General Information

Friday, June 14 2019

2022 TRACK TEAM          

Junior Olympics (1/11 to 7/31)   


TEAM FEE — Only $100 (cash only) for the full track season! 


PRACTICE SCHEDULE (rain or shine) 

Mon, Wed, & Friday — 4:15 to 5:15 PM — Pleasanton Sports Park  

Tue & Thursday — 4:15 to 5:15 PM — Lake Chabot  

Sunday — 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM  — Lake Chabot  

Everyone should attend at least 2 practices each week (but more is highly recommended)



February 19 = Berkeley T&F 

February 26 = Livermore (5k & 10k Road Race) 

February 27 = Oakland (5k & 10K Relay Road Race)

March 12 = Stockton T&F  

March 12 = San Jose (5K & 10K road races)

March 19 = Tracey T&F 

March 27 = Oakland (5k, 10K, & 15K road races) 

April 16 = Fairfield T&F  

April 24 = Oakland (5k, 10K, & 15K road races) 

April 24 = San Jose (5-Mile/8K road race) 

May 1 = Saratoga (4-Mile Race)

May 14/15 = Oakland T&F  

May 22 = Oakland (5k, 10K, & 15K road races) 

May 28/29 = Riverbank T&F   

* June 11/12 = Rancho Cordova — Pac. Assoc. CHAMPIONSHIP T&F  

* June 25/26 = TOP 5 CHAMPIONSHIP T&F = Top 5 from meet on June 11 & 12 

June 26 = Oakland (5k, 10K, & 15K road races) 

July 9/10 = Rancho Cordova T&F  

July 16/17 = To be determined... T&F   

July 24 = Oakland (5k, 10K, & 15K road races) 

* July 29-31 = Jr. Oly. National CHAMPIONSHIP T&F in Sacramento  

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


HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU TRAIN? Ideally, most runners should be running about 5 days each week (see next paragraph for more precise training schedules depending on age of runner). The 3 days that you run with me are hard (very fast) practices. But the 2 days that you run on your own should NOT be hard practices — instead they should be medium-paced practices. Ideally, they should be about 30 seconds slower per-mile pace than what you do on your hard days. For example, if you normally run 3 miles at my practices, and your best 3-mile practice time with me is 21 minutes (7 minutes per-mile pace), then you should try and run at a 7:30 per-mile pace on the 2 days that you run on your own.

Here is a more precise training schedule:  2nd Grade & Below = Run 3 days each week;  Grades 3 & 4 = Run 4 days per week;  Grades 5 & 6 = Run 5 days every week;  Grades 7 & 8 = Run 6 days each week;  Grades 9 & Above = Run 7 days per week.    


 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, 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!"    



This running club is primarily for boys & girls from 1st–8th grade. In order to join our club each athlete must be able to jog at least 2 miles without stopping or walking. All runners are expected to attend 2 or more of our practices each week (though more is highly recommended). Finally, please do NOT plan any extended vacations (of more than 2 or 3 days) in close proximity to our championship meets. 



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

(2) Email Coach Mike Exton at (this will put you on our mailing list).

(3) Come to one of our practices and pay the membership fee (cash only), and give Coach Exton a copy of your AAU card & birth certificate. (Staple them together with the AAU card on top). But make sure that your AAU card lists the California Grizzlies as your team. 

(4) If you don't have the team uniform yet, then you need to purchase it ($25 for jersey; $25 for shorts; cash only). 

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



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, you must print out 2 copies. Also, print out 2 copies of your child’s Birth Certificate. Give 1 copy of each (stapled together with the Membership on top and Birth Certificate on bottom) to Coach Mike Exton. Keep the other copy of the Membership Card & Birth Certificate for yourself & bring to every meet.   


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: 






PLEASANTON SPORTS PARK:  Also called Ken Mercer Sports Park (& Pleasanton Sports Center) is located at 5800 Parkside Dr in Pleasanton. From HWY 580 in Pleasanton, take the Hopyard Rd Exit & go south on Hopyard Road. Less than 2 miles turn left onto Parkside Rd & then turn right onto Sports Park 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. 

SAN RAMON (Central Park):  From HWY 680 take Bollinger/Canyon Rd. east. Go east about 1/2 mile and turn left at the 2nd traffic signal. Then park behind the first 2 buildings (2641 & 2633) that you see on the right. Then get out of your car & walk over the little wooden bridge to Central Park. 






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 $55.


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

I sell these for $55.   


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 $60.   


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.  




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

Group 2 — Born in 2012 or 2013 = 3K  (1.875 Miles) 

Group 3 — Born in 2010 or 2011 = 3K  (1.875 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)