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@lindayoung

Santa Clara, CA Raving since 2016 Active 1 year, 6 months ago

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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

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (2)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon Napa, CA Sep 29, 2019 2:16:00
15K San Francisco, CA Jan 11, 2015 2:01:02

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (7)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 6, 2019 2:20:46
Half Marathon Napa, CA Sep 29, 2019 2:16:00
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Mar 20, 2016 2:33:13
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 23, 2016 2:49:59
Half Marathon Sacramento, CA Nov 14, 2015 2:34:39
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Sep 27, 2015 2:35:29
15K San Francisco, CA Jan 11, 2015 2:01:02

My Raves

This is my third Rock n Roll race (2nd Rock n Roll Half Marathon distance). As always, a fantastic experience with Rock n Roll - always a great race execution … MORE

This is my third Rock n Roll race (2nd Rock n Roll Half Marathon distance). As always, a fantastic experience with Rock n Roll – always a great race execution with this company. For San Jose specifically, the run is a pretty flat course that goes through parts of down town and residential areas.

NEGATIVES:
-Mile markers could have been more prominent. There were 2 mile markers that I knew was approaching due to my Nike running app tracker, but I never saw due to crowds, etc.
-The last Rock n Roll Half distance I ran had also included our times at the 5k, 10k, and possibly 15k, check points in our results. Did not see this included this year which surprised me, it looked like they had the timing set up on the course at the 5k and 10k checkpoints. However, we got our total time + pace posted online very quickly (was posted same day as race day).

POSITIVES:
-FREE parking at the SAP Center from 5am – 1pm for the race. This was SO convenient and very well executed. Rock n Roll even coordinated with Waze (popular navigation app) to mark all road closures!
-Multiple days of Expo for bib pick up (including bib pick up 2 hours before start time of race day!)
-As always with Rock n Roll, fantastic medal designs and dry-fit tech shirt designs. They also customize the shirts and medals to the actual distance you are running!
-Corral assignments were pretty efficient (not strictly enforced). A bit of a wait if you’re in the later corrals, but makes the overall race experience so much better. Easy process to switch corral assignments if you want to.
-Overall great course support. I believe 6 water stations for the half distance: 3 stations with water and 3 stations with both water/gatorade, had GU energy gels as well.
-After race snacks. This is the most improved category compared to the past Rock n Roll events I have done! They had gatorade bottles, water bottles, chocolate milk, cheez-its, pringles, granola bars, peanut butter crackers, multi grain crackers, bananas. And of course 1 free beer per runner at the finish line.
-Great weather in San Jose!
-Tiered pricing. The early bird pricing for Rock n Roll races is a great deal for the very high quality production they put on. Early bird ~$59 up to ~$179 for last minute registration at the Expo (2019 Half Marathon prices, EXCLUDING taxes and fees).
-Plenty of volunteers, well stocked water stations.
-Lots of residents and local schools cheering us on.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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I ran the half marathon version of this race as a first-timer (they also offer a quarter marathon distance of 6.55 miles). This is a smaller race with around ~600 … MORE

I ran the half marathon version of this race as a first-timer (they also offer a quarter marathon distance of 6.55 miles). This is a smaller race with around ~600 total runners in 2019. Here are my thoughts:

NEGATIVES:
-Website and Facebook ads for the race states that all participants will receive a tech short sleeve shirt. However, the shirt we received was NOT technical, it was just a cotton t-shirt. I was really sad about the lack of tech shirt 🙁
-Announcer to kick start the race did not have a microphone, so most people weren’t able to hear her (a bit of a confusing start). Note: they did have a microphone for the finish.
-Wish there was some distinction between the half marathon and quarter marathon medals, or at least the medal ribbons. Though I understand this would be logistically more complicated and a lot more expensive for a race of this size.
-Wish they had staggered starts/some kind of corral system to spread out the crowds.
-Everyone got the same start time. Not TOO huge of a deal with this being a smaller race, but probably added ~1min to my overall time.

NEUTRAL (happy this was provided, but some feedback for improvement):
-Loved the tickets for 2 free tacos from a food truck per runner. However, wish that they had 2 food truck options to avoid one really, really long line. Also, should have had a sign letting people know which flavors from the menu runners could get complimentary.
-Plenty of volunteers and they were all very friendly and wanted to help. However, many of them did not have answers to questions asked of them and just generally seemed uneducated about logistical details (absolutely not the volunteer’s fault, and they did look for the answers when they did not know). The race organizers maybe should have spent more time communicating these details to the volunteers.
-Free photos taken of runners and uploaded to Facebook. Love that they do this! However for me personally, the two times I encountered the camera woman on the course, she was not taking any photos and helping to direct runners on the path / stopping oncoming cars.
-Finish line was a bit chaotic. the most confusing was figuring out where to get our taco tickets.
-The roads were not closed for runners during the race (though the race organizers did a great job of communicating this in advance). Had volunteers and Police helping to direct car traffic where needed.
-Took a day or two for results to be published on line, but overall, not a bad turnaround time for both results + all (free!!) photos!

POSITIVES:
-Beautiful, scenic course (there is some looping in the course), but I didn’t mind.
-Bib pick up process was efficient. They allow both day before AND morning of bib pick up (morning of pick up at no extra charge too!!)
-Course support – I think 3 water stations for the first 6 miles, and 2 water stations for the remainder of the course for the half marathoners. Stations had water and nuun electrolytes. I noticed pretzels and bananas at the later stations as well. Would’ve appreciated one more water station for the half marathon distance, maybe at around mile 12.
-Potties. I saw a good number of port o potties along the course and they were spaced apart well.
-Finish line refreshments. Bananas, tangerines, tons of water bottles, rose wine!, bagels, crackers, and 2 free tacos from a food truck. Long line for food truck though.
-Loved the design of the medal for the half marathon.
-Beringer bottle of wine for finishers (choice of white or red)

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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I love when there are Brazen races near or in the Bay Area (they are definitely rare 😛 ). I did the half marathon on their brand new course for … MORE

I love when there are Brazen races near or in the Bay Area (they are definitely rare 😛 ). I did the half marathon on their brand new course for 2016. This year, the course started and ended right outside of the Coyote Creek park on Embedded Dr (right in between the Teradyne/Nextest company and Silver Creek Sportsplex. Plenty of free parking in the company and sportsplex parking lots! This was awesome as we did not have to worry about the parking fees imposed by the park and it solved the bottle neck issues mentioned in past years when the race started inside of the park.

Course:
-Started and ended right outside of the park.
-Course is pretty much all on paved road. Relatively flat with some mild hills. There was a small area between some benches in a picnic area that we ran through some sand/dirt.
-One very short bottle neck area that we had to squeeze through in order to get into the park trails. Wasn’t too big of a deal to me as we passed through it fairly quickly and the group then leveled off pretty fast. If this is something that would bother you, try to get to the front of the pack.
-From the start line, run 5 miles into the park before reaching the first turnaround point for the half. Run 5 miles back and pass the start/end area to run another 3 miles (which also happens to be the 5k course).
-6 aid stations total for the half marathon (I think this is more than what is normally offered at Brazen races as the paved roads and open space allows them more room to set up the aid stations)!.

Swag:
-Short sleeve tech tee. Purple for women, navy blue for men (same design). There is a cute little alice in wonderland scene that is inconspicuously designed in the shirt.
-Nice personalized bibs.
-Really nicely designed medal. The only downside was that they had experienced a mail issue and 9 out of 30 boxes did not get delivered on time. So a ton of the people at the end of the half marathon did not get a medal after the race (they were mailed out the following day though). Given the circumstances, I think Brazen handled the medal fiasco really well and at the end of the day, I don’t think anyone was too upset about it. They gave us a $25 credit towards any future brazen event!
-Loved the snacks. I was one of the back of the packers for the half and by the time I finished, a lot of the usual snacks had already been eaten up by the 10kers :(. But even then, the snacks that were left was still way more variety than what is typically offered at non-Brazen races!

Pleasant experience overall. Especially love the little nods to Alice in Wonderland that they have done in the Hellyer medals/shirts for 2 years in a row now. I hope they keep that up 😀

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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This was my first Brazen style half marathon (aka my first trail half marathon)! Brazen races are held rain or shine, so I was fortunate enough to experience off and … MORE

This was my first Brazen style half marathon (aka my first trail half marathon)! Brazen races are held rain or shine, so I was fortunate enough to experience off and on rain during the race (I guess we in California can’t complain though due to the drought!). As with all of their events, Brazen really takes care of their runners! Here’s my run down:

Pros:
-Two days of early bib pick up at the Sports Basement in Sunnyvale (with 20% off if you show your bib). LOVED that it was at the Sunnyvale location as it’s a very central location in the South Bay and parking is very easy. ((Much appreciated contrast to the other races that have held bib pick up at the Sports Basement in Campbell, which is more out of the way AND it has TERRIBLE parking due to being in a commercial complex with several other retail establishments, eateries, and grocery stores))
-free bib pick up on race day morning
-Free race photos. Even with the rain, I saw at least 4-5 photographers stations throughout the course. Even though I never look good in race photos, they are still nice to have! Because the photos are provided for free, you will have to look through a folder of all photos and hunt for yourself, kind of like Where’s Waldo. Sometimes, I have seen them organize the photos into separate folders (before race, during race, post finish). Try to wear something very flashy and loud so you can find yourself easier afterwards.
-Medal and Tech Shirt: Great quality and design medal/ribbon. The moon behind the coyote glows in the dark!! Nice gender specific tech shirts that fit perfectly. When registering, you have the option of paying $5 extra for a tech shirt, or simply opting for the cotton shirt that comes with registration.
-Post race grub: if you have done Brazen races before you know that they always have a fantastic post race supply of snacks from its-its ice cream, chips, pretzels, red velvet cake, candies, popcorn, fresh fruit, etc. There’s is always something for everyone!
-Had coffee, hot chocolate, and hot water for cider/tea for people before the race started!
-I honestly didn’t mind parking at De Vry University 2 miles away and taking the shuttle. Parking was FREE. Shuttles were FREE. What is there to complain about? They also did a great job of setting expectations about the situation (IE 8 shuttle buses, come a bit earlier to avoid race day stress and lines, etc)
-Very scenic course over mostly trail and gravel. It was raining off and on during the race so there were some muddy areas as well. Rolling hills and a couple areas that really made me want to crawl on my hands and knees – great for those of you who like some incline challenges.
-Well stocked aid stations.
-Personalized bibs!!

Cons:
-If you’re doing the 10k or Half Marathon, the course does have loops so you will be running up and down the same path more than once. Particularly for the Half Marathon runners (who basically run the 10k course twice) and have this one area where they will be crossing FOUR times. This area has rolling hills too, so if you are not used to hills they will definitely slow you down, especially at the 3rd and 4rth passes.
-Half Marathon runners hit 4 aid stations total. I personally am used to 7 or so aid stations for a half (road races) so I struggled with this a bit. Would recommend bringing a hand held water bottle. (Note: Brazen DID disclaim this well before the race on their website AND their pre race email)

Also there is a almost sewage-like smell due the bay/swamp-like area of the park. It did not affect my pace, but just be prepared for it if you are sensitive to such smells. It is strongest mostly at the park entrance and the first mile or so of the course.

Not a pro or con, but just an observation: I noticed that the safety pins at this particular event were way flimsier and thinner than regular safety pins. Not a big deal as they serve their purpose, but I wouldn’t save them for future use as I do with other safety pins I have from other races.

Would I run this again? Yes
Would I make sure to train for inclines? Yes!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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This was the first year the Beat the Blerch race came to Sacramento, CA and 4 running distances were available (5k, 10k, half, and full). Race: This was my 3rd … MORE

This was the first year the Beat the Blerch race came to Sacramento, CA and 4 running distances were available (5k, 10k, half, and full).

Race:
This was my 3rd half marathon ever and thought everything was very well done, especially for its inaugural year. The course was very scenic and took you by the river, across bridges (3x), through downtown, through parks, and a bike trail, with the finish in Raley Field. No loops in the course and relatively flat overall, just some minor slopes.

Meeting “The Oatmeal”:
I picked up my bib packet Friday at REI and got him to sign both my bib and the “Terrible Reasons why I run long distances” book. He would alternate between taking pictures or refusing pictures. If you didn’t get a picture, he seemed to try to compensate by drawing an extra doodle for you :). He happened to be refusing photos by the time i reached him but got a cool horse drawing! After the half on race day, I waited in-line to meet him again to get him to sign my medal ribbon and got a picture this time!

Organization:
Thought everything was very well organized starting with bib pick up. Plenty of signs to direct people and there were staff/volunteers in blerch costumes ready to field questions/concerns.

Race day parking was easy as well (LOVE the FREE parking btw!) at Raley Field. The parking was literally right by the start line too!

Plenty of signs, cones, sticker markers on ground, and appropriate mile markers throughout the course. Aid stations were fantastic with electrolytes, water, cake, nutella, couches, and other goodies.

The Bling:
Fantastic Blerch medal. Especially like how the medal ribbons (along with the bib and race shirts) were personalized according to which distance you ran. Thought it was also a nice touch that each medal had plastic wrap around the metal portion to protect (I’ve had other medals get dinged when they clank against each other in the boxes).

Areas for Improvement:
(1) Free photos were advertised as part of registration, but I did not see many photographers at all. Saw some start line photograhers and at the finish line, but didn’t really see any throughout the course or in the finish area after we got our medals.
(2) The snacks and drinks right at the finish line was crazy. At the time I finished, it looked like the water table (the very first table runners get to after crossing the finish line) was the bottleneck – cups kept running out and it took time to fill cups/water bottles with the water dispensers. Every other race I have done gave out bottled water or bottled powerade at the finish line, which really speeds up the process.
(3) Not really an issue for me as I typically run the whole race without needing a bathroom, but I noticed there were almost no bathroom opportunities throughout the course.

Overall though, this was a very fun and unique race. I would still highly recommend to others!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Ran the half marathon in 2015 (their 10th anniversary year). Overall, this was an A event! Pros: -Reasonable and logical price tiers, usually starting at ~$60 for the lowest pricing … MORE

Ran the half marathon in 2015 (their 10th anniversary year). Overall, this was an A event!

Pros:
-Reasonable and logical price tiers, usually starting at ~$60 for the lowest pricing (unlike disney which starts at almost $200 for first tier pricing)
-Nice course (flat, enjoyable, good variety)
-Quality bling
-water stations were well stocked
-volunteers were great
-got a promo shirt for early sign-up 🙂
-they allow people to change corral assignments; was a quick and painless process
-good finish line snack variety (water, gatorade, nesquick, bananas, nuts, power bar, beer)
-perfect northern california weather

Cons:
-think they really skimped in the goodies inside our bib pick-up bags at the expo (only got a 15% sports authority coupon; which btw previous years had a 20% off sports authority coupon)
-Had a hard time carrying my water, gatorade, banana, and other snacks in the finish chute; would have been nice if they gave out a small baggie to help us carry the snacks, especially as we were not allowed to re-enter if we wanted another water or something
-saw the porta potty lines in the first 5 miles or so were crazy long, maybe could use more potties? the ones in the second half of the race had no lines though..

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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This is definitely a really well organized event. Email communication started well before the event with information about parking. Bib pick up was in the south San Francisco conference center, … MORE

This is definitely a really well organized event. Email communication started well before the event with information about parking. Bib pick up was in the south San Francisco conference center, which has free parking!! However, the expo was quite a bit smaller than expected, especially for such a large race. I pretty much just got my swag bag and left. They have an area to try sweater sizes and option to exchange. I wanted to trade my small for an xsmall, but they ran out of the xsmall. I also used someone’s affiliate code and got a free “will run for chocolate” tech hat with my entry. I liked the design and look of the hat but wished they had it in different sizes; it’s way too big even with the Velcro adjustability feature at the back.

Honestly, I only did the race this year because it was the first time they were giving out finisher medals for the 15k. I am glad they only had medals for the 15k runners as I feel that having the same medal for 5k and 15k would not be fair as 5k is only 1/3rd the distance! The medal did not disappoint! It’s heavy, huge, and has the Golden Gate Bridge on it!

Race day:
-I was coming from the South Bay and had purchased the shuttle ticket. I parked at SF state which had plenty of parking and then boarded the shuttle to get to the start line in golden gate park. They had a ton of shuttle buses and the line basically was a steady stream of ppl boarding; it never stopped!
-lots of porta potties at the start and along the course; though the lines for the potties on the course were really long
-many chocolate snack and water stations. I didn’t take any of the chocolates or marshmallows during the race as I knew it would dry out my mouth. They always had a sign ahead of time to let runners know that sweets and water was coming up; the sweets station ALWAYS came up before the water station; which makes sense as I’ll bet runners would really appreciate the drinks right after biting into the dry chocolates
-very scenic course! Loved it. The beginning was nice and easy downhill. Middle portion along the waterfront was really flat. But the last couple miles-ALL. Up. HILL. lord have mercy.
-Gatorade right when u cross the finish line.
-Got my fondue afterwards and the lines were super fast! They also had little plastic baggies so you could take the fondue to-go easily and mess-free. Had banana, Rice Krispie, pretzels, and marshmallows to dip in the chocolate fondue. They also had cups of hot chocolate (hot chocolate, dipped marshmallows, and dipped strawberries were also being handed out at the expo to give a sneak peak taste!). The chocolates were all really yummy!
-went to the shuttle station to get back to my car and this area was SO WELL organized. They had lines clearly organized, labeled with flags, and roped off according to which destination the shuttle was going to (they had shuttle stations at SF state, San Mateo, east bay, and maybe 1-2 more options which was nice because there were runners from everywhere near and far! They had a constant stream of buses running so lines went super fast!

I just wish the fondue cups were designed more like a real mug without the center hole for chocolate , and in ceramic, so that people could reuse them as coffee or tea mugs.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

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