You've heard of being an Ironman, but here's your chance to become a brick master in 2016.
With two longtime desert events running consecutively on the weekend of Jan. 23-24 , participants in both the Tour de Palm Springs and the New Balance Half-Marathon can establish their Ironman-like status.
The Tour de Palm Springs charity bike ride on Jan. 23 starts in Palm Springs while the New Balance Half Marathon on Jan. 24 is being held for the first time in Palm Desert. Each are kicking off their 18th seasons here in the desert and both have grown tremendously. Early registration is encouraged.
Up to 10,000 participants are expected to hit the roads for both events and if you participate in the two at any level, you'll receive the coveted brick award. Yes, an actual brick adorned with a plaque commemorating your achievement.
The New Balance Half-Marathon starts at Civic Center Park in Palm Desert.
According to marathon organizers, to receive your brick, bring proof of participation in the bike event (your wristband or registration) to the brick tent at the New Balance Palm Desert Half Marathon and 5k finish line at the Palm Desert amphitheater.
"We're excited to be in Palm Desert for the first time — with room to grow," said marathon race director Matt Sills. "There's a lot of triathletes — and casual cyclists and runners — that like to make a weekend out of it. This is what some of them do to train. It's a real "brick" workout ."
Sills expects hundreds of bricks to be awarded following the half-marathon.
The new 13.1-mile USTAF certified half-marathon course starts in Civic Center Park, turns onto San Pablo to Magnesia Falls Drive, then north on Monterey. It heads east on Gerald Ford, north on Gateway, and east on Dick Kelly to Dinah Shore then Portola. It u-turns and finishes at the Aquatic Center and into the amphitheater. The 5-kilometer course starts also starts at Civic Center Park.
For the cycling event, shorter routes through downtown surrounding areas with the 10-mile route through old Palm Springs.
The 25-miler winds through Palm Springs, Cathedral City and Palm Desert with the 50-mile route traveling along the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains.
The 100-mile route begins near the Palm Springs windmills to the foothills of the San Bernardino mountains, continues down Dillon Road to the agriculture areas, heads to La Quinta and PGA West, around the La Quinta Cove past the Indian Well Tennis Garden, through Palm Desert and back to Palm Springs.
And for those seeking a true fun run, you can kick off your New Year's running regimen with two road races to choose on Jan. 9, one in Palm Springs and the other in Palm Desert.
The Palm Springs International Film Festival Red Carpet Run at 8 a.m. Jan. 9 offers both a 5K and 10K run/walk starting at the American Legion on North Belardo in Palm Springs.
Participants are encouraged to dress fashion forward, but all registered will receive a tutu and tiara or tuxedo shirt as a costume competition for all runners, walkers, strollers and canines are also part of the event.
According to race organizer and marathoner Molly Thorpe, Shape.com ranked this event as one of the top 10 movie-themed runs in the country in its inaugural season. She said proceeds from the event benefit local scholarships and the race has become popular for all ages and skill levels.
All finishers are awarded an Oscar trophy, but also free photo downloads and goodie bags. Special trophies for the top male/female and top three in five-year age divisions through 85 and older. Trophies also presented to the top Hollywood costumes for adults, children and canines.
Also on Jan. 9, the Galen New Year's Resolution Color Run 5K is set for Palm Desert at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Runners and walkers — and dogs — of all skill level welcome. Each participant receives a T-shirt and dogs receive a bandana. Color stations throughout the course for this community-wide, family-friendly fundraising event.
New Balance Palm Desert Half Marathon and 5K
Race Day: $75
Half Marathon Relay (teams of 2 or 3)
Team Registration fee: $95
Race Day: $100
Race Day: $45
More information: www.kleinclarksports.com
Tour de Palm Springs
Online registration (with added convenience fee) through Jan. 10; On-site registration on Jan. 22 from noon- 8 p.m.)
1, 2, 3-mile walk: $10
10-mile ride: $25 (18 and younger, $10)
25-mile ride: $45 (18 and younger $10)
50-mile ride: $65
100-mile ride: $70
10-mile tandem: $40
25-mile tandem: $75
50-mile tandem: $85
100-mile tandem: $95
More information: www.tourdepalmsprings.com
ON YOUR MARK:
Red Carpet Run 5/10K: Palm Springs, Jan. 9, 8 a.m.; $35/$45 through January 5. Registration also available at packet pick-up on Jan. 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Running Wild, 611 S. Palm Canyon, Palm Springs; www.palmspringsmarathonrunners.org
Galen Resolution Color Run 5K: Palm Desert, Jan. 9, 8 a.m., Palm Springs Art Museum, fees $15 (children), $30-40 (adults), $300 (groups of 10); www.galenresolution5k.com
Later in January: Palm Springs Mayor's Healthy Run on Jan. 24 and the New Balance Palm Desert Half Marathon. Also, the Golden Eagle 5K in Desert Hot Springs on Jan. 30 and the Palm Desert Panther 5K on Jan. 31.