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@frankhwu

San Francisco, CA Raving since 2017 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/frankhwu-721 active 11 months, 1 week ago

About Me

My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

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Personal Bests (5)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 8, 2017 2:17:00
15K Sausalito, CA Sep 9, 2017 2:12:00
14K Sydney, Australia Aug 13, 2017 1:41:00
12K San Francisco, CA Oct 1, 2017 1:23:00
10K Novato, CA Oct 6, 2017 57:00

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (21)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Berkeley, CA Nov 19, 2017 2:30:00
Half Marathon Germantown, MD Nov 4, 2017 3:04:00
Half Marathon Brooklyn, NY Oct 28, 2017 2:31:00
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 8, 2017 2:17:00
10K Novato, CA Oct 6, 2017 57:00
12K San Francisco, CA Oct 1, 2017 1:23:00
Half Marathon Alameda, CA Sep 17, 2017 2:27:00
15K Sausalito, CA Sep 9, 2017 2:12:00
15K Sausalito, CA Sep 9, 2017 2:12:00
Half Marathon Richmond, CA Sep 2, 2017 2:45:00
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Aug 27, 2017 2:34:00
14K Sydney, Australia Aug 13, 2017 1:41:00
Half Marathon Pacifica, CA Jul 29, 2017 3:27:00
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jul 16, 2017 3:02:00
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Jul 8, 2017 3:04:00
Half Marathon Cleveland, OH May 21, 2017 2:31:00
Half Marathon Bellvue, CO May 7, 2017 2:20:00
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Feb 11, 2017 2:35:00
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Feb 5, 2017 2:27:00
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 21, 2017 2:43:00
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2017 3:14:00

My Raves

Berkeley Half Marathon

Berkeley Half Marathon

I ran the Berkeley Half Marathon today. I finished in a lackluster 2:30. I had hope when I found myself ahead of the pacers for 2:20 at mile 11, but … MORE

I ran the Berkeley Half Marathon today. I finished in a lackluster 2:30. I had hope when I found myself ahead of the pacers for 2:20 at mile 11, but I am certain they finished later than they were supposed to.

I saw several people I see from time to time in the Bay Area.

There was Spiderman. I was pleased to see he has friends. I have run behind him or just ahead of him multiple times. He is always dressed as Spiderman. I said hello. I told him I had seen him out there. He explained his costume makes him faster, because children cheer for him and he doesn’t want to disappoint them.

There also as Lloyd. He has been a Brazen Racing “streaker,” meaning he has done every one of their races. He has a fake mohawk and matching furry leggings. He is a walker. He has many fans who shout out, “Lloyd!” as I did.

Afterward, I saw my friend Simon Boehme. He did the 10k. It was his first, I think. He introduced me to a French bulldog, named Frank! He is dating the human to Frank, who apparently is a relation of the actor in the Men in Black movies (he’s a grand-nephew, not a son).

This course is flat for the Bay Area. It has two tiny gentle rises and then an uphill in each direction up the overpass. That overpass leads to the part some runners dislike: it’s between the highway and the bay, along a paved path for about 2.5 miles total (1.25 miles each direction). I can’t say it’s my favorite part of a course, but it’s not bad.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

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Schaeffer Half Marathon/10K Trail Run

Schaeffer Half Marathon/10K Trail Run

Easy and fun. Laidback crowd. Some mountain bikers. I had lackluster performance. I wrote a little blog at Huffington Post -- I'm probably in the wrong, but I can't say … MORE

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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NYCRUNS Verrazano Festival Of Races 5K & 10K

NYCRUNS Verrazano Festival Of Races 5K & 10K

So I was looking for the start line for the Haunted Half Marathon in Brooklyn. I passed a guy who looked as if he had just been brutally attacked, with … MORE

So I was looking for the start line for the Haunted Half Marathon in Brooklyn. I passed a guy who looked as if he had just been brutally attacked, with injuries still bleeding, like the Joker played by Heath Ledger — apparently that is called a Glasgow smile. I thought, man, I am not approaching that guy to ask directions. Only later I realized it was a Halloween costume. He was another runner. He also alarmed the check in volunteer at the race.

The more eerie costume I wonder how many recognized. It was a young guy with a 1970s mustache, long flowing hair, and an University of Oregon t-shirt. I was freaked out by the uncanny resemblance. He was the late Pre, Steve Prefontaine, the greatest runner in American history, dead in an auto accident at 24. It was like seeing a ghost. This guy was a middling runner. When he passed me the second time, I told him he had a terrific costume. He got a big smile at that. So I am guessing only a few understood who he was meant to be.

The route was not hipster Brooklyn. It went along the water though, out and back twice. The weather was perfect. The course was flat.

I blame Apple for my poor time of 2:30 and change. I had headphones. But I forgot the adapter for Bluetooth connectivity. Thus the race had no pace music.

I did finish ahead of Snow White. She complained of overheating. I have no idea if costume choice correlates to athleticism. But I believe I beat most of the Imperial Stormtroopers and was beaten by all but one of the Waldos. I think I am too old for Waldo. But it must have had some influence. I saw at least five Waldos, male and female.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon

This was my PR (to date). So I have only positive things to say. It's flat, which accounts for it being fast. I also had a personal pacer, someone I … MORE

This was my PR (to date). So I have only positive things to say.
It’s flat, which accounts for it being fast. I also had a personal pacer, someone I run with often who is much faster but nice to me. We finished with the exact same time.
Mass start. Bit of a wait for your turn. Not complaining; just noting.
I am spoiled by San Francisco. I can’t say I really am dazzled by the sights of San Jose. However, it is fine.
I probably will run this again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Marin Moonlight Run

Marin Moonlight Run

I ran another night race. This is my second. It also was in Marin County, a town called Novato, which took quite a bit of time to travel to through … MORE

I ran another night race. This is my second. It also was in Marin County, a town called Novato, which took quite a bit of time to travel to through traffic. Unlike the earlier event, which went through woods and had hills, this was on a paved path around a marsh. The crowd was enthusiastic, with families enjoying the evening. There were many parents with kids walking the 5k.

Night races have a totally different vibe to them. I suppose that’s hardwired, the circadian rhythms that all animals have inside them. They are exciting yet mellow, somehow not what you’re body expects you to be doing at that hour.

They gave out glow sticks. I put one in my pocket, thinking, I don’t really need this. Sure enough, it fell out. Then I felt bad I hadn’t saved it securely for another occasion. I suppose that means I am, in fact, OCD.

I signed up for this to train a bit more before the half marathon 36 hours later. I need to beat my friend Tseming, who was 3-1/2 minutes faster than me on the same course a year earlier. So this was a final bit of preparation. I’m glad I did it, because it set the tone for a weekend of exertion.

The moon rose a moment before the start. The race organizer joked about how he had arranged for the sight.

I cheated. It was a mistake. When I finished, I said, “Is that it?” My phone clocked it as 5.25 miles, or almost 1 mile short.

I asked the guy cutting up the watermelon what the turnaround sign looked like. He said he wasn’t in charge. I had assumed, and I said this, that because he was holding a big knife that he was the race director. He pointed me to the right guy. A woman who overheard our conversation, with whom I was alternating the lead as between the two of us, said it was her fault — she thought she hadn’t done the full distance either, and she had turned just before me when she didn’t see anyone ahead, and she became nervous. Anyway, after consulting with the race director, I realized indeed I had turned after a fluorescent traffic cone probably not quite a half mile too early, following the woman. The always warn you: don’t assume the person in front of you knows where they are going.

It was decent time though, a sub-11 minute mile pace. I’m ready for the next half marathon.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
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Bridge to Bridge Run

Bridge to Bridge Run

Today's race report. I ran the Oral B Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge 12k. The branding is funny. It isn't merely the manufacturer but a specific product. I was hoping … MORE

Today’s race report. I ran the Oral B Glide Floss Bridge to Bridge 12k. The branding is funny. It isn’t merely the manufacturer but a specific product. I was hoping they’d be giving it out. I didn’t see any though.

This has been rated the most beautiful race in the nation. I see why. If you live in SF, you are lucky to have a half dozen choices for this basic route along the embarcadero, through Fisherman’s Wharf, past Crissy Field, and out to Fort Point. The views are difficult to match, with a mix of the bay, tourist attractions, and the Golden Gate Bridge, with only a single gentle hill. This is a point to point course, easily accessible by public transit. (The Muni train had not started. I took the owl bus packed with runners. A couple had not received their bibs in the mail as promised.)

The weather could not have been better. It was neither hot nor cold. There was a gentle breeze.

The field was more casual. I like that. The winner was competitive at 5:23 per mile. But I finished at least in the top half when I checked results, compared to my usual top of the bottom third in a trail half marathon. My stretch goal was 83 minutes. I did it, rounding down.

I would have been faster but I had a one tenth mile detour through beach sand. There was a downed runner on the little wood bridge. EMTs had come. The area was blocked off. Can’t complain. Looked as if they got the person back up a minute later. But boy soft sand is not easy to run on. Most folks walked that bit.

I’d do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Bank of Marin’s Alameda Running Festival

Bank of Marin’s Alameda Running Festival

I recommend this race. It has only been staged twice, including this morning’s edition. They do a bunch of distances over two days, and I met a friend of mine … MORE

I recommend this race. It has only been staged twice, including this morning’s edition. They do a bunch of distances over two days, and I met a friend of mine from Dallas, who had a friend of his who had grown up in the area. For a race in the Bay Area, it’s about as flat as it could be. For a race in the East Bay, to a San Francisco based participant, the drive was very easy — with a 7am start time, even after the finish the traffic had not become too bad.

This is the island that time forgot, according to locals. I had been there exactly once before, despite my time in the Bay Area. People who live there love it. I can see why. It’s an actual island, accessible only via tunnel and drawbridge, and there is a boozy commuter ferry into San Francisco. There a a bunch of Victorian houses that rival, if not surpass, anything in the city, and there is a decommissioned naval base that is home to an endangered tern and a bunch of manufacturers of beer and spirits, including absinthe! In terms of views, there was a little bit of the town, a moment with the San Francisco skyline, lots of the repurposed military hangers, and a weird parking lot with a half dozen cars that looked like they had been in a demolition derby and then set on fire. Probably at least three places where someone such as me, into photographing abandoned buildings, would want to take a snapshot — though I did not; in comparison, on SF runs, there are lots of people posing for selfies showing the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.

They served free food and drink at the end. I had a burrito. And a beer. There also were vendors and booths. The fair was actually decent given the crowd (they said 1500, which I think was total for all events).

A criticism that isn’t actually fair, a criticism of me, and praise.

The criticism that isn’t fair is that I went to the wrong place. The instructions said the start was at Bladium health club. That turned out to be true. But the check in was two blocks away. In the dark of 6am, you couldn’t actually see where you were going. It was a moment of confusion. Also Bladium is so big the address is only approximate. I checked what they sent. It was “my bad” as kids say, because the final pre-race note indicated the proper location for check-in as distinguished from the start line. A bonus is I parked one block away, for free, because I was super early (I anticipated, erroneously, that there would be more volume on the Bay Bridge.)

A criticism of me. I wish organizers didn’t do this, but I understand they are trying to be true to the advertised distance. I always am crushed when I am approaching the finish, only to realize you have to make another little loop around it. Let me try to describe it, so you can picture it and then see the psychological effect. This isn’t the only time it has happened. Maybe 5 percent of races have this “problem.” It shows my weakness, because I lose heart. So to be clear: it’s me, not the race organizers. What it is, is: you are heading toward the finish, which can tell by the familiar sights, and if it were straight it would be, say, a quarter mile away. In this instance, you approached three times from different directions, and once you were less than a block away, so you could glimpse the balloon pergola thingie, and you could hear announcements as people ahead of you came through — except you then saw you were coming at it from behind, not in front, so you had a turn and then do 3/4 miles more! Man, that last bit is tough when you were feeling you were done. No doubt there is a term for this emotion.

Finally, praise. The 2:30 pacer was great. I was with the 2:20 pacer for about three miles. That would have been a PR. I did my usual intervals (“fartleks” to those in the know). But I eventually slowed a bit. I told the 2:30 guy he was “my pacer,” and he said he’d shout out when he was catching up. He then did it, and thanks to the desire to beat him, which I expressed, and his encouragement, I finished ahead of him and the whole pack accompanying him. It was 2:27, which is my third-best finish in about 73 or 74 races. I have lost count, and I am have not updated my spreadsheet.

PS Race organizer a super friendly guy.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Night Sweats Trail Marathon Fall

Night Sweats Trail Marathon Fall

BUT GREAT! This weekend’s race report. I ran the Pacific Coast Trail’s Night Sweats 15k at Rodeo Beach. It was my first nighttime event. I crushed it. I have run … MORE

BUT GREAT!

This weekend’s race report. I ran the Pacific Coast Trail’s Night Sweats 15k at Rodeo Beach. It was my first nighttime event. I crushed it.

I have run the venue several times, but at the half marathon length during the day. The last time, I was at about 3:04. It is slightly short, about 12.5 to 12.75 miles. Today, my time was 2:12, and it was about 9.75 miles. So that is a significant improvement, with elevation gain that was slightly less relative to the distance.

It was dark, foggy, and drizzling at the start. It also was dusty and rocky along the route. I was tempted to take off my top layer, but I did not, and I’m glad, because it eventually got colder. I wore a baseball cap, a brand new Deep Springs College Centennial commemorative one, and it was soaked through with sweat.

People liked the Knuckle Lights (version 2.0) I had. I bought them only recently. They worked perfectly. They have a rubber strap that attaches them to your hands. One couple said they didn’t mind me running right behind them, because I was bright.

The impressive people were running ultras at 50, 75, and 100 miles. At mile 5, some lady went by a group of us. We could tell she was doing an ultra, because she was headed in the opposite direction. We all said, “Good race” etc. as is customary to encourage someone putting in grueling effort. She said, “You’re going to die.”

It was actually funny in context.

I finished 60 of 104. That is about 20 places ahead of my expectation.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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Zoom Dynamite Run

Zoom Dynamite Run

I ran this in record heat. I have run at this park before. They have various routes. They said this was the 10k twice, but my devices clocked 13.5 miles. … MORE

I ran this in record heat. I have run at this park before. They have various routes. They said this was the 10k twice, but my devices clocked 13.5 miles. They used to test dynamite out here or some such thing.

Usually I don’t like to repeat a loop — who does? But if you have to, it could be much worse. This is scenic with variation: water; woods; prairie; swamp; hills. So no complaints from me.

The Coastal Zoom folks are very nice. They usually have a bit of BBQ: burgers and hot dogs.

I would recommend this venue. Also the organizers. Weather will be a problem the rest of our lives unless we wake up to climate change.

Oh, one problem not the fault of anybody. Bay Area traffic is awful now. No good way to get back to the city from this park. 90 minutes by either bridge. That would be 45 minutes in the morning when it is clear.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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San Francisco Giant Race

San Francisco Giant Race

This race has two big gimmicks. First, you get a bobblehead. It's hosted by the Giants, with other sponsors -- this year, Alaska Airlines. So you get a player bobblehead. … MORE

This race has two big gimmicks.

First, you get a bobblehead. It’s hosted by the Giants, with other sponsors — this year, Alaska Airlines. So you get a player bobblehead. People collect them.

Second, the finish line is inside the stadium, on the outfield, and they let you hang out there. Unless you are major league baseball player, I am not sure you will ever have an opportunity to lounge on the grass, looking up into the bleachers.

The course also is reasonably flat for San Francisco. There are two moderate hills, but really nothing by Bay Area standards. I think total gain is under 250 feet. (Strava reported 234 feet. That seems right.)

Well run. Enthusiastic crowd.

They did have my name wrong, but that could have been user error too. They combined middle initial and last name. So a two minute complication at bib pickup. Not a big deal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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City2Surf

City2Surf

Today's Race Report I ran the City2Surf in Sydney, a 14k event (that is about 8.7 miles though most end up running 9 miles). They claim it is the world's … MORE

Today’s Race Report

I ran the City2Surf in Sydney, a 14k event (that is about 8.7 miles though most end up running 9 miles). They claim it is the world’s largest non-competitive run. There were 65,000 people. This was the only time I have ever run where it has been crowded, not just moderately but densely, from start to finish, with the need to wind around people and avoid crashing.

As you might expect, there were corrals rather than a single mass start. Even with corrals, however, it was slow going. There was about a three minute delay from the time the Singapore Airlines Blue gun went off until the middle of that group crossed over the start line.

The course is scenic. The event is the equivalent of Bay to Breakers. It starts at Hyde Park right downtown and ends up on Bondi Beach. There is one hill in a residential area, called Heartbreak Hill as all of these seem to be. It isn’t bad compared to San Francisco. But it is long. (Addendum: unlike Bay to Breakers, no naked people. However, a smattering of costumed folks, such as the chicken who was just ahead of me the whole way.)

The most positive aspect of today’s run is my performance relative to the field as the race progressed. I became faster and faster. My final time put me just below the middle of the pack.

If you run and you are in Sydney, this is a must. If you are with non-runners, they have a fun section, full of families with children, so they also can join.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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PARCA Devil’s Slide Hella’ Hard Half Marathon

PARCA Devil’s Slide Hella’ Hard Half Marathon

I have run 69 Half Marathons in 2-1/2 years. This is the hardest yet. Actually, it's tied. I have run up Mt. Montara twice. Each run was extraordinarily difficult, more … MORE

I have run 69 Half Marathons in 2-1/2 years. This is the hardest yet. Actually, it’s tied. I have run up Mt. Montara twice. Each run was extraordinarily difficult, more than Angel Island or the Dipsea. It’s about 3000 feet of vertical gain.

On this race, there was a woman really struggling. It was her first trail run. The guy with her, a husband or father or coach, was trying to encourage her. I felt bad for her.

So I write with what is an invitation or a warning depending on your perspective. It’s a great run, but be aware it is not easy. I would not make it a first trail run unless you are a very strong athlete. The one big hill is a doozy.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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SPASM Lake Chabot Trail Run

SPASM Lake Chabot Trail Run

These folks organize the Coastal and Zoom series, plus a few other races such as this. They are friendly and well organized. Lake Chabot is used by many. There are … MORE

These folks organize the Coastal and Zoom series, plus a few other races such as this. They are friendly and well organized.

Lake Chabot is used by many. There are multiple routes. For about a year, a dam has been under construction or repair of some sort, so they have changed the usual course. They are all hilly, with 1200 to 2100 feet of vertical gain.

Mass start, a few hundred participants.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Golden Gate Trail Run (Summer)

Golden Gate Trail Run (Summer)

I have run this venue several times. I like it. I am writing to report two aspects of it. First, you might think it's easy because it's beautiful. But it's … MORE

I have run this venue several times. I like it. I am writing to report two aspects of it.

First, you might think it’s easy because it’s beautiful. But it’s deceptive. This is much harder than you think. Elevation and a bit rocky.

Second, it’s slightly short. Every race I’ve run there ends shy of 13.1. You can’t really complain. By the time you’re there you’re happy to be done.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Cleveland Marathon & Half Marathon

Cleveland Marathon & Half Marathon

I would run this again if I were there. (I live in San Francisco.) On the plus side, I was flying in and couldn't pick up the bib at the … MORE

I would run this again if I were there. (I live in San Francisco.)

On the plus side, I was flying in and couldn’t pick up the bib at the expo. They had a person handing them out on race day. That was nice. You missed out on the t-shirt. But that’s how it goes.

On the negative side, not enough porte-potties. There were many. But not relative to the size of the crowd. So I was still in line when the gun went off. It was a mass start, surprising given how many people there were.

The course itself is not bad. It’s probably about as good as you’d get in a Midwestern industrial metropolis (that’s not knocking the Midwest or industrial metropolises — my hometown is Detroit; it’s just saying it is what it is). Not hilly. Interesting urban scenery.

Oh, also, parking was much easier than I expected. I got a cheap rate in the stadium garage. In a race at a popular destination, it would have been much more expensive or farther away.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

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Colorado Marathon

Colorado Marathon

I ran the Half Marathon. It was a personal record for me at 2:20. That was about 60 Half Marathons into my running career; I'm at 72 now, and I … MORE

I ran the Half Marathon. It was a personal record for me at 2:20. That was about 60 Half Marathons into my running career; I’m at 72 now, and I have not topped this finish.

Four notes.

Altitude. I had chlorophyll drops. I asked a Ph.D biologist if that would help. He said, “If you’re a plant.” They were recommended as a regimen by a New Age-y young lady. They didn’t hurt (though they did turn my poop green). I was gasping the whole way. Be warned. That didn’t prevent a very fast race. But I would not want to run every race this way.

Start. You ride a bus 30 minutes to a canyon. It’s a cool place, literally and figuratively. It was too cold to be comfortable, but unless you discarded your sweats (as some do), you would be shivering. It also was cool in the sense of wow, the sunrise!

Downhill. It’s a slight, not great but slight, downhill the whole way. I am sure that accounts for my speed. It’s just enough to feel. But not enough to worry you re knees.

Train. Stupid train. It would have been a 2:17 or 2:18 at worst except for the freight train. I could see the finish. Made me think about that movie, Edge of Tomorrow, and trying to roll under a vehicle. Maybe 50 of us affected. Not the fault of the organizer. Just part of a funny story.

I would run this race if I were in the area. I run all over, but I usually tack on a race while traveling. I’ve never done a “destination” race. I could see this being that for some folks, and you wouldn’t be disappointed.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Bay Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Bay Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I have run lots. 69 Half Marathons in 2.5 years. Just started at 48. Typically finish at the top of the bottom quarter. So that's me, Brazen is friendly and … MORE

I have run lots. 69 Half Marathons in 2.5 years. Just started at 48. Typically finish at the top of the bottom quarter. So that’s me,

Brazen is friendly and well organized. Their races have 250 or so in the field. They are my favorite of San Francisco Bay Area outfits. I recommend anything they do.

This course was unbelievably muddy on the day I ran, at the start/finish. It was fine once you got out there. But boy were my shoes covered before I began. Not their fault. And would vary by year.

For the area, this is one of the flatter courses. I would run it again without hesitation.

Mainly, I write to endorse Brazen. (I have no relationship to them of course.)

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Mass start. Goes out of Golden Gate Park along the panhandle; back into the park; south on the Pacific Coast Highway, which they close. Probably the flattest race you'll find … MORE

Mass start. Goes out of Golden Gate Park along the panhandle; back into the park; south on the Pacific Coast Highway, which they close. Probably the flattest race you’ll find in the city, with only a very slight rise at the finish. Start and finish are not at the same place. Otherwise, everything is great. This was my first Half Marathon, and I’ve run it thrice. I’m becoming and intend to be a regular.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I have very little to add to what has been said other than these folks are friendly, organized, and enthusiastic. I ran 36 Half Marathons in 2016, most in the … MORE

I have very little to add to what has been said other than these folks are friendly, organized, and enthusiastic. I ran 36 Half Marathons in 2016, most in the San Francisco Bay Area, and I rate Brazen as my favorite outfit. Their runners are laid back too. Lots of people know others but it’s not a clique. Pick Brazen. (I have no relationship with them; i.e., this is an endorsement with no conflict of interest in the background.)

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I am revising my older reviews. I realize other runners really care about information that will help them decide whether to run a race, not my personal story about it. … MORE

I am revising my older reviews. I realize other runners really care about information that will help them decide whether to run a race, not my personal story about it. So I’m adding as much as I can. I should add that I am easygoing and open minded, to put it positively; or indiscriminate and lacking standards, to put it less so. What I mean is I have run more than six dozen races in under three years, so an average of more than 25 per year, and I liked all of them. I have minor quibbles about a couple. But I basically just love getting out there.

I really like Brazen. They are the best Bay Area outfit. Super friendly crew, lots of regular runners, well marked courses. I would pick a Brazen race over any other race that conflicted with it on a specific day.

They do a New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, with medals that lock together. I ran with two sisters, one the first day, the other the second day.

Lake Chabot is a tough course. Not the most difficult, but not for first-timers. As the second leg of the two-day series, this had my beat. I walked about half the distance. There are multiple courses in the same park. They are all mildly deceptive. They just look as if they should be easier. But they have considerable vertical gain, in the middle by Bay Area norms.

I signed up for 2017-18.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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