Come Sunday morning, if you find yourself needing to run to the store for milk and eggs, or you have to run over to the gas station to fill up the tank, just remember that others will be doing some running of their own.
"Others" meaning about 3,000 entrants in the fourth annual Modesto Marathon, which also features a half- marathon and a 5-kilometer run. It is the largest sporting event in the city each year.
The starter's pistol will send off the marathoners at 7 a.m., and the 5K runners will hit the streets 20 minutes later.
Elite 5K runners will begin crossing the finish line about 7:35. Top marathoners will finish about 9:30, and the novice marathoners will create a steady stream of finishers until about noon (there's a 2 p.m. cutoff time).
Jon Olsen, the winner of the first two Modesto marathons, is out to reclaim his title. The Prescott Junior High math teacher was defeated last year by Clyde Behunin of St. George, Utah, who finished in 2 hours, 32 minutes, 46 seconds a course record. Behunin will not run this year.
"You never know," said race co-director Karen Lozano. "It's gonna depend on who's coming in from out of town and who brings their A game."
In the women's race, 2011 champion Michelle Meyer of San Francisco who owns the women's course record with a time of 2:52.25 will return after skipping the 2012 race. Meyer may not be at her peak, however, after winning the Napa Marathon just two weeks ago.
The race-day weather forecast calls for good conditions sunny but a bit breezy. Temperatures should be in the high 40s at the start of the race, and reach the mid-60s by noon.
All the fun isn't limited to Sunday morning. The Modesto Marathon Expo will be happening today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Modesto Centre Plaza, 1000 L St.
Runners are encouraged to pick up their bib numbers and goodie bags at the Expo the earlier the better. The Expo dinner will begin at 6 p.m. Bart Yasso of Runner's World Magazine will be the featured speaker.
Runners can register for all three races at the Expo, but only for the 5K on the day of the race.
Bee staff writer Joe Cortez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2302.