Frequently Asked Questions

Start Here: Basics & Essentials

This is not just another mileage challenge. This is an opportunity for everyone from walkers, new runners and even elites to test yourself from Half Mile to Half Marathon, We've created 12 distinct distances honoring California's diverse regions and set in a State Park, which you can learn more about by visiting the Challenges page. 

You can run each distance wherever you want, whenever you want (until the end of the year), as many times as you want. California Challenge distances are: Half Mile, 1 Mile, 2 Mile, 4K, 5K, 4 Mile, 5 Mile, 10K, 12K, 8 Mile, 10 Mile & Half Marathon.

Learn more on our How-To page.

You can run each distance wherever you want, whenever you want (until the end of the year), as many times as you want and in any order. California Challenge distances are: Half Mile, 1 Mile, 2 Mile, 4K, 5K, 4 Mile, 5 Mile, 10K, 12K, 8 Mile, 10 Mile & Half Marathon.

Your registration
includes the option to log each distance as many times as you'd like in 2021, at no additional charge, in order to improve your time.

That's completely up to you although we strongly encourage you to take a chance at all 12!


Also, in a team setting, you may divide and conquer based on strengths. Maybe you have a group of friends that love the shorter distances and others who love the longer distances. Great! Team up and have a different top 4 at any particular Challenge distance score for our Teams leaderboard. 

Participants will receive an Instructions email approximately an hour after registering, which confirms that their registration is done processing and they can begin to Play. The California Challenge Leaderboard is here.


Two options - you can use either, or mix both:

  1. Automatic sync through PWR Lab ("verified"), using GPS device. Learn more in the Verified (auto-sync) Results section.
  2. Manual submission of your results (honor system), no GPS needed. Learn more in the Manual Entry Submissions section.

No! We have partnered with PWR Lab to provide offer automated tracking through compatible devices OR the ability to manually enter your results and track your progress.

PWR Lab is currently compatible with Garmin, Suunto, Polar, and COROS. Apple Watch is not yet compatible (more info below). We recommend that Suunto users sync to Suunto App rather than Movescount.

Uploading FIT files, GPX files, screenshots, etc. is not supported in order to get Verified results. Strava is not compatible.

If you do not have a supported GPS device, but carry a phone while you run, you can download the FREE Suunto App and use the app's GPS activity recorder to sync with PWR Lab.

What about my Apple Watch?

Apple Watch is not currently compatible, but PWR Lab is hard at work getting it integrated. In the meantime, it is possible to sign-up for Run Gap, and send Apple Watch data --> Run Gap --> Suunto App or Garmin Connect --> PWR Lab. Not for the faint of heart!

PWR Lab is a running analytics company created to help runners avoid training injuries by connecting big data with sport science. The platform helps runners of any level predict risk, prevent injury, and perform optimally.

You’re eligible to redeem a free trial on their platform – no credit card info needed, no obligation, no risk – which begins when you create your account.

For more information on PWR Lab check out their FAQ, or YouTube Channel for tutorial videos.

Ideally: use the same email address you used to register for the race. PWR Lab will automatically send your data to your bib number on the leaderboard.


If you used different email addresses:

  1. Log in to the Event My Results tool using your registration email and bib number
  2. Navigate to Account 
  3. Link your PWR Lab account to your bib number (will need PWR Lab email + password)

Registration & Participant Information

You sure can! One of the cool features of the California Challenge is the ability to not only create a team where you'll motivate one another to new heights but also see how you stack up amongst all teams. Here’s how it works:

  1. Log your segments (manually or on a supported device)
  2. See how you fare against your teammates with no minimum or maximum number of team members required
  3. Compete against other teams with the top-four performers per team at each distance scored in the following categories:
    1. All – Top 4 fastest; must contain team members from at least two gender categories (Female, Male, Non-Binary)
    2. Male – Top 4 fastest males on your team
    3. Female – Top 4 fastest females on your team

Each team member does not need to complete all 12 Challenges (although that's encouraged 🙌), but you will need 4 team members to score at a particular Challenge distance. Game it out and may the best team win!

For large, competitive teams you can also think about splitting yourselves up into Team A, Team B, Team C, etc.

You can earn points for each Challenge distance, which roll up to the entire 12-Challenge Points Leaderboard.

  • 1st place will earn 1,000pts
  • 2nd place earns 998pts
  • 3rd place earns 996pts
  • 4th place – 300th place follow same descending pattern 994pts to 402pts
  • 301th+ place will all earn 400pts

Points are relative to the filters you apply: thus you may be 1st place (1000pts) in 30-40 year old women, but 4th place (994pts) against the entire field when no filters are applied.

Event swag – Official Shirt, Medal & Bib – as well as any Merchandise purchased during the course of registration will be mailed out in April.

Your age is calculated based on the last day of the 2021 Califonia Challenge – December 31. Someone born on January 1, 1981 or December 31, 1981, will appear on the leaderboard as 40 years old.

The green Verified badge is reserved for participants who have uploaded 100% Verified data through PWR Lab.

Uploading FIT files, GPX files, screenshots, etc. is not supported in order to get Verified results.

Yes! A $30 International shipping & handling fee will apply to participants registering from outside of the United States. You must select the international shipping option during registration. You can also skip the swag and shipping fee and participate with the digital only option.

Verified (auto-sync via PWR Lab) Results

Establish a one-time link, and all syncing is automatic after that. PWR Lab will guide you through the process of linking a compatible device during initial sign-up. You can also reference this article for help in linking a device.

If you have a PWR Lab account, your device is linked, and the emails match between PWR Lab and your Race Roster registration, you're good to go.   


If your email does not match, there's a one-time step to get PWRL data flowing to your bib number. You can access the Profile page within PWR Lab to link a device, even if the free trial has expired. No need to pay for a subscription to get the data flowing through to SV Half results.

Any specific distance such as Half Mile or Half Marathon will be synced to the California Challenge leaderboard. 

You'll need to run the minimum distance listed and no more than 5% longer than the distance listed (and who wants to run extra anyway, right)?

Splits within a workout do not count for the leaderboard. 

Your fastest time for a particular distance will count toward leaderboard points and we will also show you how many times you've completed a challenge over the course of the year.

You can login to your California Challenge leaderboard account with your race bib # and email. From there you will be able to remove any activities you do not wish to count toward the Challenge.


Note that we will only count your fastest time for points and by maintaining how many times you have done a particular Challenge, you will be eligible for additional rewards.

Check to make sure that:

  1. You synced your device to the app/service (eg Garmin Connect). PWR Lab does not sync directly to your watch, but receives activity data from services like Garmin & Suunto after you sync to them.
  2. You have waited a few minutes (up to 15) for Garmin/Suunto/etc to send the activity to PWR Lab, and for PWR Lab to process it for the leaderboard after syncing your device. (Suunto users: Movescount is really slow. Use Suunto App)
  3. You have refreshed the leaderboard page to load the newest data
  4. The activity was recorded as a running activity, and not any other type (walking, biking, etc). Changing an activity to running after the fact will not allow the activity to sync.
  5. The activity was recorded after you registered for the event. Think about your time of registration as the time you cross the starting line: anything recorded before that cannot be counted with Verified results.
  6. You did not unlink your device from your PWR Lab account (you can see this on the Profile page, even if your free trial has expired).

Only activities recorded specifically as a "running" (or "trail running") activity will be imported, analyzed, and verified for the leaderboard. If you want to include walks, hikes, steps, or anything else you can either record them as runs, or use the manual upload to account for that mileage.

When in doubt, you can always upload treadmill results using manual entry, but some watches also support Treadmill modes that are compatible with PWR Lab:

Many newer GPS watches have the option to “Calibrate Distance” after completing a treadmill run. On a Garmin, record the activity specifically as a treadmill run. After stopping the watch – but before saving the activity – scroll down to “Calibrate and Save”, and enter the total distance displayed on the treadmill.

If you record the run and save it without calibrating / adjusting the distance, then it is likely to be very inaccurate. Also note that if you run on a treadmill without selecting a specific treadmill mode, then the distance calculated using GPS will be very small (close to 0), because you’re not moving away from the treadmill.

Note that adjusting the distance in Garmin Connect after you have saved & submitted the activity will not change the data that is sent to PWR Lab or the leaderboard. Resources: Garmin Article, YouTube Video

PWR Lab is a running analytics company created to help runners avoid training injuries. The app is designed to import historical running activity, learn your personal baseline, and then give you completely customized training guidance and injury risk forecasting.


We are extending a free trial of PWR Lab to all our participants, which you're welcome to use for automated mileage tracking during the event. If you do not wish to redeem your free trial and link a device then no worries at all – there is a manual entry option and none of your data will need to flow through PWR Lab. If you do choose to link your device, your historical activities may be imported for the sake of establishing that baseline, and linked services will continue to send new activities until you deactivate the link.

If your free access PWR Lab expires, your participation in the event is NOT impacted! Your GPS data will continue to automatically upload to the leaderboard, even if you choose not to subscribe to PWR Lab. There’s absolutely no obligation.


The specifics are included below, and you can always reference PWR Lab’s privacy policy & terms of use

    1. When signing up for PWR Lab, you can authorize a connection between another running data service (eg Garmin Connect) and PWR Lab.
    2. This allows that service to send activities that you have recorded on your watch/phone and then uploaded. PWR Lab does not actually connect to your watch or track you: your activities are simply pushed through your Garmin Connect, Suunto App, Polar Flow, COROS, etc. account to the platform.
    3. This authorization remains intact until you choose to disable it. Even if your free trial expires, the account can continue sending your results to the race leaderboard.
    4. You can disable the link between PWR Lab and your connected services at any time.
    5. After connecting your service to PWR Lab, a green link/unlink icon will be displayed on your Profile page. To unlink your account at any time, navigate to the Profile page, scroll to the bottom, and select “unlink”.
    6. You can access the Profile page and do this at any time, even if your free trial has expired.

Manual Entry (Honor System) Submissions

Log in to the My Results tool for the event using your registration email & bib number.

Visit the PWR Leaderboard and search for your name. Your BIB # will be directly below your name.

Be sure to use the same email address that you used to register for the event, and the bib number that was assigned to you. Incorrect combinations will not be allowed to access the tool.

There may also be a slight lag time between your registration and when you are fully added to the event. Normally this should take effect within a few hours, and never more than a day. If you name appears on the leaderboard, you've been added.

Even if there is a lag before you can get into the tool, all your results from after registration will count. Once you gain access you will be able to add results for registration day and beyond. Contact us if you continue to have trouble beyond 24 hours.

We ask that you keep the most important pieces of this event in mind: Community!

All manual submissions are completely on the honor system. Unrealistic results are often honest mistakes and can be corrected in the Results & Profile tool.

You can also filter the Leaderboard to see Verified results in order to eliminate honor system entries and view only the results that are backed up by GPS data that is verified by PWR Lab.

About Run Local & Contacting Us

The California Challenge is proud to support Leave No Trace and its Wildfire education initiatives.


Learn more on our Leave No Trace fundraising page.

Since 2012, Run Local has brought locally produced events to the San Francisco Bay Area celebrating its runners, artists, and the unique diversity of each region. The annual Bay Area series of events includes the Amazon San Jose 408K Race to the Row (February), San Jose Shamrock Run 5K & 10K (March), Silicon Valley Half (April), Across the Bay 12K & 5K (July), the East Bay 510K – 5K & 10K (October) and the Santa Barbara Half Marathon (November).


In 2020 it added the California Coast 500 to its portfolio along with various media properties such as its Run Local Pod available wherever you listen to podcasts.


For more information, visit and join us on social @RunLocalEvents.

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