General Information

Friday, June 14 2019

California Grizzlies 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 56 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) while 2 runners 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) 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. Finally, in 2018, nearly 90% of the members of the California Grizzlies Running Club qualified & ran in the USA Junior Olympics Cross-Country NATIONAL Championships. 



This running club is primarily for boys & girls from 3rd–12th grade. In order to join our club each athlete must be able to run 2 miles without stopping or walking. Runners below 3rd grade who are also able to run 2 miles without stopping or walking may be given special permission to join. All runners are expected to attend at least 3 or 4 of our 6 practices each week. Finally, please do NOT plan any extended vacations (of more than 2 or 3 days) in close proximity to our championship meets which occur between the end of October and the beginning of December during the cross-country season. Therefore, please do NOT plan any extended vacations (of more than 2 or 3 days) during the Thanksgiving break (as this occurs shortly before the National X-C J.O. Championship meet). 


Club Fee? FREE!  

*Free IF you adhere to the following: 

6th Graders & Below = FREE if you attend at least 3 practices weekly 

7th Graders = FREE if you attend at least 4 practices weekly 

8th Graders = FREE if you attend at least 5 practices weekly 

9th Graders & Up = FREE if you attend at least 6 practices weekly 

*THESE PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS ARE ONLY FOR THOSE WHO LIVE IN CASTRO VALLEY OR NEARBY. (Those who live much further away, such as Pleasanton, Fremont, Dublin, Livermore, Union City, Newark, etc. only have to attend 1 practice each week.) 

*If you do not attend the amount of practices shown above, then there is a $10 fee for each missed practice. For example, the fee for a 5th grade runner who only attends two practices in a particular week is $10, $20 for attending one practice, and $30 for attending zero practices. There is also a $10 fee for missing a meet. These fees must be paid in cash (no checks) the week they occur. (Please bear in mind that most clubs charge about $150 per month—regardless of how many practices or meets you attend!)  

*In order to get this FREE price each runner must also train in shoes that I approve of (such as the Altra Kids One Jr or the Altra Escalante), otherwise there is a $75 membership fee for those who train (or race) in shoes that I do not recommend. 

*Those who train in Altra Kids One Jr can also race in them as well, but those who train in Altra Escalante must also compete in racing shoes that I approve of (such as the Altra Vanish XC Racing Shoes OR the Saucony Killkenny X-C Racing Flats OR spiked track shoes...). 

I sell the Altra Escalante training shoes for $125 and the Saucony Killkenny X-C racing shoes for $50 (if you are interested in purchasing these running shoes). Unfortunately I do not sell the Altra Kids One Jr running shoes at this time (but you can find them for only $60 at I also sell spiked track shoes for $50. 



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




5:00 to 6:00 PM  (Starting Nov. 3rd = 4:00–5:00) 

Sunday–Friday = Lake Chabot 

Parking is now FREE! Just tell the man who collects the parking fee that you are with my running team and he will let you park for free! But if you want to buy a yearly pass to all of the East Bay Regional Parks, you can go here (good for 365 days): 



— 2019 X-C Junior Olympic RACING Schedule —  

Below is the link for the USATF Junior Olympic racing schedule for this fall. But unfortunately not all the information listed is accurate. For instance, the NATIONAL meet is on Saturday (& not Sunday). So please continue to go back to this link later in the season, as it should eventually be updated with more accurate information. Also, we may be competing in other races besides those listed in the link below. 

Race Schedule (All races except Nationals are held on Sunday mornings):

Sunday, Oct. 27 = San Francisco  

Sunday, Nov. 3 = Menlo Park  

Sunday, Nov. 10 = To Be Determined (Perhaps Pleasanton or Castro Valley)  

Sunday, Nov. 17 = To Be Determined (Perhaps Pleasanton or Castro Valley)  

Sunday, Nov. 24 = Pacific Association Championship (only the top 30 qualify for the Dec. 1 meet) 

Sunday, Dec. 1 = Region 14 Championship (only the top 30 qualify for the Dec. 14th meet) 

Saturday, Dec. 7 = National AAU Championships 

Saturday, Dec. 14 = National USATF Championships 


Instructions for running in the USATF Junior Olympics   

All runners must become a member of USATF in order to compete in the USATF Junior Olympic Races. 

So, IF you are NOT already a member of USATF, you must do the following: 


STEP 1 — Register as a member of USATF  


When signing up to become a member of USA T&F 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. 

After you get your USATF membership number, immediately send in your Birth Certificate. 


STEP 2 — Send in Birth Certificate (after you receive your USATF membership number) 

To have an athlete’s birth date verified, email a copy of the athlete’s birth certificate with the athlete’s USATF number and name to Heike Mansoor:   
Include athlete’s name & USATF membership # on the document & in the subject line. After verification, all birth certificates will be shredded. 

Most races have an entry fee of about $7.00 (but the championship meets are about $10.00).


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 (My Top Choice!)   Zero Drop!    8 oz    24mm–Stackl   Neutral, natural-style running shoes;   

$130     Transports in Oakland has these. 

I sell these for $125 (and I have most sizes) 


Altra Kids' One Jr  Neutral, natural-style running shoes in sizes 1 thru 6.  ONLY $60 (you can also race in these shoes!) 



          RECOMMENDED  SHOES  for X-C RACES     


Altra Kids' One Jr  Neutral, natural-style running shoes in sizes 1 thru 6.  ONLY $60 


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


Vanish XC (Men’s) $80 — Size 7-15

Black/Gold (white)    Gold/Black    Blue (white)    Red/White (black)


Vanish XC (Women’s) $80 — Size 5.5–12 (Men's equivalent of 4-10.5)

Black/Gold (white)    Gold/Black    Blue (white)    Red/White (black)


Saucony Killkenny X-C Racing Flats (5.5 oz) = $55 (Very good for all surfaces) 

I sell these for $50 (and I have most sizes) 


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

Altra Golden Spike $90 — All are in Men’s Sizes 4-15 (Women’s equivalent of 5.5-16.5) 

Gold/Blue (or Gold/Pink/Green)


Brooks Mach 18 Spikeless = 4.5 oz = $90

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










CYO X-C Team Information 

         OLG & Transfiguration 



Practice Begins In August, 2020 (August 15th?) 

6:00 to 7:00 PM 

Sunday–Friday = Lake Chabot (but no practice on meet days) — FREE Parking! 

Sunday Practice is limited to 3rd graders & above (NO K-2 at Sunday practices)   

Cross-Country is for All Grades (K–8) — Both Boys & Girls 

Grades K–2 = ½ Mile Race Distance (Everyone Else = 1 Mile)

Grades K-1: Must attend at least 1 practice each week (but more is recommended)  

Grades 2–3: Must attend at least 2 practices each week (but more is recommended) 

Grades 4–8: Must attend at least 3 practices each week (but more is recommended 


— CYO RACE SCHEDULE (2020 Season) — 

All meets begin at 5:30 except for the last meet which begins at 5:00 sharp!!! 

Arrive at all meets 1 hour before they begin. 

#1 — 3rd Friday in September? — Crown Beach in Alameda? Canyon MS? 

#2 — 4th Friday in September?  — Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland?  

#3 — 1st Friday in October? — Garin Park in Hayward (Relay Meet)?  

#4 — 2nd Friday in October? — Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland?  

#5 — 3rd Friday in October? — Crown Beach in Alameda? Canyon MS? (Championship Meet!) 

This diocese championship race starts at 5 PM sharp! Arrive by 4:00 PM!!! 

Awards ceremony afterwards (probably won't end until about 6:30 PM or later). 


RUNNING SHOES:  If you haven't yet bought running shoes, please consider buying these: Altra Kids' One Jr ONLY $60! Sizes 1-6 

IS SIZE 6 TOO SMALL? I sell the best running shoes (Altra Escalante) for those wearing size 4 & up.  


CYO Registration Requirements 

You Can NOT Practice UNTIL You Hand In ALL Of the Following:


1. Copy of parish boundary map with your home marked on the map (this is the Transfiguration boundary map; if you live in Castro Valley but you are not in the Transfiguration boundary zone, then you live in the OLG boundary zone).

        AND Copy of a utility bill for proof of residency

        OR Enrollment in CCD at Transfiguration or OLG


2. Filled out CYO Registration Card


3. Signed Diocese of Oakland (X-C) Track Release Form

(we use this form for cross-country as well as for track & field)


4. Signed CYO Code of Conduct Form


5. Signed CYO Concussion Information Form


6. FEE = $50 (make check payable to "Mike Exton")  


7. After completing ALL forms, STAPLE TOGETHER & BRING TO PRACTICE. 











Altra Vanish:  Zero Drop! Extremely light (only 4 oz)!!!  

14mm–Stack;   $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     6.5 oz    Heel to toe drop = 0        $90      16mm-Stack  

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. 





Awesome 15 Second Video of X-C Race Thru Lake:


Women’s Steeplechase at 2017 World T&F Championships: 


Dave Wottle in the 800 final at the 1972 Olympics: 


Jim Ryun Vs Marty Liquori in the 1971 Dream Mile:   

1971 Dream Mile (Jim Ryun & Marty Liquori…) 


Galen Rupp Runs 2:06 Marathon in Prague: 


2004 NCAA X-C Men’s Championship Race: 


HSInvitational X-C Video: