A wide, looping L-shaped course along the largely fast and flat rural roads awaits runners just outside this city in central California's San Joaquin Valley at the inaugural running of the Hanford Half Marathon & 5K Fun Run, which makes its debut in the late winter season of 2011.
The brainchild of local resident and running, duathlon and sailing enthusiast Ramon Valdez, the Hanford Half Marathon follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the city's Frontier Elementary School, which is located near the intersection of 13th Avenue and Grangeville Boulevard, just to the northeast of the city's downtown district.
From there, the course heads out onto 13th Avenue and takes runners on a counter-clockwise loop route, starting with a roughly 3 1/2-mile straightaway stretch along 13th northward all the way up to the race's first turnaround point at Everett Avenue. There, runners make the turn and head back south along 13th to Elder Avenue, where they turn right and head west for a mile until meeting up with 14th Avenue, where they turn left and head south.
The turn onto 14th is followed by turns again onto Flint Avenue, then 16th Avenue and then Fargo Avenue, which runners follow for another long straightaway stretch (3 miles this time) until they meet up once again with 13th Avenue, where they turn right and start the home stretch that brings them back into the campus of Frontier Elementary for the race finish line.
Runners who sign up for the race should have the chance to record excellent times, as the course features only very mild changes in elevation. The first few miles are very flat, and the biggest change in elevation occurs in the second half of the race, as the course rises in the last few miles along Fargo Avenue. The changes in elevation are mostly very gradual, however.
Also worth noting is that the race organizers add that the course will remain open to traffic during the race -- the route will be marked off by cones, but runners will need to be aware of their surroundings and pay attention to auto traffic during the race, which starts at 9:00 AM. There is a four-hour time limit for the race, so runners will need to cross the finish line by 1:00 PM.
Weather & Climate
Located in central California's San Joaquin Valley, roughly 200 miles north of Los Angeles and about 30 miles south of Fresno, the city of Hanford typically experiences mild to moderately cool and occasionally quite cold weather conditions in the late winter season, when it also sees its wettest weather on average (the summer and fall seasons are usually very dry). In February, the city's average monthly temperatures range between 61°F and 39°F -- on the day of the race (Feb. 13), the average high is 61°F and the average low is 39°F -- while rainfall totals average about 1.6 inches for the month.
$55 for the half marathon, if pre-registered online
$65 on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the winter 2011 running of California's Hanford Half Marathon or 5K race, register online at Active.com
Half Marathon Course Map
Leave a Comment or Review the Hanford Half Marathon >>
Ever run in California's annual Hanford Half Marathon?
your impressions and read fellow runners' stories
and tips for the event.