General Information

Friday, June 14 2019

Cal Grizzlies Running Club          


Track (May–Aug 2022) & Cross-Country (Aug–Dec 2022) 



(1) Email Coach Mike Exton at

(2) Register your child as a California Grizzlies with AAU (see below).  

(3) Come to one of our practices & pay the membership fee of $250 & give Coach Exton a copy of your AAU card. The $250 membership fee includes the fee for all practices (from now until August 1st), a team jersey, team shorts, and a FREE pair of running shoes (that is, for those who need them, & as long as I have your size). If you already have the team jersey & shorts the membership fee is only $200. 

That's it — you are now an official member of the California Grizzlies!  



We Have 3 Training Groups & Each Group Runs 3 Times Each Week  

Pleasanton Sports Park = Mon & Wed 6:30-7:30 PM (& Fri = 6:30pm OR Sat race) 

Lake Chabot = Tue & Thurs 4:30–5:30 PM (& Sat/Sun race) 

Quarry Lakes = Tue & Thur 6:30-7:30 PM (& Sun 5-6pm OR Sunday race)  

— Everyone should try their very best to attend AT LEAST 2 practices each week —  


PLEASANTON SPORTS PARK:  Also called Ken Mercer Sports Park is located at 5800 Parkside Dr in Pleasanton (just off of Hopyard Rd). We meet at the parking lot near restroom #3. 

LAKE CHABOT:  Go to the main entrance off of Lake Chabot Road in Castro Valley. We meet at the very beginning of the parking lot on the right hand side (near the 2 yellow poles and the 3 boulders) — about 20 yards past the park ranger who collects the parking fees. 

QUARRY LAKES:  We meet in the very small parking lot on Isherwood Way (about 25 meters from Paseo Padre Blvd.) in Fremont. We do NOT meet in the very big parking lot on Isherwood Way that is about 500 meters from Paseo Padre Blvd. If the small parking lot is full, just park in the nearby neighborhood and then walk on the dirt trail under the bridge at Isherwood Way to the small parking lot.  



You MUST wear team jersey AND team shorts at ALL races. 


—— 2022 RACE SCHEDULE ——      

Starting in June, everyone should attend AT LEAST 2 races each month. 

— There is NO pre-registration for the Pleasanton & Fremont races — just sign up at the race! 

May 28/29 = T&F Meet (1/2 Mile, 1-Mile, or 2-Mile) 9am — Modesto County  

June 4 = 1-Mile & 2-Mile Races at Quarry Lakes 9:30 AM ($5) FREE Pizza! 

**June 11/12 = ASSOCIATION Track CHAMPIONSHIP (9am?) — Sac. County   

**June 17/18 = DISTRICT Track CHAMPIONSHIP (9am?) — Modesto County 

****June 25/26 = REGIONAL Track Championship — Top 5 advance to NATIONALS! — THIS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT MEET OF THE YEAR!!! (9am?) —  Modesto County   

July 3 = 1-Mile & 2-Mile Races at Pleasanton Sports Park 9:30 AM ($5) FREE Pizza!

July 10 = 1-Mile & 2-Mile Races at Quarry Lakes 9:30 AM ($5) FREE Pizza! 

July 16 = T&F Meet (1/2 Mile, 1-Mile, or 2-Mile) 9am?— Sacramento County 

July 24 = 1-Mile & 2-Mile Races at Pleasanton Sports Park 9:30 AM ($5) FREE Pizza!

*** July 29-31 = NATIONAL Track Championships — Sacramento County 

July 31 = 1-Mile & 2-Mile Races at Quarry Lakes 9:30 AM ($5) FREE Pizza! 



You MUST wear team jersey AND team shorts (& running shoes) at ALL races. 


 California Grizzlies J.O. Running Club

— Mike Exton, the coach for the team, is a retired public school teacher who has been involved with cross-country and track & field for the last 58 years (since he was 8 years old). Many of his runners have qualified and run in the National Championships. Several boys & girls have made All-American (top 25 in the USA in cross-country and top 8 in track) while 2 runners (Yong-Sung Leal and Chris Dominic) won the Nationals. These 2 runners also set National Records as the fastest runners ever in the history of the USA. One runner even raced in the World Championships (in Ireland) when he was only in 11th grade as part of America’s National Under 20 Cross-Country team. Coach Exton has also coached a California High School State Champion on three different occasions and a 3rd place finisher twice. Altogether, his runners have won 9 national championships and 3 California HS state championships, as well as set 5 NATIONAL age group records. These records and national titles were set in the 800, 1500. 3000, and 5000. And in 2018 nearly 90% of the members of the California Grizzlies Running Club qualified & ran in the USA Junior Olympics Cross-Country NATIONAL Championships. Also, in 2019, we had the best 4th/5th grade cross-country team in California & Nevada (as well as one of the top teams in the nation). Finally, in December of 2019, two of our 5th graders (Gabe Heule & Shaun Mathew) set WORLD records in the 4-mile run. Shaun set the world record for 10-year olds with a time of 25:17 (6:19 per mile) while Gabe set the world record for 11-year olds with a time of 23:58 (5:59 per mile!). 

3-Time California HS State Champion and National Champion & National Record Holder Yong-Sung Leal, after being informed of Gabe & Shaun's 4-mile world records, replied: "This is great news Mike! Wow—very impressive times. This is so great that you are still finding kids to coach. Honestly, running was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I take the same discipline that I learned from you and running and I apply those principles to other aspects of my life. I became the person I am with your guidance and from the greatest sport in the world. So glad that these two kids will learn about goal setting and hard work.... Thanks again for keeping in touch with me and even more thanks for your love and guidance growing up through running. God Bless you, Mike. Amen!"    

And now in 2022, two more world records have been set by California Grizzly runners in the 4-mile. Sixth grader Ava Padilla ran under 26 minutes (averaging about 6:25 per mile for the 4-mile course) to break the world record for 12-year old girls. And seventh grader Gabriel Heule set another world record as he finished the 4-mile course under 23 minutes (averaging about 5:42 per mile) to set a new world record for 13-year old males. Yong-Sung Leal (who has the American High School 5,000 meter record for 10th graders (14:27; 4:38 per mile average for over 3 miles) stated: "Congrats Mike! This is amazing. You’re the best at what you do for these kids. It’s because of you that I was able to accomplish so much with running."  



This running club is *primarily for boys & girls from 2nd–8th grade who want to become the best runner that they possibly can. In order to join our club each athlete should be able to jog at least 1 mile without stopping or walking. All runners are expected to attend AT LEAST 2 meets each month (except only 1 meet is required for the month of May) and 2 practices each week. And if you can avoid it, please try NOT to plan any extended vacations (of more than 2 or 3 days) in close proximity to our championship meets.

* High school runners & even older runners can also join the California Grizzlies Running Club.   



For the track season (May–August) the team fee is $200 cash only (or $250 if you don't have the team jersey & shorts yet). For the cross-country season (August–December) the team fee (which isn't due until August) is also $200 cash only (or $250 if you don't have the team jersey & shorts yet).  



Click on this link to get started (and then follow the instructions below):


Sign your child up as an “ATHLETE” (NOT as a non-athlete)

               WHAT TYPE OF MEMBERSHIP? 

PROGRAM = Youth Program (NOT Adult program)

SPORT = Track and Field (X-Country; Multi-Events) 

COVERAGE = Extended (AB)!   [Do NOT get “Regular” coverage!!!] 

Are you a member of a Club? Click YES, then select “CALIFORNIA GRIZZLIES” 

California Grizzlies Club Number:  W3Y6FT           (Membership runs from from Sept 1 to Aug. 31) 

Now complete the membership application!

FINALLY, once you get your child’s Membership Card, print out 2 copies. Give 1 copy to Coach Mike Exton and keep the other copy of the Membership Card & bring to every meet (along with a copy of your child's birth certificate).   


USATF:  Eventually each runner will also need to join USATF. Instructions for joining USATF is listed below. But it is more important to register with AAU first!  



Everyone must have a team jersey & team shorts. 

Jersey & Shorts ($25 each; cash only) 

Running Shoes — Everyone must have a good pair of running shoes. I sell running shoes!   

*You must wear team jersey, shorts, & running shoes at ALL races. 


If interested in joining our club, please email Coach Exton at: 




STEP 1 — Register as a member of USATF  


When signing up to become a member of USATF online, do NOT register as part of a team. Instead, register as an “Individual Member.” Then on the application it will say “Club Number.” Do NOT put a club number, instead leave the club number blank. You will now be an "UNATTACHED" member of USATF. (For USATF everyone will be an "Unattached" member; but for AAU everyone will be a "California Grizzlies" member.)  

After you get your USATF membership number, immediately have your Birth Certificate verified. 



Members are required to upload/submit their birthdate verification documents while completing their membership profile on the USATF Connect system. 



Documents submitted for birthdate verification will be processed within five (5) business days of submission (excluding holidays). It is the responsibility of the registrant to assure submission in a timely manner to meet entry deadlines.



Birthdate verification documents must be uploaded through USATF ConnectIf you are experiencing trouble uploading these documents, please contact the USATF National Office for assistance. Be advised that birthdate verification documents will not be accepted or uploaded by the National Office. Procedures for uploading these documents in the USATF Connect system must be adhered to and there will be no exceptions. Documents sent to the National Office will be returned and the verification will not be processed.
If a document is illegible it will be invalidated and will not be processed. Invalidated documents will not result in an extension of the submission deadline. No extension will be granted for invalidated documents that require re-submission. The processing period will remain in effect. Birthdate verification documents will remain a permanent part of the member profile and will not require re-submission. 


“HOW TO” VIDEO —  Explains how to verify Birth Certificate: 


 STEP 3 — Bring your USATF membership number with you to EVERY meet.   


Additional Information for USATF Junior Olympics:  

Contact Information for USATF Junior Olympics: 







Altra Escalante $130 & tax 

I sell these for $100. 


Altra Kokiri (Great for kids! Sizes 13, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)ōkiri-al0a4pe4?variationId=407 

I sell sizes 4 thru 6 for $65.   



Altra Kokiri (sizes 13, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) (Good for all surfaces)ōkiri-al0a4pe4?variationId=407 

I sell sizes 4 thru 6 for $65.   


Saucony Killkenny X-C Racing Flats (Good for all surfaces) 

I sell these for $65.


Spiked Racing Shoes (Only for dirt/grass/rubber surfaces; NO concrete or asphalt)  

I sell these for $65.   


Altra Vanish XC Racing Shoes (5 oz) = $80 (Great for dirt/grass, but can also be worn on concrete/asphalt)


Brooks Mach 18 Spikeless = $90 (these are only recommended for HS runners) 

(Great for dirt/grass surfaces when you are NOT allowed to use spiked shoes; NO concrete or asphalt) 



Altra Kokiri (sizes 13, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)ōkiri-al0a4pe4?variationId=407 

I sell sizes 4 thru 6 for $65.   


Altra Vanish = $100
Most people use these for road races & for extremely fast short workouts. Very similar to the Topo ST-2 (down below) but even lighter!

Neutral, natural-style running shoes. These shoes need to be ordered.    


Topo ST-2 or ST-3  = $90  

These shoes are good for runners who like to train in super light & extremely natural-style running shoes. 

These shoes are extremely neutral & natural-style running shoes. These shoes are light enough to race in. 
Transports in Oakland has these shoes.  


If you mention that you are on a running club you will usually get a 10% discount at most running stores. 




HANDICAP RACES:  In a Handicap Race the slowest runner starts 1st, the fastest runner starts last, and everyone else starts someone between the slowest runner and the fastest runner. For example, if there are 2 runners in a 2-mile handicap race, and runner A's best 2-mile time is 10:00, and runner B's best 2-mile time is 11:00, then runner B would start 1:00 minute before runner A.  




         Cross-Country is from August–December 


Group 1 — Born in 2014 or 2015 (or younger) = 2K  (1.25 Miles) 

Group 2 — Born in 2012 or 2013 = 3K  (1.8 Miles) 

Group 3 — Born in 2010 or 2011 = 3K  (1.8 Miles) 

Group 4 — Born in 2008 or 2009 = 4K  (2.5 Miles) 

Group 5 — Born in 2004 – 2007 = 5K  (3.1 Miles) 

* At the National Meet there is an additional age division:

Born in 2016 or 2017 = 1K (0.62 Miles)