and-trite truism. Yes, you hear it quite often, so much so that a traveler can feel a little bound to following it, lest their trip to the pretty burg not miss something essential. It also happens to hold some water, too, and just because a suggestion is oft-repeated doesn't mean that it should be discarded as yesterday's news. Seeing Avalon and heading out into the hills of Catalina, and admiring the lovely and idyllic Two Harbors, is indeed part of the whole experience, an experience that is very often enjoyed through the window of a bus or touring car or, on occasion, from the seat of a bicycle. Less done is crossing the island on a fleet foot, as part of an epic, up-and-down race that comprises 50 miles and vistas that can't be matched. It's the Avalon 50 we speak of, a run that is so big-of-spirit, and challenging-of-ability, that it counts as one of California's, and everywhere's, most epic runs (let's put the Badwater 135, the huge multi-day Death Valley run, in that same amazing camp). Ready to head from Avalon, to Two Harbors, to the north side of the island, then through the interior, and back to Avalon? If so, prepare to hoof it on...

SATURDAY, JAN. 9: "No cars, no smog, just great terrain, incredible views, fascinating historical sites, a well-organized race, nice people, great food... and even an occasional buffalo sighting." Ah, yes, those famous Catalina denizens might make a surprise cameo as you trot by, but even if you're not looking at a furry local, you'll be looking at some pretty hills and sweeping -- yes, sweeping -- views of the Pacific. If training for ultra races isn't your bag, and you're more in the 5K camp at the moment, that's cool; there are still motorized tours to enjoy on the SoCal-adjacent destination throughout the year. But if you're a mondo marathoner with a penchant for reaching new heights, this benefit run, which supports several Avalon organizations, could make you as happy as a buffalo standing in the salty-air'd sunshine. Slip into your athletic socks and favorite trainers and jog this way for more Avalon 50 info.

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