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Best Weekend Footraces San Francisco 2003 - The Dolphin South End Running Club Sunday Races Citywide

It's hard to feel intimidated by a running club whose logo is a turtle and whose motto is "Start slowly and taper off." Indeed, the Dolphin South End Running Club, founded in 1966, is a laid-back, friendly group that welcomes everybody -- from kids to senior citizens to people breaking in their first pair of running shoes. Besides doing short weekly training runs, the DSE holds an informal footrace every Sunday at various places around the city. One race goes from the Ferry Building to Aquatic Park and back, along the Embarcadero. Another traverses Stern Grove. Averaging four to six miles, the races are decidedly low-key affairs. Yes, there's a guy with a stopwatch who records your time, and yes, there's a finish line, and you wear a number (of sorts), but that's where the seriousness ends. The pace is a jog, and with only 50 or so people running, it's easy to get that rush of breaking away from the pack. If you actually run hard, you will probably come in first. But in DSE races, everybody's a winner -- you always walk away with a little blue ribbon just for participating. For those who enjoy the adrenaline of competition, it's the perfect way to kick off a Sunday. Only $5.

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