California Classic Weekend Set for Unique Event

FRESNO, Calif.

"We have 12 states that are being represented by participants, over 400 different cities," said Executive Director Mike Herman. "The word is getting out around Fresno, around the country and up and down California that this is the event to do."

It's doing so with good reason. It's not every day -- or anywhere for that matter -- that cyclists can take over an entire freeway for part of their race.

"We're the only bike ride that closes a freeway for 10 miles in California," said Herman.

Sunday morning's Rock and Run 5K will feature local bands jamming along the course route as runners speed by them.

"We're lining the 5K course with bands," explained Herman. "We're trying to get a band every 1/3 mile. So we have a lot of bands -- 9, 10, 12 bands are coming out. So that's going to be an exciting new event for us for this year."

And Herman is excited about a new element to the half marathon, six miles into the race at Fresno's Chaffee Zoo.

"When they opened up Sea Lion Cove this year, for us to get the privilege of running through the viewing area, it's just a big thrill. It's starting to show in our numbers as well."

The word has spread, with 23 percent more participants over last year, not counting last-minute registration. That means more staffing is needed to ensure the weekend goes off smoothly.

"We need 1,200 volunteers and currently we're just shy of about 800," Herman confirmed. "So we still have a big need, even though we're within a week, we have a big need. A lot of positions are still open."

Visit the California Classic Weekend website for more information.

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