Even the most dedicated athlete can get a bit stale, focusing so intently on running endlessly up the StairMaster or making it through the same old aerobics classes; at a certain point, exercise can become just a means to an end rather than an end all in itself. But in a place as stunningly beautiful as the Bay Area, that monomaniacal concentration is almost a crime. We've got sunshine and seashore, misty woods and wind-swept hills. Why plod through a morning in the gym when you can enjoy it all?
The Pt. Reyes Trail Half Marathon & 10K gives you a fine excuse to get outside, with a competitive jog that passes through the spectacular scenery of the Marin beachfront park. Half-marathon runners follow part of the ominous San Andreas fault, thunder up and down the hilly Olema Valley Trail, pass under verdant redwoods and firs on the Randall Trail, and race past the bird's-eye views on Bolinas Ridge on their 13-mile course. Participants in the 10K turn around after a short jog up the Olema. Runners must pre-register by calling 868-1829 or visiting www.envirosports.com; the entrance fee is $30.
-- Joyce Slaton
Crack of the Bat
In Giants history, there are few players who can be called total badasses. Jeff Leonard, Kevin Mitchell -- furious hotheads. But arguably the baddest of all the gigantes was '60s Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal. "Manito," with his signature leg-kick and vicious fastball, dominated the game into the early '70s, compiling 243 career wins. Yet what most folks remember about him is the August day in 1965 when he tried to use his bat to open L.A. catcher John Roseboro's head. It seems the Dodgers and the Giants had some kind of rivalry at one time, so when a Roseboro throw back to the pitcher zinged too close to Marichal's ear, the resulting brawl was one of the most nefarious in baseball history. In commemoration, the Giants honor their man with Juan Marichal Bobblehead Day -- offering a free doll to the first 20,000 entrants at Pac Bell Park. (If you're a Dodger fan, bring a tiny bat and exact Roseboro's revenge.) The game starts at 1 p.m. at Third & King streets, S.F. Admission is $6-70; visit www.sfgiants.com.
-- Kevin Chanel A Step Beyond
Walk the good walk
Sometimes doing the right thing is the obvious choice. Of the estimated 800,000-plus people in the United States currently living with AIDS, almost 18,000 of them live here in San Francisco. And each year for 17 years, AIDS Walk San Francisco has been raising money to help fund the Bay Area organizations that offer them support and services.
More than 25,000 people laced up their shoes for last year's jaunt, which netted $3.5 million as it meandered its way across 6.2 miles of beautiful Golden Gate Park (that's 10 kilometers for you metric types). Participants raise money by getting family members, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to sponsor their efforts, either as individuals or in teams of five or more. The money raised allows the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and other local organizations to provide financial counseling, needle exchange programs, client advocacy, prevention services, the California AIDS Hotline, and housing assistance to the thousands of people in the Bay Area whose lives are affected by the epidemic. Folks who raise more than $125 get to go home with prizes like T-shirts and hats -- as well as sore feet. And for those who want to help more than they want to sweat, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer. After the walk, everyone gets to sit down (finally!), enjoy live entertainment, and celebrate the hope that maybe the process has brought us all one step closer to stamping out the disease. The stroll sets off at 10:30 a.m. from Sharon Meadow, Kezar & John F. Kennedy, Golden Gate Park, S.F. Admission is free; call 615-9255 or visit www.aidswalk.net.
-- Jack Karp
Take Me Away
When we think of cruises, we think of expensive luxury liners whose berths cost thousands of dollars. The Angel Island - Tiburon Ferry, however, offers a more democratic service: Its "Sunset Cruise" series is priced for the people. The ship takes a route between Tiburon and San Francisco, affording the hoi polloi a million-dollar view of the city, the islands, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Reservations are recommended. Passengers board at 6:30 p.m. at 21 Main (at Tiburon), Tiburon. Tickets are $6-10; call 435-2131 or visit www.angelislandferry.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Take Them Bowling
It's had its own spot in the city since 1901 -- our green was the first public one in the country. The game of lawn "bowls," according to the S.F. Lawn Bowling Club, "is an easy-to-learn, yet highly competitive sport." In case you need help, though, the club is offering lessons at 5:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse in Golden Gate Park. Admission is free (reservations recommended); call 831-0883.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser