My Profile

@PeteSinCA

San Jose, CA Raving since 2015 Active 1 week, 6 days ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Brazen Almost New Year's Eve, 2014

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Rocky Ridge, 20??, sighhhhhhh ….

  • I run because:

    To show me I (still) can!

My Races

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

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Future Races

Personal Bests (9)

Race Distance Location Date Result
12 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 8, 2017 7 mi
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 9, 2016 17 mi
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Mar 15, 2014 3:09:26
10 Miler Capitola, CA Oct 22, 2017 3:11:00
15K Aptos, CA Jun 19, 2016 2:25:45
10K San Jose, CA Nov 28, 2013 1:25:38
5 Miler Woodland, CA Jul 4, 2016 1:05:09
8K San Jose, CA Mar 2, 2014 1:02:38
5K Cupertino, CA Mar 26, 2016 40:56

Future Races (1)

Race Distance Location Date Paid
5K Oakland, CA Jul 16, 2022

Past Races (137)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
10K San Jose, CA Jun 5, 2022
5K San Jose, CA May 21, 2022 55:27
Half Marathon San Pablo, CA May 14, 2022
5K San Jose, CA May 7, 2022 54:22
8K Castro Valley, CA Apr 16, 2022 1:49:41
10K Morgan Hill, CA Mar 27, 2022 1:56:39
Half Marathon Richmond, CA Feb 26, 2022 4:14:00
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Feb 12, 2022 4:43:08
10K Fremont, CA Jan 22, 2022 2:22:52
10K Mountain View, CA Jan 1, 2022 1:59:16
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Dec 12, 2021 4:19:07
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Nov 27, 2021 4:20:23
10K San Jose, CA Nov 14, 2021 1:48:18
10K San Jose, CA Oct 31, 2021 1:44:30
10K Belmont, CA Oct 9, 2021 1:52:45
5K San Jose, CA Sep 19, 2021 51:19
5K Castro Valley, CA Sep 11, 2021 57:33
5K San Jose, CA Aug 22, 2021 51:39
5K San Leandro, CA Jul 31, 2021 52:38
8K San Jose, CA Feb 2, 2020 1:31:36
5K Mountain View, CA Jan 1, 2020 1:00:25
5K Santa Clara, CA Dec 1, 2019
5K San Jose, CA Nov 28, 2019
5K San Jose, CA Nov 2, 2019
10K Campbell, CA Oct 19, 2019 1:58:00
10K Mountain View, CA Sep 29, 2019 2:01:44
10K San Jose, CA Sep 22, 2019 1:51:10
5K Richmond, CA Aug 31, 2019 1:07:49
10K Martinez, CA Aug 10, 2019
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 6, 2019 10 mi
10K Fremont, CA Jun 29, 2019 2:12:02
10K San Carlos, CA Apr 14, 2019 1:51:36
5K San Jose, CA Mar 24, 2019 54:21
10K Palo Alto, CA Mar 10, 2019 2:10:00
10K Richmond, CA Feb 23, 2019 1:49:44
10K San Leandro, CA Feb 9, 2019 1:53:51
10K Fremont, CA Jan 26, 2019 2:00:15
5K Mountain View, CA Jan 1, 2019 53:41
10K Santa Clara, CA Dec 2, 2018 1:49:16
10K San Jose, CA Nov 22, 2018 1:54:26
5K Sunnyvale, CA Nov 4, 2018 59:43
10K San Jose, CA Oct 28, 2018 2:19:04
10K Brentwood, CA Oct 13, 2018 2:34:38
10K San Jose, CA Sep 30, 2018 1:42:13
10K Los Gatos, CA Sep 22, 2018 1:49:41
10K Felton, CA Aug 19, 2018 2:12:59
5K San Jose, CA Aug 11, 2018 51:13
5 Miler Castro Valley, CA Jul 15, 2018 1:52:34
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 7, 2018
10K Sunnyvale, CA Jun 17, 2018 1:54:23
10K San Jose, CA Jun 3, 2018 1:59:10
10K San Pablo, CA May 19, 2018 2:12:11
5K San Jose, CA May 12, 2018 54:38
10K Danville, CA May 6, 2018 1:52:48
10K Fresno, CA Apr 14, 2018 1:45:00
5K Cupertino, CA Mar 31, 2018 50:48
10K San Jose, CA Mar 18, 2018 1:56:58
10K Richmond, CA Feb 24, 2018 1:49:37
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Feb 10, 2018
5 Miler Woodside, CA Jan 21, 2018 1:57:19
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Dec 31, 2017 4:33:42
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Dec 17, 2017 4:23:49
10K Fremont, CA Nov 25, 2017 1:51:52
10K San Pablo, CA Nov 23, 2017 1:56:33
5K Sunnyvale, CA Nov 12, 2017 49:53
5K San Jose, CA Nov 5, 2017 51:03
10K San Jose, CA Oct 28, 2017 1:48:26
10 Miler Capitola, CA Oct 22, 2017 3:11:00
10K San Jose, CA Sep 30, 2017 1:47:53
5K San Jose, CA Sep 2, 2017 1:14:07
12 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 8, 2017 7 mi
10K Santa Cruz, CA Jun 24, 2017 2:31:56
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Jun 4, 2017 4:13:24
Half Marathon San Pablo, CA May 27, 2017 4:22:14
5 Miler Oakland, CA May 13, 2017 1:58:14
10K Berkeley, CA Apr 15, 2017 3:17:45
Half Marathon Livermore, CA Mar 18, 2017
10K Pacifica, CA Feb 18, 2017 2:21:05
5 Miler Woodside, CA Jan 21, 2017 1:48:17
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2017
Half Marathon Walnut Creek, CA Dec 10, 2016 3:41:48
10K Fremont, CA Nov 26, 2016 1:38:34
10K San Pablo, CA Nov 24, 2016 1:45:30
10K Davis, CA Nov 19, 2016 1:34:26
10K Vacaville, CA Oct 22, 2016 2:04:30
10K San Ramon, CA Oct 1, 2016 2:32:57
Half Marathon El Sobrante, CA Sep 24, 2016 4:02:37
10K Felton, CA Aug 21, 2016 1:52:53
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 9, 2016 17 mi
5 Miler Woodland, CA Jul 4, 2016 1:05:09
15K Aptos, CA Jun 19, 2016 2:25:45
Half Marathon San Pablo, CA May 28, 2016 3:20:00
Half Marathon Oakland, CA Apr 17, 2016 3:39:56
5K Cupertino, CA Mar 26, 2016 40:56
5K San Jose, CA Mar 20, 2016 59:25
8K San Jose, CA Mar 6, 2016 1:09:03
10K Richmond, CA Feb 27, 2016 1:32:56
10K San Leandro, CA Feb 13, 2016 1:29:11
Half Marathon San Rafael, CA Feb 7, 2016 4:01:05
10K Pacifica, CA Jan 16, 2016 2:06:03
Half Marathon Walnut Creek, CA Dec 12, 2015 3:32:16
10K Fremont, CA Nov 28, 2015 1:33:50
10K San Pablo, CA Nov 26, 2015 1:37:50
Half Marathon Livermore, CA Nov 14, 2015
5K Sunnyvale, CA Nov 1, 2015 42:31
Half Marathon Redwood City, CA Oct 24, 2015 3:23:48.5
10K Campbell, CA Oct 17, 2015 1:28:34
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Sep 6, 2015 3:40:18.933
10K San Jose, CA Aug 15, 2015
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Aug 1, 2015 3:33:05
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 11, 2015 16.85 mi
Half Marathon Saratoga, CA Jun 6, 2015 5:44:21
Half Marathon El Sobrante, CA May 9, 2015 4:46:56
Half Marathon Santa Cruz, CA Apr 12, 2015 3:26:05
Half Marathon Livermore, CA Mar 14, 2015 4:57:24
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Feb 14, 2015 3:50:26
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 24, 2015 3:23:34
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Dec 27, 2014 4:27:42
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Nov 29, 2014 3:31:42
10K San Jose, CA Nov 27, 2014 1:30:47
Half Marathon Morgan Hill, CA Nov 2, 2014 3:39:27
Half Marathon Redwood City, CA Oct 4, 2014
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Sep 6, 2014 4:17:06
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Aug 2, 2014 3:24:21
Half Marathon Los Gatos, CA Jul 13, 2014 3:21:49
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Jun 1, 2014 3:17:09
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Mar 15, 2014 3:09:26
8K San Jose, CA Mar 2, 2014 1:02:38
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 25, 2014 3:22:34
10K San Jose, CA Nov 28, 2013 1:25:38
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 6, 2013 3:11:38
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Apr 7, 2013 3:28:39
8K San Jose, CA Mar 10, 2013 1:08:52
10K San Jose, CA Nov 22, 2012 1:31:52
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 7, 2012 3:31:29
8K San Jose, CA Mar 11, 2012 1:15:14
5K San Jose, CA Nov 24, 2011 49:30

My Raves

Event & Course Description: The Leigh Longhorn Stampede is a 5K that benefits Leigh High School students. Its mostly flat USATF certified course winds around part of San Jose's Cambrian … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Leigh Longhorn Stampede is a 5K that benefits Leigh High School students. Its mostly flat USATF certified course winds around part of San Jose’s Cambrian neighborhood. Since the area was developed in the late 1940s or the 1950s, it’s suburban homes with a fair number of mature trees. I’d guesstimate the course has 40%-50% shade.

Organization & Production: The event is low-key, but register and run. All necessary info is on the race website, with no gotchas. There is parking at the school, as well as in the nearby neighborhood that is not part of the course. There were a couple of water stations on the course, very appropriate for a family-oriented 5K. There were music groups at 3 points along the course, and cheer team girls near the start and finish.

Bib: The overall color of the bib is green (one of the school colors). It has a drawing of the school mascot, a charging bull, plus the bib number.

T-Shirt: The T-shirt is forest green cotton. The front has the green charging bull over a bright golden yellow circle. Around that circle are the race name and year.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is a about 1 1/2 inch diameter lead gray disc with stars around it. In the center is a mostly green sticker with the bull and race info. It’s semi-custom from Crown, but pleasant. I have very moderate expectations for charity/benefit events, so I’m quite happy with this medal. The ribbon is plain green.

Finish & Recovery Area: The start area was a street in front of the high school, and the finish was the school’s central quad. There were a good number of benches and picnic type tables nearby. Runners went through the finish arch and were given their medals and a bottle of water as they went into the quad. There was a table well stocked with bananas and other simple goodies – more than I would expect of a charity/benefit event.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I’ve had slightly better 5K finish times recently, but since it was a fairly warm day, my time was probably pretty good (for me). I’ve been wanting to do this event for quite some time, but between other choices and two years of Covid pause, this was my first time. It’s about 10 minutes drive from my home, and was a pleasant race experience, so the Leigh Longhorn Stampede will be a consideration next year.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: All distances share the 5K course. I runs along part of the shore, in and out of eucalyptus groves. It then climbs through a grove up … MORE

Event & Course Description: All distances share the 5K course. I runs along part of the shore, in and out of eucalyptus groves. It then climbs through a grove up to an open ridge with 360-degree views. Coming down from that ridge, 5K runners turn right toward the finish. 10K and half marathon runner then head out toward the tip of the peninsula, in and out of groves, along more shoreline, and then through a grove to a split. 10K runners go to the finish, while half marathon runners repeat the whole course. The views are pretty amazing, and the Eucalypti smell pretty nice, too. I had signed up for the half marathon distance, but needed to bail out to do “just” a 10K. Under-prepared, warm day, sun exposure, and starting with a too aggressive pace work poorly for me (surprise, surprise, surprise!). That’s my fault. Nitro Trail, Dirty Dozen, and Nitro Turkey are wonderful race experiences.

Organization & Production: It’s a Brazen race. That means it’s register-and-run and well produced. A runner just needs to “worry” about getting there and getting home.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The top has the same artwork as the race T-shirt at the top (described below), with the race name and date. The bib number and runner’s name is in a distance color-coded strip in the middle, and Brazen Racing’s logo is at the bottom.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). The tech type T-shirt is bright golden yellow. The front has the prospector’s donkey described below, along with a small Brazen Racing logo.

Finisher’s Medal: Different people have different tastes, I get that. For me, the medallion is amazing, insta-favorite. The medallion is a copper-colored prospector’s mule (the venue is a former site for manufacturing explosives, such as a miner might use), about 3 1/2 inches long, nose to tail. The mule is loaded up with frying pan, bed roll, water bottle (wink, wink), shovel, and wood panels for making a shelter. The race name and info are on the wood panels. The degree of detail is amazing! The ribbon is dark brown, with a lighter brown lace-like pattern

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish/recovery area is a picnic area, with tables and trees. Brazen always has plenty of recovery goodies, including several flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwiches.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was disappointed in my outcome, but that was largely my doing. That aside, I’ve done Nitro Trail before, and probably will again.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Willow Glen 5K is a family-oriented event that benefits the Willow Glen School District. As the event name suggests, it is run/walked in the Willow … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Willow Glen 5K is a family-oriented event that benefits the Willow Glen School District. As the event name suggests, it is run/walked in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. The run starts on Lincoln Avenue, a main street, by Willow Glen Elementary School. It runs about a quarter mile through a downtown-like area, and then turns to wend its way around residential neighborhoods, returning to and finishing in the school courtyard.

Willow Glen is an older neighborhood, with very nice homes (some possibly about a century old) and lots of mature trees – very pleasant, and lots of shade. The course is all paved streets. The weather on event day 2022 was cool and overcast, near perfect (IMO), but 2 or 3 days previous had been sunny and warmer.

Organization & Production: The district has been running this event for quite a few years, and it is well organized. It’s basically register-and-run. The school courtyard was used for race-day registration and check-in, recovery area, and sponsors’ tables. The course is clearly marshaled, with SJPD and volunteers, and two water-only aid stations (in a 5K!). Runners self-seeded at the start, and parents with strollers did keep toward the back of the pack.

Bib: The bib has the T-shirt artwork at the top, and below that, the bib number in white on a green background.

T-Shirt: The T-shirt is navy blue, tech-type, with artwork in front and sponsors’ logos on the back and on the left sleeve. The artwork is not easily described. It has the race name and date, of course, worked into it, but had abstract drawings of a sunrise, a house with a garden, a fountain, willow trees, a person (?), a theater marquee, and a swimming pool … I think. The cumulative effect is way better than my poor guesscription. It’s a really nice T-shirt, much nicer than one might expect from a charity run.

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area was pretty minimal. A lot of cut up bananas, bottled water handed out at the finish line, plus whatever was left of a bunch of Starbucks coffee that had been available before the run. There wasn’t any seating, but there were a couple of raised planters whose concrete walls served reasonably well.

My Opinion of the Race: I generally moderate my expectations for charity events, because I want them to use their funds as prudently as they think necessary. Other than being no-medal, this event, however, was on par with professionally organized running events.

As I mentioned, the school district has been doing this event for quite a while, but being a school district, they’ve probably had a lot of experienced people move on through the years, with new people in their place. I was particularly impressed by there being an aid station every mile, very family-friendly. Because this event is near me, ~15 minutes’ drive on streets, it will be a consideration in 2023.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' SPASM Lake Chabot is, as the race name indicates, run at Lake Chabot, near Castro Valley. Five distances are run, 8K, Half Marathon, … MORE

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ SPASM Lake Chabot is, as the race name indicates, run at Lake Chabot, near Castro Valley. Five distances are run, 8K, Half Marathon, 30K, Marathon, and 50K, of which I did the 8K distance. The 8K course is a “Lollipop”, a mile and a half along the lake, an uphill and downhill 2 mile loop, and then returning to the finish along the same lake shore. The other distances do most of the 8K course, but instead of returning along the lake circle around the lake, including some distance upstream along Grass Valley Creek. That is the half marathon course, and the longer distances do parts or all of that course again.

The section along the lake is rolling and paved. The loop in the 8K course is dirt trail, with a half mile long fairly steep uphill, and a steeper quarter mile downhill. The half marathon course adds two more fairly steep hills, is mostly dirt trail. And for the longer distances, rinse-and-repeat as required.

Spring time weather in the SF Bay Area is quite variable. Within a week or two it can go from sunny and in the low 90s F to rainy and in the 50s F. This year on race day it was the latter, with rain for at least my slow first 3 miles or so (possibly more, later, after I headed home). It was wet and muddy, and I was soaked and a slip-and-fall gave me a partial covering in mud. This, too, is trail running.

Organization & Production: Coastal Trail Runs’ events are register and run. Necessary information is on the website, check-in is race-day-only and smooth, courses are copiously marked, and recovery area goodies are good.

Bib: Coastal’s bibs are fairly plain, except that the background color is varies with distances. Yellow was 8K. Beyond that, the bibs have Coastal’s logo and motto, and the bib number.

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. Because the 2018 race tee was not a favorite, I forewent the 2022 shirt, for a $5 discount. As it turned out, the 2022 shirt was a new design and fairly nice.

Finisher’s Medal: Like many Coastal medals, the medallion artwork for this race is somewhat abstract, wavy parallel white and blue lines to represent the lake water and frequent foggy haze above the water. Along the top is the race name, and along the bottom the logo of the sports medicine clinic sponsor. The ribbon is purple, gives the year and has the race logo. All in all, it’s a pretty nice medal.

Finish & Recovery Area: In addition to recovery are goodies, this park has a good number of picnic tables (but no Yogi or Boo-Boo) at which one can munch and rest.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Because I had to be extra careful on the steep and muddy downhill, I assumed my finish time was significantly affected. I was very happy to finish and not be totally coated with mud after multiple slip-and-falls. Looking back at my 2018 finish time, I was actually a few minutes less slow in 2022, to my surprise.

Coastal is one of the Bay Area’s best trail race organizers and produces a consistently excellent race experience at a very reasonable cost. I will definitely consider doing this event in 2023.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Wildflower Run benefits the American Association of University Women. It was run in northern Morgan Hill, in 10K and 5K distances, the 39th running and … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Wildflower Run benefits the American Association of University Women. It was run in northern Morgan Hill, in 10K and 5K distances, the 39th running and after a 2 year Covid break. I won’t try to trace the course in detail (I did the 10K distance), but will instead say that the area in which we ran is semi-rural, on the edge of the city, so we saw open fields, orchards, a vineyard, a new housing development, some larger “estates” (the best word I know to describe such homes), and some more ordinary suburban neighborhoods. The event started in the student parking lot at Live Oak High School, and finished at the other side of the campus, near faculty parking.

Organization & Production: As mentioned above, this was the 39th running, so the AAUW people doing the organizing have considerable practice. From checking out their website through leaving after finishing, the Wildflower Run is a register-and-run event. It’s fairly no-frills – no finisher’s medal, water-only aid stations – but what there is is done well. The course marshals along the course and aid station volunteers were consistently friendly and encouraging.

Bib: The bibs were fairly plain, blue for 10K, yellow for 5K, with the race name and bib numbers. The event is chip timed.

T-Shirt: Maybe I’m spoiled or not fully rational, but this was a sore spot for me. I “get” that charities need to use their funds carefully (it would be disturbing if they did not). So I dial back my expectations: cotton instead of tech-type is fine with me; I don’t expect amazing creativity or even a different design every year. When I picked up my bib and Tee early on race day, I was asked if a blue shirt instead of a red one would be OK. Thinking the difference was just color, I was OK with that, and left the shirt in my car (I usually don’t wear race shirts on the day of the race). I looked at my shirt after finishing, and saw it had the date “2020”. It’s a good quality cotton Tee, with a fairly interesting design, and obviously cost the charity money, but I wish the organizers had informed runners that some might receive shirts left over from previous years.

Finish & Recovery Area: I was tired enough that I didn’t check out what was in the area. In passing through it, I did notice cups with pretzel sticks and a lady handing out pieces of cantaloupe.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Maybe I’ll get over it (or grow up) but what I mentioned above was disappointing. The Wildflower run was well organized, with friendly volunteers, and the scenery was more pleasant than many street/road events I’ve done.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

Once over lightly ... maybe? I've Raved Brazen Racing's Victory event before, but 2022 was the first time I did the half marathon distance. So … it's and out-and-back, mostly … MORE

Once over lightly … maybe? I’ve Raved Brazen Racing’s Victory event before, but 2022 was the first time I did the half marathon distance. So … it’s and out-and-back, mostly on the Bay Trail, starting near a former Ford plant in Rosie the Riveter national park, with different turn-arounds for the three distances. It’s a Brazen race, so production is excellent, from researching the event before registering through leaving the parking lot to return home.

Probably the 10K (and 5K) course is the most scenic, pleasant on both sides of the trail. Some time after the 10K turn-around, the half marathon course has freeway or industrial buildings on the inland side and bay scenery on the other, until runners reach the Albany Bulb, which is entirely pleasant (why a peninsula into SF Bay is called a “bulb”, I don’t know). The one brief hill, on the half marathon course only, was on the Albany Bulb. Otherwise, the courses are almost literally flat.

The tech-type T-shirt is light blue, with a large red, white, and blue “V” (Victory ships were built where the park is now), and a white banner across it with the word “Victory”. Very nice, though not quite “favorite grade” for my tastes (Brazen always has excellent artwork, and this really is NOT an exception).

The medal, on the other hand, is the most to my taste of this event’s finisher’s medals that I’ve seen. In the background is a large white circle, with a red ring around it. In the circle are stars, and around the ring are the year in Roman numerals and the distances. The foreground is an eagle perched on an anchor’s flukes with its wings raised to form a “V”, and across its chest is a banner with the word “VICTORY”. The ribbon is blue, with the race information. For those who also ran in Brazen’s Bay Breeze, there is a connector medal (octopuses and eagles have a natural connection, right? 😉 ).

I was very happy with my finish time, the best I’ve done since mid 2017 (and half an hour less slow than two weeks previous). A running friend and I sort of paced each other by talking the whole way, which kept me from thinking about things that hurt a little or how tired I was getting. Brazen is consistently excellent, so I will consider doing Victory in 2023.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Once over lightly ... maybe? Bay Breeze starts and end in Marina Park, and is out-and-back in three distances on the Bay Trail along the bay. I did the half … MORE

Once over lightly … maybe? Bay Breeze starts and end in Marina Park, and is out-and-back in three distances on the Bay Trail along the bay. I did the half marathon. For the half, the course was about half paved and half packed dirty and gravel. There is almost no shade on the course. Yesterday was mostly sunny and warm, but clouds and rain are possible in February.

It’s a Brazen Race, register-and-run. Well organized, well marked course (though going off-course usually would involve a swim), ample aid stations and recovery food. Very helpful encouraging volunteers … it’s a Brazen Race.

My tech-type tee is very red, featuring an octopus holding a bouquet of red roses – combining sea and Valentines Day themes. The medal is an octopus holding an anchor on a heart background.

My finish time was not great, ~70% because of non-preparation (= being lazy), 30% sciatica (I now know things that help, but wasn’t diligent in learning). Finishing was the BIG goal, because Bay Breeze was the last half I tried and couldn’t finish in 2018 before finally trying (and finishing) another in November 2021. Vindication? Revenge? Getting it behind me and moving on? Obviously Bay Breeze will be a consideration in the future.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing's Coyote Hills Trail Runs is done at Coyote Hills Park in Fremont, CA. The hills border the southeast end of San Francisco Bay, and … MORE

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing’s Coyote Hills Trail Runs is done at Coyote Hills Park in Fremont, CA. The hills border the southeast end of San Francisco Bay, and are just south of where Alameda Creek pours into the bay. In past years the start/finish area was in the park. This year the it was at a campground on the southern border of the park, not far from the Dumbarton Bridge.

The event was done in the three common distances, half marathon, 10K (which I did), and 5K. The courses shared some trails, and some were used by just one distance. The interconnected arcs, loops and out-and-back legs were more intricate than I could describe without being an insomnia cure. The best description would be that the courses were varying length tours of the park.

The 10K course was about 5% shade, and cumulatively a little over 1/3 paved. The courses were mostly gently rolling, but had 1 (5K), 2 (10K), or 4 (half marathon) fairly steep hills. It could be said to be a moderate intro to trail running, 🙂 . Every distance shared the hill about 3/4 mile from the finish, a .36 mile 10% grade climb up, and a 10% grade downhill of similar length.

The views were varied and pleasant – marsh, hills, and the bay. 10K and half marathon runners used a wooden causeway to cross a marsh. The weather was pleasant and sunny, neither too cool or too warm. But the event is done in January, so a few past years have had rain and mud.

Organization & Production: As mentioned, Brazen has been doing this event for quite a few years. My first time was in 2014. For those past runnings, runners parked at nearby DeVry University, and were shuttled to the park. DeVry moved, and the property owner was not willing to do this. Brazen learned this some 3 or 4 months before the usual race date and had to work out all new parking arrangements and reroute new courses with a start/finish area that had not been part of previous years’ courses. Only the event name and park were the same.

I usually describe Brazen races as register-and-run, everything so well organized that a participant just needs to register, get there, run their race, and return home. With all new courses and parking, the reorganized Coyote Hills event was still register-and-run. All courses were well marked with color-coded ribbons, chalk/flour, and course marshals at key turns. Covid adjustments were few, because Brazen has always done food handling at aid stations and the recovery area well.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. Bibs usually have some sort of distance color-coding. There is artwork (often shared with the race T-shirt), with the race name and date, bib number and runner’s name, and Brazen Racing’s logo.

The bib for Coyote Hills has a stylized coyote head (see below) in the top left corner, and the race name and distance across the rest of the top in block letters. In the center is the runner’s name in letters large enough to read an oncoming runner’s bib and cheer them on by name. Below that is the bib number, and across the bottom is Brazen Racing’s logo. The half marathon bibs were brown or burnt orange, the 10K bibs sky blue, and the 5K bibs yellow.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7).

Because Coyote Hills 2014 was my first trail event and first Brazen event, I upgraded to the tech type shirt. The T-shirt is black, and in the front is a string-art-style coyote head, one side pink, the other yellow. Below one of the coyote’s cheeks is the race name and year. Brazen Racing’s logo is on the left sleeve. On a Favorite-Meh-Bye spectrum, it’s clearly a favorite.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion has a black background, and at the top, the string-art coyote head, with orange “strings”. The year is at the coyote’s muzzle, below that the race name in block letters, and in a small rectangle the distances, all outlined in orange. The overall effect is visually dramatic.

Finish & Recovery Area: It’s a Brazen race, so there were plenty of recovery snacks, and a bottle of water was given with the finisher’s medal. The area was a bit compact, but organizers have to work with what they have. There were just a few park benches for those wanting to sit down, BUT the usual start/finish area for the event just had few low fence railings. There were some portacans, and because of the adjoining campground, several permanent restrooms (some had showers … not sure if those were functioning, but if the same area is used in 2023 …).

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was kind of another welcome back event for me. Brazen’s Coyote Hills is nostalgic for me, and it was the first event I’ve done since 2019 with significant hills. As to the hills, I’ve got a way to go yet (10% grade!), but it’s a start. I was initially a little disappointed with my finish time, but then I remembered that the actual distance was 6.6 miles instead of 6.22 miles. I finished vertical, self-powered, and with a decent (for me) finish time. I’ll take it!

Do I need to say I’d consider doing Coyote Hills Trail Runs in 2023? Brazen Racing consistently does well organized events, so I’ll be back for this and some of their other events, as fits my abilities and goals. I recently signed up for one of their February halfs. I checked out the price for a large international event organizer (not The Mouse). The price for the same time between registration and the event was $60-$65 higher. Very different experiences, but for me, all in Brazen’s favor (and other local trail run organizers!).

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Kiwanis Resolution Run starts and finishes in Shoreline Park Mountain View. The 5K course uses the Bay Trail outbound in in part of the return, but … MORE

Event & Course Description: Kiwanis Resolution Run starts and finishes in Shoreline Park Mountain View. The 5K course uses the Bay Trail outbound in in part of the return, but uses a golf course road for the rest of the return to the start/finish area. The 10K, which I did, is an out-and-back on the Bay Trail. As the trail name suggests, much of it is along the marshes at the southern end of San Francisco Bay. Both courses are mostly paved, and shade was perhaps 10%. It’s New Year’s Day, not usually warm.

Organization & Production: It’s almost unfair to review the 2022 running, because it was organized in half of the usual time, due to permit delays by the City of Mountain View. Also, courtesy of Covid, the race timing outfit they’ve used in the past was not available, so the run was not chip timed (which it usually is). In general, they had to do a lot of make-do. All the same, nothing particularly made for a poor race experience.

Probably the most noticeable organization change was that the actual 10K course was different from the map on the website. The map shows the course, lust before the turn-around, doing several tenths of a mile on paved street. As run, the course instead turned onto an unpaved section of the Bay Trail that heads right out toward the bay along a levee. Frankly, I hope they keep that change in future runnings. Running/walking on the levee with the marsh and marsh birds on both sides of the trail was much nicer than the paved street.

Bib: White background, race logo, bib number.

Race Hat: It’s not HeadSweats, but it is very nice. It’s white, tech type, and features the race logo. One thing I especially appreciate is that wher HeadSweats hats are a tight fit when adjusted as far as it would go, this hat fit nicely and could be adjusted larger.

Finisher’s Medal: No medal.

Finish & Recovery Area: I know they had fruit and goodies, but it was packed and gone by the time I finished. See below.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I’m somewhat frustrated with my finish time (it wasn’t chip timed, but I used the stopwatch function on my watch). I had to do a cumulative total of about 10 minutes of rest stops because sciatica had one of my thighs really painful at times. But I completed the 10K and I wasn’t slower than normal by being lazy. I’ve another, more challenging 10K in a week, and I think I’m doing somewhat better.

As I mentioned above, the 2022 running was thrown together in half their normal time. It showed in some ways, but West San Jose Kiwanis Club still organized a good race experience. Hopefully they’ll be able to do what they normally do for January 1, 2023. I won’t say I will definitely do this event then, but it will be among the possibilities from which I’ll be choosing.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes starts and finishes at a picnic area in Quarry Lakes Park. I described the course pretty well in my December … MORE

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes starts and finishes at a picnic area in Quarry Lakes Park. I described the course pretty well in my December 2017 Rave, so I’ll keep this brief. I did the half marathon distance, which means I did the short vertical stroke of the “T” and both out-and-back halves of the horizontal cross.

The park is very nice, and the picnic pavilion good for weather … which we did have a little, of the wet variety. It sprinkled fairly steadily during the first half hour or so of the half marathon. The course is maybe 20% shade … though that didn’t mean much this year, given the weather.

Organization & Production: Coastal could be described as “budget”, but their race experiences aren’t “budget”. Their events are what I call “register-and-run”. From complete information on their website through well marked courses, well staffed and stocked aid stations, and pleasant recovery area, runners’ “worries” are getting there (parking is not pre-paid), doing their distance, and getting home. One nice “upgrade” since mid 2019 is that timing is now chip start rather than “gun” start. I’m not fast and Coastal’s events aren’t huge, so the several seconds delay between the gun and my actual crossing of the starting line never bothered me.

Bib: Coastal’s bibs are fairly plain, except that the background color is color-coded for the distances. Beyond that, the bibs have Coastal’s logo and motto, and the bib number (whose first number is also distance-coded).

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. My shirt was white, which I usually don’t like (I’m pale enough!), but most of the shirts I saw were a medium slate blue. The artwork on the front was an abstract of the (Alameda) creek and tules, along with the race name, ZombieRunner logo (which includes a runner in shorts, Tee, and hat), distances, and date, all in a large rectangle. The back had the usual sponsors’ logos. The printing was done in bright (or BRIGHT?) orange and yellow, which on the white shirt is rather striking, in a good way. All in all, very nice.

Finisher’s Medal: The shape of the medallion is not easy to describe. It’s like an outer 90-degree arc from two concentric circles, very different from the simple disc when I did this event in 2017. The artwork is similar to that of the T-shirt. The ribbon is forest green, with the race logo and the word “Finisher”. Only the shirt has the date or year.

Finish & Recovery Area: It was under a group picnic pavilion. Perfect (not unique, but great for tired runners)! At or near several tables were a good variety of snacks, electrolyte drink, and ice chests with water, sodas, and beers. There was also a hot pot with some sort of stew or soup (I wasn’t sure trying some would have been a good idea for me at the time, so I’m not sure what it was). This is pretty typical for Coastal’s trail runs, though much nicer than many large-scale street/road events.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I didn’t have anything to prove to myself and was nursing an unhappy Achilles tendon, so I was not aggressive in pace. DNF was a realistic option if the tendon started acting up. But a mile or so in it was clear that wasn’t happening, so I kept going, carefully. Anyway, I was able to complete the half marathon, and to my surprise, my finish time was over a minute less slow than two weeks earlier on the same trail (but different course). I was still almost DLF – which I expected to be – but I had spent less time at aid stations, evidently. So I am very happy with what I was able to do, needing somewhat less rest than two weeks earlier.

Coastal consistently offers runners an excellent race experience at a moderate price, and this event was no exception. ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes will definitely be a possibility in 2022 (December 11th, mark your calendars).

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: I've reviewed this race before, so I'll keep the course description brief. All distances – half marathon, 10K, and 5K – start and finish at a … MORE

Event & Course Description: I’ve reviewed this race before, so I’ll keep the course description brief. All distances – half marathon, 10K, and 5K – start and finish at a picnic area in Quarry Lakes Park. All runners do a partial circle around some of the lakes and go out onto the Alameda Creek Trail. Each distance has its own turn-around along the trail, and runners return to the park and complete the lakes loop.

Organization & Production: It’s a Brazen race. That means it’s register-and-run. All necessary info is on the website, courses are well marked, etc., etc., etc.. Runners’ challenges are getting there, running/walking their distance, and getting home. Runners familiar with road events may be surprised, perhaps, by Brazen’s well stocked aid stations. As always, Brazen’s volunteers are friendly and encouraging. More on that below.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The stripe in the center with the bib number is distance color-coded (red = half marathon; blue = 10K; yellow = 5K). Above that stripe are the race name, the runner’s distance, the year, and the race T-shirt artwork. Below the stripe are the runner’s name (as chosen by the runner in registering) and Brazen Racing’s logo.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). I did the half marathon distance, so my race Tee is tech type, bright blue, and short-sleeved. The front has the race name in yellow block letters, a turkey running out the Brazen arch chasing two running slices of pumpkin pie. The year is below the running figures. The Brazen Racing logo is on the left sleeve and the back is plain. My description doesn’t do the cuteness and humor of the shirt artwork justice!

Finisher’s Medal: Quarry Turkey is the second in a two-race series. Those who run and finish both receive the two races’ medals, plus a bonus connector. The Quarry Turkey medallion has a turkey wearing a race Tee with the letter “Q”, looking to his/her right. Along the left side of and below the turkey are the race name, year, and distances. The Nitro Turkey medallion is a mirror image, with an “N”, and the connector is a pumpkin pie with “You want a piece of me?” above and “Double Finisher” below.

Finish & Recovery Area: Brazen races always have extensive recovery snacks; the turkey races include pumpkin pie. I was waaaaaaayyyy too tired to survey what was available when I finished, though I did partake a little. The covered group picnic tables were very welcome!

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was my first completed half marathon in 3 years and 11 months! Nearly 4 years! So I was VERY happy to have completed it … vertical … under my own power. My finish time was unspectacular (albeit my best in nearly 4 1/2 years), about what I expected. My big goal was to finish the half, so I’m very happy.

I’ve done Brazen’s Turkey races multiple times, so obviously I’m likely to do Quarry Turkey in 2022. The timing and closeness to my home are ideal, and it’s a Brazen race.

Because I was the very last finisher of the half, I got a glimpse of the degree to which Brazen keeps tabs on it runners. There were 4 aid stations, reasonably spaced along the course, numbers 1-4 in outbound sequence. When I reached Aid 3 on my return leg, it was clear they were expecting me, personally, and that became the more obvious as I progressed through Aid 2 and then Aid 1. It was clear that the volunteers were checking out my degree of awareness (as aid station volunteers should) and were encouraging me, personally. After finishing, in speaking with one of the RDs, I learned that my progress had been tracked among the RDs and the aid stations. While the RDs and many of the volunteers know me, I think a possibly struggling first-timer would have received similar attention and encouragement. As it was, Brazen and its community unknowingly made my “I’m back!” day extra special.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Vibha Dream Mile benefits an Indian education charity, and is run in several cities, including in Bangalore, India. The event in San Jose had three … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Vibha Dream Mile benefits an Indian education charity, and is run in several cities, including in Bangalore, India. The event in San Jose had three distances, 5K, 10K (which I did), and half marathon.

Vibha Dream Mile courses have evolved some through the years, but since I started doing their races have always been run on the Coyote Creek Trail in South San Jose. The change in 2021 from 2018 (when I last did the event) was that runners went directly from Embedded Way onto the trail, rather than running their first and last mile on streets. As the trail name suggests, it follows Coyote Creek, and runs from Anderson Reservoir northward into south San Jose. While the trail occasionally goes past several industrial parks or residential areas, it has a mostly rural feel. All in all, it is very pleasant.

On reaching the trail, 5K and 10K runners turned left, heading south on the trail to their respective turn-arounds. Half marathon runners turned right on reaching the trail and headed north, to a turn-around in Hellyer Park. They then ran past the start area to their turn-around near Metcalf Road in south San Jose. Southbound sections of the course are upstream, but only gently uphill, with some minor rolling.

Organization & Production: Runners were able to pick up their swag (in a reusable bag) the two days before the race and on the morning of. I did the former. Those doing the Friday or Saturday pick-up made reservations for their choice of hour-long time slots (no cost). This spread out pick-ups, because Covid.

Near the venue, there were designated parking (and don’t-park) areas with appropriate directing signs. From where I parked it was a ~.4 mile downhill walk via sidewalk to the start/finish area. Other parts of the parking area were nearer Coyote Creek Trail and may have been flatter. I’m just giving information, not complaining.

When runners go from Embedded Way onto the trail, they go through a narrow bottleneck several yards long. I knew this from other events held there. Vibha handled this in a way that I thought very clever. As each distance started – the half marathon in one group and 5K and 10K runners in a second, separated by half an hour – runners were released in groups of 10-20. This allowed some spreading of runners and thus mitigated the bottleneck. Very smart!

Aid stations were reasonably space, and offered water, electrolyte drink, and very encouraging volunteers. Besides the usual “rabbits” accompanying distance leaders, there were also course marshals riding up and down the course, looking for runners needing assistance. The course was well marked with arrows and had distance markers every mile.

Bib: The background of the bib is a silhouette of an adult and child running across a green fileld, with a blue sky, abstract clouds, and the Sun like a halo behind the adult. At the top center is the event logo and year. The left corner has a distance color-coded “swoosh” (half marathon = yellow; 10K = green; 5K = blue ) that tapers toward the center and gives the distance. The bib number was in white, outlined in black, and there were two sponsors’ logos at the bottom.

T-Shirt: The race Tee is long-sleeved teal-blue tech type. The collar is bright yellow. The front has the race logo, the adult and child runners with the Sun behind them, and the event name. Behind the runners in orange is a Golden Gate Bridge support tower, and below the partial bridge deck is the slogan for the race, “… a few miles for a million dreams …”. The left sleeve has the year, and the right sleeve, “Never give up”. The back of the shirt has sponsors’ logos in orange. It’s a very attractive shirt, IMO.

Finisher’s Medal: There were different medallions for finishers of the half than for those who finished the 5K or 10K. Again, not complaining, though race-bling-lovers might see this as inducement to do the half in 2022 (hmmmmmm …..). I didn’t get a good look at the medallion for half runners, but it was larger and copper colored, while other runners’ medallions had a brushed nickel appearance. My medallion is round and features the Dream Mile logo and slogan (half runners’ medallions probably were similar). Ribbons were color-coded for distance, 10K and 5 K ribbons the same color as on the respective bibs, and purple for half marathon finishers. Ribbons gave the race logo, distance, and year. All in all, a very nice finisher’s medal.

Finish & Recovery Area: Embedded Way is a cul de sac city street, so there weren’t any tables. On the other hand, instead of the usual snack items there was catered (and tasty!!!) Indian food, as well as oranges and bananas. Hint Water also had a pavilion offering finishers their drinks. The catered food was basically a light meal pre-packaged in take-out style containers (because Covid). Many (including me) took their food home to eat it there – very convenient (and did I mention “tasty”?).

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was originally planning to do a vigorous but comfortable pace, but got lazy and was a bit more aggressive than planned. So I was a bit faster than I expected. There are worse “problems” to have, LOL.

All in all, runners’ greatest “worries” were getting to and from the event. Everything from signing up to leaving the parking area was smooth. As can be seen below this Rave, I’ve done and reviewed this event before. I came into it expecting a very pleasant race experience, and Vibha easily met that experience. I will definitely consider doing this event in 2022, whether in its more usual June time frame or, as in 2021, later in the year.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: I've Raved this event several times before, so I'll try to be brief. ZombieRunner Halloween has four distances, marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K. It starts … MORE

Event & Course Description: I’ve Raved this event several times before, so I’ll try to be brief. ZombieRunner Halloween has four distances, marathon, half marathon, 10K and 5K. It starts and ends in Hellyer Park. All runners start with a loop around the lake in the park, and then going out and back along the Coyote Creek Trail, with different turn-around points. Marathoners did the half marathon course twice.

The trail rolls gently, and outbound is upstream, so it is a gentle uphill. The eponymous trail follows the creek, and has a largely rural feel for much of the course. Definitely a very pleasant course.

Organization & Production: Coastal Trail Runs is an excellent race organizer, and this was no exception. Coastal is low cost, and there are at least a couple of ways in which costs are reduced, but which do not really lessen runners’ race experience. Aid stations were well stocked and staffed (Covid-appropriate, of course) with encouraging volunteers. Masks were optional for runners, and I did not notice many using masks, especially on the trail.

Bib: Coastal’s bibs are fairly plain, except that the background color is varies with distances. Yellow was 5K, Purple was 10K, Green was the half marathon, and Orange the marathon. Beyond that, the bibs have Coastal’s logo and motto, and the bib number.

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. I chose the no-shirt option this year ($5 less for registration), as the Halloween event shirt isn’t my favorite among Coastal’s shirts (Coastal uses the same shirts year to year, with occasional changes). In 2019 it was black, with an orange jack-o-lantern, a purple jack-o-lantern and bats, the race name and distances, and the name of the main sponsor, ZombieRunner Coffee. Not my favorite, but more mid-range than disliked, and it helps Coastal keep its registration fee lower (a trade-off I very much appreciate!).

Finisher’s Medal: As with shirts, Coastal uses the same medallion year to year for each race, changing every few years (2018 was the first year for the current medallion). The Halloween medallion is a favorite, shaped and painted as a vampire bat in flight. The ribbon says “Finisher”, gives the year, and has the race logo, a runner with a jack-o-lantern head with bats about the head. In 2021 and 2018 the ribbon was black; in 2019 it was orange.

Finish & Recovery Area: The recovery area is a covered group picnic area, with lots of tables. That I noticed, there were a jug of water one could use to refill a water bottle, an ice chest with bottles of water and, possibly, sodas. On a couple of tables there were Oreos, several kinds of chips, and candies. I didn’t notice everything, being a bit tired. It was pretty much the same spread Coastal normally had Pre-Covid.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was my second in-person 10K since October 2019 (the first being just 3 weeks earlier). Being flatter than that previous event, I was fairly aggressive and bettered my optimistic goal finish time by about 5 minutes. I was very happy about that.

Except for 2020, I’ve done this event every year since 2017. But for Covid and wanting to make note of the effect of appropriate safety precautions, I probably would not have reviewed the 2021 running. Coastal Trail Runs is very consistent, generally excellent, offer a great race experience, and are a good value. I will definitely consider doing ZombieRunner Halloween again in 2022.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: The Belmont Water Dog Run has two distances, 5K and 10K (which I did). It's run in the city of Belmont, and part of the 10K … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Belmont Water Dog Run has two distances, 5K and 10K (which I did). It’s run in the city of Belmont, and part of the 10K course goes through Water Dog Lake Park.

Both courses are out-and-back, with the two distances sharing the 5K course. The start and finish are in an area behind the Belmont City Hall. Runners follow Ralston Avenue to a shopping center just before Avenida de las Pulgas (love that name!) and do a loop through it. 5K runners turn left onto the Avenida, turn left onto El Verano Way, left onto Ladera Way, merge onto Maywood Drive, and then take Ralston back to the finish. The 5K is entirely on city streets.

10K runners turn right from the shopping center onto the Avenida and go back to Ralston. Ralston Avenue is then followed to Lyall Way, and then to the Water Dog Lake Trailhead. Lake Road Trail winds through Water Dog Lake Park, goes past the lake, and runners turn around near where they meet the John Brooks Trail. They then retrace their steps back to Avenida de las Pulgas, turn right, and then follow the route starting with El Verano that 5K runners took to the finish.

So about half of the 10K and all of the 5K are on city streets. Boring? Not really. Even though Ralston Avenue is a main artery, the course went mainly through a residential area, with homes I’d guess were built in the 1930s or 1940s. More to the point, there were lots of mature evergreens, nice visually and nice for shade. The part of the 10K course that 5K runners didn’t do was an unpaved trail with lots of close trees (more shade!). Except near the entrance to Water Dog Lake Park, few buildings were visible from the trail, other than some homes in the distance. Whether on streets or in Water Dog Lake Park, this was a pretty scenic event for both distances. What surprised me a bit, being less than well prepared mentally (I’m usually very mental!), was that the first half was almost entirely uphill. It wasn’t super steep, but the sort of uphill grade that slows and wears. On the other hand, except for a very brief steep hill, the inbound course was mostly downhill.

Organization & Production: I’m going to say up front, some of what follows has to be taken with a Covid-sized and -shaped block of salt, and keeping in mind that this was a small-medium sized charity event. That’s a convoluted way of saying that there were some information/communication things that could have been done better, and probably would have, had this been a normal year.

Because the event had to be put together very quickly, some things weren’t nailed down until within a few weeks of the event. As a result, the website couldn’t be updated, and much important information was communicated in mass emails a couple of weeks before the event (being a first-timer and a bit of a Nervous Nellie, I exchanged several emails with the Race Director (RD), who was VERY helpful). Assuming, as seems reasonable from what I saw, there will be a next year, I’m sure communication will be much improved.

Now, race day. Because Covid, officially there was no race day packet pick-up. One of the things I was able to set up with the RD was for me to be able to do that anyway. I doubt I was the only one. So I showed up I bit before 6:30 AM (free parking, 3 or 4 blocks from the event), and my bib and shirt were there.

Event timing was done by SVETiming, so the start/finish area was appropriately situated and set up. The course was well marked with chalk, coned off areas on streets, signs, and course marshal volunteers plus police officers. Once on the park trail, there were few possible wrong turns, and these were coned off. Pay attention to arrows and signs, don’t wander into car traffic, and a runner would have no problems following the course.

For 10K runners, there were 3 aid stations, reasonably located and spaced. All were well staffed with friendly volunteers and offered both water and electrolyte drink. What a runner saw and experienced in starting and on course was as well done as any running event.

Bib: Bibs were not personalized (I’m fine with that, personalized bibs cost more $$). The bibs were color-coded, green background for 10K and blue for 5K. The green background surrounds a white rectangle that has the bib number. The background has several “B” logos, the letter partly formed with a dog’s head and neck silhouette, along both sides of the white space. Across the top in distance colors was the distance, and across the bottom the race name and the date. Only the bib has the event date.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is gray, tech type. The front has “BMT WTR DOG RUN”, groups of three white block-letters arranged vertically. The “B” is the dog’s neck and head logo. The back is is plain.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion has the letter “B” logo in blue, surrounded by a silver metal ring. Around the top half of the ring are “COMMUNITY * AWARENESS * EDUCATION” and around the bottom are the several distances and special events (a children’s fun run and a “Fido Mile”). The top and bottom legends are separated by little white doggie bones. The ribbon has a sky blue center, with gray, darker blue, and gray stripes along both borders. The center has little education-oriented drawings, and along the center section are the event name and the distances and special events. Definitely a nicer medal than I would expect at a charity event!

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area and the surrounding area are an open space between the Belmont City Hall and the Belmont Historical Society building. Finishers went through the arch, received their medal, and received a baggie with some fruit and a snack. There wasn’t any seating, but that’s the nature of the area. There were also a good number of portacans in the area.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: My finish time was around my optimistic goal finish time and on a course that was a bit tougher than I expected. So I’m very happy with that.

I do not judge hugemongous national organization’s, local organizers’, and charity races the same way. What I expect is proportioned to the nature of the event. That said, while my overall experience might have been less than what normally had been done (this was the 4th running), because Covid, I will definitely consider doing the Belmont Water Dog Run next year. My bottom line is that the 2021 Belmont Water Dog Run was a really well done family-friendly community charity event.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Viva CalleSJ 5K is run in central San Jose, starting and finishing by the SAP Center (where the San Jose Sharks hockey team plays). The … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Viva CalleSJ 5K is run in central San Jose, starting and finishing by the SAP Center (where the San Jose Sharks hockey team plays). The course is basically two different out-and-back legs. From the start on Barrack Obama Blvd., between the SAP Center and the Arena Green West, runners turned onto The Alameda, toward Santa Clara. The turn-around for this out-and-back leg was at Lenzen Ave., a couple of blocks past Race St.. Runners then went back through the starting arch and turned onto W. St. John St., followed a little jog left then right, and turned around at N. 1st St.. Runners then returned by the same route to the start/finish arch.

The course is mostly through older small business areas, not especiallyscenic, but interesting to see how modern businesses have adapted older buildings. Runners went under (and back through) the SR 87 freeway at two points along the course.

Organization & Production: I think the two best adjectives for this event would have to be quirky and very low key. The event was not chip timed, so runners received bibs sequentially according to how they checked in. They had packet pick-up the day before at the Sports Basement in Campbell (which I did) the day before the event and at Arena Green before and during the event. Even though I checked in an hour into packet pick-up, I was the first “runner” and received bib number 1 (I’ll take “Things That Will Never Happen Again” for $10, Art).

The largest part of the event was bike rides, a 20 miler and a 40 miler. They started half an hour before the runners. There was no officiated run start. 8:00 AM came and one of the runners said “Go!” Other runners started their run as they arrived and checked in, donned their bib, and got otherwise ready. I remember seeing bib number 63 out on the course, and after I finished I saw bibs with numbers in the 70s being given out.

There were no porta-cans near the start area (you know, for those last-10-minutes-before-start pit-stops). Eventually I found there was a whole line of them … nearly quarter of a mile from the start area, on the second out-and-back leg. In the event’s FAQs webpage it said, “along the Viva CalleSJ route and at Activity Hubs”. As best I could tell, they were just in the one location. IMO, at least some should have been near enough to the start/finish area to be visible in the area. There was a one-stall set of restrooms in the Arena Green.

Bib: So, very low key … bibs given out sequentially … that means plain white bib, right? Nope! It’s one of the cooler bibs I’ve received. The background is dark blue, with an orange stripe across the top that has the event logo and name. The artwork shows a business district with a mix of tall and not so tall buildings and palm trees, with a Day-of-the-Dead-style skeleton couple riding a bicycle through the area. The woman is carrying a banner that says, “Viva!”, and the bicycle frame and front wheel spokes are the words, “Calle SJ”.

T-Shirt: The event T-shirt is dark blue cotton. It has artwork similar to the bib, except that it adds a bike-helmeted skeleton-child riding their bike in front of the bicycling adult skeleton-couple. There is an orange ring around the artwork, and the date is added below the event logo. I’ve given up on having favorites, but this event Tee is that kind of nice!

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion has the same artwork as the T-shirt, and adds a blue outer ring concentric with the orange ring. It’s a spinner within a spinner! The date spins within the artwork, which spins within the blue outer ring. As with the T-shirt, it’s “that kind of nice”!

Finish & Recovery Area: Meanwhile, back in LowKeyville … Arena Green West is a park with picnic tables (no pic-a-nic baskets, sorry Yogi) and LOTS of mature shade. A perfect recovery area. I did see a table with fruit near the pavilioned tables for check-in and and for receiving finisher’s medals, but there were no signs making obvious from a distance what the tables were.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: For this event and last week’s Bad Bass 5K I had a goal, a finish time under 50 minutes (yeah, I’m not fast). The course for Bad Bass was too rolling for a finish time goal, but I achieved the goal at Viva CalleSJ. A flat streets course with the most challenging “hills” being going under a freeway twice was ideal.

Viva CalleSJ is the oddest combination of very low-key with high-end elements I’ve seen. I should add that it’s very family-friendly – not tightly scheduled, nice wide course. I saw several youths running the course, and at least one tandem stroller. Taking it as an intentionally low-key event, locate some porta-cans near the start/finish, have signs for the check-in, snacks, and medals tables, and have a few volunteers telling people what’s where and where to go, and it’d be near-perfect.

Would I do Viva CalleSJ again. Well, maybe. It’s on my 2022 list of possibilities, but I did it this year because there were few Bay Area running events in September 2021 that were suitable for my current capabilities. The June lifting of Covid shutdown plus parks having to reorganize their staffing plus organizers having to cherry-pick from their backlog of events made for fewer doable (for me) events in September 2021. I expect 2022 will be closer to the full pre-Covid array of choices, and my capabilities are improving. On the other hand, I know that for what it intends to be, this is a very well done event, and close to my home. I’d definitely consider doing Viva CalleSJ again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing's Bad Bass is run at Lake Chabot Regional Park near Castro Valley. It has the usual distances, 5K, 10K, and half marathon, though, being … MORE

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing’s Bad Bass is run at Lake Chabot Regional Park near Castro Valley. It has the usual distances, 5K, 10K, and half marathon, though, being a trail event, the actual distances are a little longer. The 5K, which I did, was actually 3.35 miles. The event name refers to Bass Cove on the lake.

The 5K course, which is used for all three distances, runs on asphalt pavement along the scenic east shore of the lake, out and back. A bit past the 5K turn-around, the 10K and half marathon courses split, with the 10K course continuing in out-and-back fashion. The 10K course climbs a ~500-foot, 3/4-mile hill, gives a brief respite, then does another 100-foot climb in a quarter mile, and then another couple of tenths to an aid station and the turn-around. That steep downhill is steep and rutted, not trivial.

The half marathon course does a little loop – a mere 250-foot hill – before doing the big hill it shares with the 10K course. The half course then continues to circle the lake in a sinuous hilly course, with the last 2 1/2 miles along the south shore of the lake being flattish (rolling just enough to keep tired runners annoyed) and slightly downhill.

Organization & Production: It’s a Brazen race. That almost says what needs to be said. Brazen is organization to a “T”, and they’ve been doing events at Lake Chabot for years. It didn’t affect me, since it’s hard to go off-course on the 5K course, but Brazen’s course marking is excellent, with mile # markers to help runners track their progress. Runners “worst worries” are getting there before and getting home after the event.

I was being aggressive, within my abilities and the course, so I didn’t look over the aid station table to survey their goodies. I did notice that all volunteers were masked (and probably gloved, at least for food handling, Covid), and they offered water and electrolyte drink. Brazen uses Ultima Replenisher. What the station had was probably raspberry flavored, based on the color and the odor I noticed while passing through (one of Ultima’s better flavors, IMO).

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The Bad Bass bibs had distance color-coded stripes at the top and bottom, yellow for 5K, blue for 10K, and orange for half marathon. The race name and logo (see below) and year were in the top stripe. The bib number and runner’s name were in the middle white stripe, and Brazen Racing’s logo was in the bottom stripe.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). I didn’t upgrade, but the tech and poly-cotton shirts were both olive green. The front features the race logo and name, with the year and distances. The logo has a grinning fish in sunglasses, a Brazen T-shirt, a black leather jacket (he’s a BAD bass!), and a green/blue plaid kilt (don’t ask, I don’t know). The back is plain, and the Brazen Racing logo is on the right sleeve. All in all, a very nice shirt.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is similar to the T-shirt artwork. The ribbon is glossy black, with the race name, year, and distances. It’ll display nicely! I was also third in my age group (I hope they found all those guys I knee-capped, 😉 ). The age group medallion has a fish with sharp teeth, the race name across the top, and “Age Group Winner” below the fish, all in the traditional gold, silver, and bronze coloring. The third place ribbon is glossy brown plaid, has the race name, and the place info.

Finish & Recovery Area: I didn’t explore the recovery area very much, but there were multiple flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwiches (a Brazen tradition), lots of packaged goodies (Covid), and a good number of picnic tables, some shaded, to sit at. What’s not to like?

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Though I’ve done Brazen events at this park before, I had never done Bad Bass, and had never done the 5K. I had a particular finish time goal for either Bad Bass or next weekend’s 5K. I didn’t reach that goal, even when adjusted for the slightly long distance, but given the rolling ups and downs of the course, I’m happy with my finish time.

Like I said above, Bad Bass is a Brazen Racing event, and I’ve been a fan of their race experience for nearly 8 years. I’m trying to work back to being able to do courses with challenging hills and longer distances, so I hope to be back at this and other Brazen Lake Chabot events. Doing Brazen’s Quarry Turkey half marathon is my next big Brazen goal.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: The Stars and Strides 5K and 10K is run in central San Jose, benefiting the Valley Medical Center Foundation. The start and finish were near the … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Stars and Strides 5K and 10K is run in central San Jose, benefiting the Valley Medical Center Foundation. The start and finish were near the Discovery Meadow Park, near the Children’s Discovery Museum. The 5K course does a sort of squared figure-8 using First, Second, and Reed Streets (going under I-280 three times), and then does a sort of dogleg loop that returns to the finish area using First Street (going under I-280 again). The 10K basically does this twice.

My preference is trail run scenery, so keep that in mind with what follows. The course goes through, mostly, older business and residential areas, some possibly a century old. The buildings and residence range from vacant storefronts to open businesses, plus mostly nice multi-story residence. Not my favorite scenery, but still more interesting than the homogeneity of some suburban courses I’ve done. One thing I appreciated was that this course did not use the parts of central San Jose used by events such as the Rock-n-Roll San Jose Half.

Organization & Production: It may be because this is a charity event, and possibly because it is the first running (and also post-Covid-shut-down), but some basic information about the event was posted to the event’s website fairly late. The email contact person was helpful and responded quickly. If the event is done again next year I think the information will be more complete, earlier, and the event may also be more publicized.

The start was in three corrals, divided by estimated pace, 10K and 5K runners together, starting 5 minutes apart. Unfortunately, the intro speakers went long, so the first start was 10 minutes late, with 4 minute separation for subsequent corrals. The delay wasn’t huge, but a bit irritating for some who had been standing around for up to half an hour, raring to go.

Bib: The bib has the race logo (see description below), the distance, and the charity name on a white stripe at the top. The middle is the bib number on a wide, distance color-coded stripe (the distance in the top is the same color), green for the 5K distance I did. The stripe on 10K bibs was blue. There is a narrow white stripe across the bottom with the logo of the sponsor of the particular distance.

T-Shirt: The T-shirt is tech type, light grey. The front has the race logo, the race name in red, blue, and green, the distances and two runners in black, and the charity name across the bottom in blue. For my tastes it’s neither spectacular nor meh, though for a smallish charity race it is quite nice. The event sponsors are on the back in black.

Finisher’s Medal: There was no finisher’s medal. It’s a charity event, so I’m fine with that. It should be noted that a nice medal could attract more runners. On the other hand medals are an expense. So charity event organizers have to weigh the attraction vs. the expense and the net benefit to the charity in making the choice.

Finish & Recovery Area: Discovery Meadow was spacious, even for the almost 700 participants plus family and friends, plus volunteers and booth people. Unfortunately, the recovery snacks were limited to GoGo Squeeze packets, a bag of pretzels, and Hint water, plus the bottles of water given out near the finish arch. Kind of disappointing, but definitely Covid-impacted, and maybe a bit more more I’ll touch on below.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: My finish time was about a minute faster than a 5K I did 3 weeks ago, so I’m pretty happy with it. There is definitely room for improvement, organizationally (fewer politician speakers, with trap doors where they stand would be good, 😉 ). However, this was the first running of an event that was originally planned to be done on July 4. Thank you, SARS-CoV-2 virus, thbbbbbbbbt! This had to have impacted what planning could be done, and what kinds of recovery snacks could be available.

Under all those circumstances, I think it was a good first effort, and it will be among my possibilities for July 4, 2022.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing's “Breeze” events – this one was Summer Breeze – start and finish in Marina Park in San Leandro, and are, mostly, an out-and-back on … MORE

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing’s “Breeze” events – this one was Summer Breeze – start and finish in Marina Park in San Leandro, and are, mostly, an out-and-back on the Bay Trail. The one partial exception is the 5K course, 1 mile of which loops around Faro Point, which forms the Small Boat Lagoon near the park (also home to hundreds of squirrels!). This year, for the first time, I did the 5K distance. The other distances are 10K and half marathon.

Organization & Production: This was Brazen’s first event after the Bay Area’s 15+ month Covid shutdown. I didn’t notice some of the aid station and recovery area details, but the only change to normal Brazen excellence were in snacks and food types and handling. Foods were all packaged, and handling was by gloved volunteers. Registering and check-in were all smoothly done, as usual.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. Bibs are usually distance color-coded. There is artwork in the background (often shared with the race T-shirt) with, running from top to bottom, the race name and date, bib number and runner’s name, and Brazen Racing’s logo. My bib for the 5K had golden stripes at the top and bottom, was personalized, and had a shadowy flowered pattern in the background.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7), which I did. My tech tee is white, with the race name in gold-bordered blue letters and the date above and below. The distances are in a dark pink ring around the name, and the ring is bordered with flowers in ombre rainbow pattern colors. The left sleeve has the Brazen logo and a flower in blue. The back is plain, no race sponsor logos.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is about the size of the palm of my hand. It features a muscular Neptune surfing on two dolphins, trident in his left hand and a water bottle in his right hand. His red “muscle shirt” has a Brazen Racing bib and he’s wearing golden shorts. To his right, vertically, is the year in yellow, and to his left the race name in orange and the distances in light blue. Across the bottom corner in yellow script is “We’re back!”

Finish & Recovery Area: As noted above, I didn’t notice much about the one aid station I passed, except that the volunteers handing out water and/or electrolyte drink wore gloves. In the recovery area there was a line with guide ropes for the snacks, and the coolers for the It’s Its ice cream sandwiches were a few yards away. The variety of snacks was a bit less, by Brazen standards, because it all had to be packaged. Obviously, there was no cut up fruit, courtesy of Covid. Other than the lack of fruit, I doubt anyone unfamiliar with what Brazen did pre-Covid would have been disappointed. And the It’s Its, being packaged, were “back”, in four or six (I forget) ice cream flavors. I was not disappointed!

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was, for me, post-Covid in two respects (not that the virus has disappeared or is unserious). It was my first in-person event since February 2020. And while I have done similar distances on trails near me and on treadmills at the gym, it was also my first event since having had Covid in January. I was fairly aggressive, by my capabilities, and am very happy with my sub-53 minute finish time.

As for the event … Brazen! Is! Back!!!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: My course description from 2016 is pretty good. The name, “408K” refers to the original area code for San Jose, “408”, and to the 8K distance. … MORE

Event & Course Description: My course description from 2016 is pretty good. The name, “408K” refers to the original area code for San Jose, “408”, and to the 8K distance. The section of the course that wends through the Rose Garden neighborhood is pretty pleasant, mostly pre-WW2 homes I think. There is a 180-degree hairpin turn during the 4th mile, something many runners find irritating. The final mile is called the “Mariachi Mile”, and there were six mariachi bands spaced through the mile (which otherwise is not very scenic).

Organization & Production: Run Local (formerly called Represent Running) has been organizing the 408K for several years. Run Local organizes races to benefit various charities, and the 408K was begun, even before Run Local became the organizer, as a benefit for the Pat Tillman Foundation.

There were 3 starting waves, divided according to runners’ estimated pace (part of registration). The course was well laid out and marshaled by volunteers and San Jose PD. The two aid stations were water-only, well staffed, and positioned in miles 3 and 4. There was a large-ish refreshments and recovery area, but I didn’t explore it. A decent goodie bag was given finishing runners in the finishing chute, just after receiving finisher’s medals. All in all, the 408K is a well organized medium-large running event

Bib: The bib has a white background, with the bib number and runner’s name in the center and bottom. These are color-coded for the starting wave. At the top left is the Amazon.com “smile” logo, and at the top right the 408K logo. Toward the bottom corners are light silhouettes representing the San Jose Sharks hockey team and the San Jose State Spartans

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is teal blue (San Jose Sharks) tech type, with sponsors’ logos and date on the back. The front has custom artwork that includes “San Jose”, the San Jose State Spartans’ and Sharks’ mascots/logos, and at the bottom, the race logo. It’s a very nice race Tee!

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is basically the same as the T-shirt artwork. The ribbon is white, with the race logo and “2020” along it. My description doesn’t do it justice!

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I had two “objects” in doing the 408K this year. It was a, “Can I still do this?” for me, and my daughter did the race “with” me (she finished half an hour ahead of me). She lives in China, so it was a special part of her visit home. I was very happy with my finish time. The 408K is a very well organized event and I will consider doing it again next year.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Resolution Run is a 10K and 5K event that benefits Kiwanis run on New Year's day. I did the 5K (like I did last year). … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Resolution Run is a 10K and 5K event that benefits Kiwanis run on New Year’s day. I did the 5K (like I did last year). The start and finish was in a large open field. All runners cross about 3/4 of that field, follow a trail that parallels Stevens Creek, and then turn to run along side a marsh. The trail curves around a slough. About 2/3 around the slough 5K runners turn left, while 10K runners continue around the slough and continue along the marsh. 5K runners go about half a miles to a turn-around, then go back around the slough and onto a trail that parallels a golf course access road. Runners are then turned onto the open field again, completing what amounts to a loop with a tail in the middle of it. Meanwhile, 10K runners continued along the mash, did a little loop with a short out-and-back leg, and then came back the way they came. Except for about a half mile at the start and finish which is packed dirt and crushed recycled street pavement, the course is paved (though there are parallel packed dirt paths along some of the trail).

Organization & Production: This race is what I call “register-and-run”. All a runner has to worry about is getting there (not hard) and running or walking their race. Information is complete, there were two pre-race packet pick-up days plus at the event. The aid station that 5K runners went through twice was water-only.

Bib: The 5K bib has a white background with the bib number in the center, the race timing company’s name across the top, and website across the bottom, all in black letters. Plain and functional.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is light lime green cotton. The front has the race logo in aqua, white, and purple, including “2020”. The back has sponsors’ logos in purple.

Finisher’s Medal: This race only had medals for over-all and age group place. Others received a “Participant” ribbon. I could have foregone the ribbon, but I suspect it didn’t cost the organizer very much. This is a charity race, so I’m good with the decision not to have finisher’s medals (though some charity races do).

Finish & Recovery Area: In the finish area there were apples, oranges, bananas, and coffee cake. There were no picnic tables or benches in which one could sit – sorely missed by me, but that’s the venue, not something the organizers could change.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: While I was over 6 minutes slower than last year, I was actually expecting a slightly slower finish time. I’m not getting younger. This is a really well done event, and the venue is not very pleasant and not used by many other events. I’ll be considering again next year.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description:The Trailblazer Race was run in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA and benefits Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail. Two distances were run, 10K (which I … MORE

Event & Course Description:The Trailblazer Race was run in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA and benefits Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail. Two distances were run, 10K (which I did) and 5K, with 530 finishers between the two distances.

Looking at the course map for the 10K, it looks like two loops with a connector between and a short out-and-back tail on the second loop. In the event, 10K runners did ~3/4 of the first loop, ran the connector, did the second loop with tail, ran the connector again, and completed the first loop. The 5K course was the first loop plus the loop connector as an out-and-back tail.

The start/finish area was a large open field designated for flying kites (being by the bay, it often is a breezy area). The course is flattish, mostly along and through the marshes along the shore, with the last mile or so alongside a golf course access path. When it comes to ocean scenery, I like rocks, cliffs, and breakers, but this course was very pleasant and serene. The surface was a mixture of crushed rock and sand and pavement (I didn’t pay attention to proportions) and was 90%-95% exposed (Hello? Jug of sunscreen?). Being early fall, weather can vary considerably, from very warm to somewhat chilly. This year was chilly (by SF Bay Area standards), in the low 50s F at start time.

Organization & Production: While there is room for some improvement, basically this was a register-and-run race. Information was complete and the course was well marked with arrows and plenty of course marshals. Access was easy, parking ample. Pre-start announcements were done by bullhorn, and being toward the back of a 200+ person pack, they were basically inaudible to me. The course markings and marshaling were such that going off course would require trying, so not hearing the instructions didn’t matter in that respect. And then at the end the announcing of age group awards was kind of disorganized, but I doubt many who won awards had the energy to be impatient. There were two water-only aid stations, well placed, with plenty of water and encouraging volunteers.

Bib: The 10K bib has a white background, with the organization and race names at the top, with the year and distance. In the middle is the bib number, and at the bottom are the logo of the organization and a sponsor. Bibs were mailed, so when I received mine I assumed all bibs were white. But when I checked in and hung out I found that 5K bibs were yellow background.

T-Shirt: Since this was a charity race, my expectations as a whole were quite moderate (I don’t say that disrespectfully). The race T-shirt is a light tan cotton Hanes Beefy-T. The front has a very large abstract drawing of a rabbit running between hills and along a creek. My words don’t do it justice, but it’s an instant favorite for me.

Finisher’s Medal: There were no finisher’s medals, which I’m fine with for a charity race (use the $$ for the important stuff!). However I caught a glimpse of an age group medal, and it looked like a VERY nice woodallion. Just to give an idea of the “crowd”, when they gave out age group medals for the 5K men over age 80, all three medals were given! Geezers rock!

Finish & Recovery Area: By the time I finished, chatted some, and waddled over to the food table, “all” there was was plenty of water (which I needed!) and a goodly quantity of cereal and granola bars, also quite welcome. I saw boxes from bananas and heard rumors of trays of coffee cake. I’m not a banana person, but having some of the latter would have been nice. But as a whole I was not disappointed. Managing supplies of goodies for a group of uncertain size and appetite is no small task. I think they did rather well.

The finish area is an open field, i.e. no picnic tables or places to sit down to rest. But that is balanced by the plenteous room for exhibitors (they had several) and tables for goodies, and plenteous parking.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was hoping for a bit better finish time, but was hindered some by some physical stuff. But I still had a decent, for me, finish time. I would not call this event spectacular, but it was very well done in just about every respect, and the trail scenery was very nice. I will definitely keep it in mind next year!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

The course description I gave for last year's running is a good one. I'll just add that of the several suburban trails I've seen doing events like this, the Los … MORE

The course description I gave for last year’s running is a good one. I’ll just add that of the several suburban trails I’ve seen doing events like this, the Los Alamitos Creek Trail could be the nicest. My one, fairly minor in the context of the whole race, criticism from last year was fixed. How it came to be, I don’t know, but this year the little loop to the finish was clearly marked. Woo hoo!

The race T-shirt is very nice, similar to last year’s except being red instead blue, still with a white inset at the sides. The finisher’s medal is a good sized disc, custom designed. It has the race logo and information in pink, light green and dark blue characters on a sky blue background – pleasantly colorful. Neither will be favorites, but that’s a reflection on the context in the SF Bay Area, not anything like a criticism or “faint praise”. The T-shirt and medal are definitely nicer than what might be expected at a charity event organized by a local running club.

OneMile4OneChild is a great family-community event. Lots of outgoing people, lots of family participation, and volunteers were EVERYWHERE (recognizable by their distinctive T-shirts). The aid stations were well-staffed and beyond. The volunteers’ T-shirts were nicer than at least one race T-shirt I’ve seen this year. The recovery area food was plentiful and varied. I REALLY appreciated the recognition given to volunteers while I was recovering.

I wasn’t going for a particularly ambitious finish time, but did better than I hoped for. All in all this was a great race experience, as good or better than some professionally organized events in which I’ve participated. My 5-Shoe rating is well-earned!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zoom Dynamite event was held at the park at Point Pinole. This is a really beautiful setting – once the site of an … MORE

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ Zoom Dynamite event was held at the park at Point Pinole. This is a really beautiful setting – once the site of an explosives manufacturer, hence the name of the race – with coast and bay views and fragrant eucalyptus groves. I’ve done events in this park on pretty much the same course 12 times now, and am not tired of the venue. The courses are mostly dirt fire roads with some double- and a little single-track trail.

Zoom Dynamite featured 3 distances, 5K, 10K, and half marathon. The 5K course was a loop, also used by the other distances. It traveled the southern coast of the point along open trail, in and out of small eucalyptus groves, crossed the tip of the point, and then went through another eucalyptus grove and down the center ridge of the point back to the start/finish area. The 5K course is has a few brief, not at all steep, hills. Just before reaching the finish area, the 10K course turned to start a loop around the other part of the Peninsula. It crossed the base of the point, out to a marsh area. It then looped through and along the marsh, and then finished using the last mile and a half of the 5K course. Half marathon runners did the 10K course twice (you won’t get bored!). All runners go along at least some coast, through eucalyptus groves, and along an open elevated spine with panoramic views of San Pablo Bay. The courses aren’t flat, but the 2 longest uphill climbs (one of which 10K runners did twice) are about a quarter or half mile each, with about 50-70 feet of climb.

There was 1 aid station. 5K runners came to it near their mile 2 and then finished. 10K runners came to it twice, the second time near their mile 4.7. Half marathon runners came to the aid station 4 times.

Organization & Production: Coastal is one of the SF Bay Areas best race organizers. The course was well marked. Coastal’s aid stations always have plenty of water and electrolyte drink, and a selection of sweet and salty snacks (usually including fruit, though I didn’t notice at this event). There were only around 200 participants in this event, so unlike Coastal’s usual practice, all runners of all distances were started at the same time.

Bib: Coastal’s bibs are fairly plain, except that the background color varies with distances. Yellow was 5K, Blue was 10K, and Orange was for the half marathon. Beyond that, the bibs have Coastal’s logo and motto, and the bib number.

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. My T-shirt is sort of a fluorescent chartreuse, though I also saw some that were sky blue. The front has the race name as a logo, with a cluster of dynamite at the upper left of the words, and a runner at the lower right. Below that was the race information, including the date, and on the back were the logos of the race sponsors.

Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medallion is of a nice size and weight disc. It has a bundle of dynamite and the race information (except the date) on a black background as the bottom half, and alternating royal blue and silver rays for the top half. The ribbon is a light salmon pink with the race logo and information and the year. I also won third place in the old goats age group. It is a disc with a banner across the bottom, and is not race-specific.Around the top rim is Coastal’s slogan, “Have fun out there”. In the center is “3rd”, with a runner above it. The banner across the bottom has Coastal’s logo, and at the bottom of the disc the logo for Coastal’s Zoom Running Events, which are not hilly and are family-oriented.

Finish & Recovery Area: I didn’t look around a lot, but Coastal’s recovery area normally has 5 gallon jugs of water and electrolyte drink, lots of salty and sweet snacks, and ice chests with bottled water, sodas, and beer. I didn’t notice or look for the latter. As I was leaving the RD was firing up the grill, though I didn’t see what he was going to cook (usually some sort of sausage). The recovery area was a good sized picnic area, with plenty of tables and shade.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: For me this was a best laid plans kind of deal. The original plan was that my wife would do the event with me, sort of capping off her recovery from foot surgery in the latter half of last year. Well, she had a problem with her other foot and was unable to do the event. One of the reasons we had chosen this event was the beautiful and varied scenery in this park. So at several points along the course we Facetimed. It was as close as we could come to her being with me and seeing what I was seeing. For that reason – going slower so my phone didn’t shake too much and stopping at several scenic points – I really wasn’t going for a great (for me) finish time. It was very enjoyable for both of us. Part of a great race experience is what you bring with you and how you “use” what you do and see.

Summing up, Coastal Trail Runs is an excellent organizer, Point Pinole is a really beautiful venue, there was a special brief run for the really young kids, and the weather is usually very pleasant and occasionally warm near the half marathon cut-off time (12:30), getting there is easy and parking is plentiful. I really don’t understand why the turn-out was so small. Anyway, great organizer, great race, I’d do Zoom Dynamite again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Though my performance wasn't spectacular, I was encouraged by what I was able to do at Dirty Dozen to try the 10K at Bear Creek. The elevation profile – viewable … MORE

Though my performance wasn’t spectacular, I was encouraged by what I was able to do at Dirty Dozen to try the 10K at Bear Creek. The elevation profile – viewable on Brazen’s webpages for the race – is quite challenging, but the major climb is early in the race, so I thought I could take it on. Yeah, no. Like all Brazen events, Bear Creek is well organized, but I’m not up to Bear Creek 10K right now. Ah, well. My daughter was with me, and we dropped out at the first aid station, a bit more than two miles in. The aid station was well equipped with liquids, goodies, and encouraging volunteers. In other words, Brazen Racing Normal. I don’t know if I’d do Bear Creek again, but it’s not due to deficient organizing or lack of beauty along the course. I’d just have to work up to the challenge.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

No sarcasm, it really was fun. I've done Brazen's “Breeze” races – Bay Breeze in February and Summer Breeze in August – a number of times, but this was my … MORE

No sarcasm, it really was fun. I’ve done Brazen’s “Breeze” races – Bay Breeze in February and Summer Breeze in August – a number of times, but this was my first time volunteering for one. Brazen’s aid stations are always pretty varied. Water, electrolyte drink, and Coke. Several flavors of GU gel in packets. Potato chips, pretzels, Rice Krispy Treats, Payday bars, Oreos, Jelly Bellys, gummy bears, plan and peanut M & Ms, Skittles. Bananas, oranges, and watermelon.

We had a large crew, 7 I think, but it took quite a while to set it up. Our station was about a quarter of a mile before the 10K turn-around. We didn’t see 5K runners, but Summer Breeze is among Brazen’s more popular races (flattish course along the shore of the bay, usually decent weather in August … what’s not to like?!). So we were BUSY! Brazen staggers starts, so just as the less fast half marathon runners were thinning out the faster 10K runners started coming, and being somewhat close to the turn-around, we soon had 10K runners coming and going. Then the well spread out half marathon runners came … all in all, I think we went through about 9 gallons of electrolyte drink, and over 10 gallons of water.

The weather was pleasantly cool well into the morning, and even toward the end of the half marathon didn’t get super warm. One thing that was very cool was that we knew the last half marathoner who would be coming through our station on her return leg was doing her first half marathon, so we gave her a really great reception when she arrived. Later I learned that she did complete her first half!

Volunteering at aid stations can be very busy and serious (one of our tasks was to look out for runners in trouble), but it’s also lots of fun!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Most Brazen Racing events feature specific distances (usually half marathon, 10K, and 5K). Dirty Dozen mixes 12-hour and 6-hour endurance events with 10Ks and 5Ks in … MORE

Event & Course Description: Most Brazen Racing events feature specific distances (usually half marathon, 10K, and 5K). Dirty Dozen mixes 12-hour and 6-hour endurance events with 10Ks and 5Ks in the morning and afternoon. It is pretty much a dawn-to-dusk running and picnic party for runners and their families & friends. A catered barbecue lunch is included in registration for all times and distances, and can be purchased for their families and friends.

Dirty Dozen is run in Point Pinole Regional Shoreline park. It uses a 5K (actually 3.37 miles) course that loops around half of the point. 6-hour and 12-hour runners do as many laps as they can during their time (insert “loopy” joke here). 5K runners do the loop once and 10K runners do it twice. In the final hour of each endurance events a .4 mile loop is opened for those who cannot do one more full lap in their remaining time, but who want to do another mile or two.

The course is, I think, among Brazen’s more beautiful courses. It runs along the shore for a while, goes through a eucalyptus grove for a bit, runs along a cliff above the shore, then climbs (not too steep) through another eucalyptus grove to an exposed ridge with panoramic views of San Pablo Bay, and then back to the start/finish area. The weather in 2019 was mild, with a pleasant cool breeze while running along the exposed shoreline and ridge. The course is probably 30%-50% shade.

Organization & Production: Dirty Dozen is register-and-run. Participants just need to worry about getting there and back. Brazen has used this park’s trails since its very first trail run. So the course is well marked. There was one very amazing aid station – volunteers and goodies – at about the two mile point, and another equally amazing aid station in the start/finish area. Brazen’s aid stations usually have a wide range of snacks, but Dirty Dozen is over the top of at least two hills, so to speak.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. Bibs usually have some sort of distance color-coding. There is artwork in the background (often shared with the race T-shirt) with, running from top to bottom, the race name and date, bib number and runner’s name, and Brazen Racing’s logo. My 6 Hour bib is orange, except for the center stripe with my name and bib number. The artwork depicts race mascot “Clocky” stepping out of UK style police box, and to the left of that ancient Egyptian people.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. They can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). Instead of a race T-shirt, 6 and 12 hour runners receive a hooded sweatshirt, and may purchase a race T-shirt, also $7. This year I did not buy a Tee. The hoodie is zip-up and light green. The front has “DD X 2019” in white, in the middle, 2019 being the 10th running. The back, also in white, has the same artwork as the finishers medal.

Finisher’s Medal: Dirty Dozen had two different finishers medals, one for the endurance runners and another for the 10K and 5K runners. I did not see the artwork for the 10K/5K medal, but it was good sized and substantial (viewed from the back). The endurance medal is a coaster, brass colored and in a steampunk style. Around the edge of the main disc are gears and wheels. The main disk is made to look like the date setting dial of a Wellsian time machine, with 2019 selected. Around the edge of the disk is the rest of the event information. The ribbon is yellow-orange with gears in the background and the event information in black along the ribbon. It’s one of my two favorite medals since, well, Dirty Dozen 2018.

Finish & Recovery Area: The catered lunch was from a barbecue restaurant, yum! Brazen normally has a wide array of cakes, cookies, pie, and chips in its finish area, plus several varieties of It It ice cream sandwiches. I was pretty full from lunch, and didn’t look carefully (or partake), but I think what I saw was easily more than Brazen’s “ordinary”.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was my fifth year doing Dirty Dozen. Does that say enough about what I think of the event? The endurance events tell you what you can do. I was less than happy with what I learned, but it has helped me realize what I can do to improve on that. This year was special, because my daughter did the event with me which I think spurred me on a bit. Seeing Mike and Katie was really cool, too!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zoom Firecracker Run is based in Fremont's Quarry Lakes Park, and three distances are run, half marathon, 10k (which I did), and 5K. … MORE

Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ Zoom Firecracker Run is based in Fremont’s Quarry Lakes Park, and three distances are run, half marathon, 10k (which I did), and 5K. The 5K did a circuit around the park. The 10K and half marathon did a partial circuit, exited to the Alameda Creek Trail and headed upstream (left) to a turn-around. The 10K reentered the park and completed their circuit of the park. The half marathon kept going downstream to where they crossed the creek and headed back upstream. They crossed another bridge, went to the park entry, and completed their circuit of the park.

The surface for the 10K course was mostly or entirely packed dirt and fine gravel, and basically flat. I’d estimate the course is 80%-90% exposed. Late June weather can be warm and sunny, and it was sunny but not too warm. Inside Quarry Lakes Park one can hardly tell one is in the middle of a city. The Alameda Creek Trail, on the other hand almost always has houses or a mobile home park on one side, and the creek on the other (with a channel that has been modified to prevent flooding and bank erosion, more practical than pretty). It’s not my favorite trail course, but it’s still more pleasant than central San Jose or a tract home residential neighborhood.

Organization & Production: Coastal does well organized races, as a whole. There were four aid stations on the overall course. 5K runners came to just one, at the point where 10K and half marathon runners reenter the park. 10K and half marathon runners came to their first aid station at the upstream turn-around. Both next came to the park reentry aid station. 10K runners turned into the park, did a short loop back to that aid station, and then on to the finish. Half marathon runners had two aid stations along their second out-and-back, one on each side of the creek. Then they went past the park reentry aid station and on to the finish.

Coastal generally marks their courses well, and I had no problem. At least a couple of runners went off course and another almost did at a point where a chalk arrow had gotten trampled a bit. I did see it, but tired people can make mistakes.. The aid stations had a couple of snacks (that I can sort of remember), water, and electrolyte chews.

Bib: Coastal’s bibs are color-coded by distance, but otherwise just have the bib number and Coastal’s slogan, “Have fun out there”.

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. My T-short was white, with a fireworks burst and the race information on the front, and sponsors’ logos on the back. It’s a very nice race T-shirt.

Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal was the fireworks burst with the race information but no date. The ribbon is lavender colored, with “2019 Finisher” along it. It’s not quite a favorite, but it is very nice.

Finish & Recovery Area: The recovery area had bottled water and sodas, that I saw. Coastal usually has beer, but I didn’t see it. There was a good variety of snacks like chips, pretzels, and candies. After resting for a while at one of the picnic benches – it was a covered group picnic area – I had a very tasty grilled sausage in a suitable roll.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: It’s important for summer pretty much anywhere to be careful about hydration and wearing sunscreen, and I was. But I got a frustrating reminder that I don’t do well with more or less constant full sun exposure. Ah, well, I’ll learn and hopefully do better.

Looking over my medals from this year, Zoom Firecracker was my first Coastal event for 2019. That is a schedule thingy, not a reflection on Coastal Trail Runs. Coastal does excellent events and respects budgets without skimping. I know I’ll do more Coastal events this year, and already have one planned.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

I've done several Raves about Brazen's Western Pacific, so this Rave is going to be about a few things new to me. I was an aid station volunteer (4th time … MORE

I’ve done several Raves about Brazen’s Western Pacific, so this Rave is going to be about a few things new to me. I was an aid station volunteer (4th time at WP, I think), and was posted to an aid station that only saw Marathon runners.

A quick description of the marathon course would be that it circles half way around Quarry Lakes Park, heads toward San Francisco Bay along the Alameda Creek Trail for the first out-and-back leg, passes the park, follows the trail upstream for the second out-and-back leg, and then returns to the park to complete the circuit around the park. While some of the marathon course is common to the half marathon, 10K, and 5K, about half the first out-and-back leg and the second out-and-back leg are run by the marathoners only.

I was posted at the aid station at the turn-around for the first leg. Our station was about four miles distant from the previous aid station, and at the very end of a levee that juts into the bay. Two or three yards past our station was water! Thus, we – and more importantly, the runners – had a panoramic view of that part of the bay, from the Dumbarton Bridge to the San Mateo Bridge. Across the water from us we could see Redwood City and a city or two north and south of RWC. I’m not a BIG fan of marsh land, but the trail from the previous aid station to us had marshes on both sides of the trail, with Alameda creek on one side. After a certain point we started seeing driftwood washed inland from the creek by storm and tide. Along with the various bushes along the way, it really was quite pretty.

Our aid station was near the half way point in the marathon, so we had lots of water and Ultima electrolyte drink. We also had Coca Cola for those who wanted it. For fruit we had bananas, watermelon, and oranges (the “Holy Trinity” of running events), cut of for easy handling and consumption. We had chips and pretzels, cut up Payday bars and Rice Krispie Treats, trail mix, several varieties of candies – lots of salt and sugar for sweating runners expending calories. As we told one lady who was doing her first Brazen race, that was typical for a Brazen aid station. We also had ice for a bucket of cold water with a sponge to cool off runners, and to add to our water and electrolyte drink containers and to add to runners’ water bottles.

As mentioned above, this was my 4th time volunteering at Western Pacific, and I don’t know how many times I’ve volunteered for Brazen Races. So all in all I’d do Western Pacific again, maybe even some day as a runner.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Airport Runway Run is held at and benefits the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA. Three distances were run, 10K (which I did), 5K, … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Airport Runway Run is held at and benefits the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA. Three distances were run, 10K (which I did), 5K, and 2K. The 2K was basically an elongated loop that ran the length of the airport runway and came back to the finish through the taxi area for the hangars. The 5K and 10K were out-and-back. Both courses ran the length of the airport runway and then along a frontage road to a trail that has marshland on the bay side, and US 101 on the other (but with more than 10 yards between the trail and freeway). At about the 2 mile point, the 10K turned toward and into the marshes. The 5K turn-around was at about the 2/3 point of the 10K course’s part of the trail along US101. The 10K followed a trail along a levee, basically doubling back the way runners had come, and after about a half mile turned toward the bay for a quarter of a mile to the turn-around point. On the return leg both 5K and 10K runners returned to the start by the frontage road, past the front of the museum rather than back onto the runway.

It wasn’t the most scenic of course, but there was some “cool” to doing the length of the runway, and one could always look toward the marsh rather than US101 traffic (traffic noise wasn’t too bad).The 5K course was entirely paved. The 10K course was about 2/3 paved, with the trail along the marsh levees being packed dirt and fine gravel.

Organization & Production: The race is register-and-run, with complete information in the race webpages. There were two water-only aid stations, one at about the 1 1/4 mile point, and the second (10K only) just after the 2 mile point. The 5K turn-around was well marked with a nice big sign, and there were high-fiving course monitors at the 10K turn-around. The aid station near the 2 mile point was still handing out water when the last 10K runner (me) went through on the return leg (more friendly volunteers!), but the first aid station was not (with just ~3/4 mile left to the finish). The race was professionally timed.

Bib: The bib has a white background, with a blue stripe near the top and the bib number in black numerals below that. At the center of the blue stripe is the race logo, a runner running on a lighter blue stripe with the race name along the stripe. In an arc above the runner is the museum name, There’s a very light blue cloud behind the runner, and along the bottom of the logo are the distances and a biplane silhouette in maroon. To the left of the race logo is the museum logo, and to the right was the distance.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is navy blue tech-type. In the front, like a pocket, is the race logo in white, and on the back are the race sponsors’ logos, also in white. There were no finisher’s medals.

Finish & Recovery Area: When I finished, the finish area was already being packed up. For recovery food I saw lots of bananas and a taco truck (not “free”). Nor was there water or anywhere to sit down. All in all, a bit of a let down.

I should add that both before and after the race, participants had free entry into the the museum, which was interesting and very nice, especially cool for younger folk.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was pretty happy with my finish time, and it was 2 or 3 minutes longer than it might have been. I had noticed a possibly injured runner about 100-200 yards from the first aid station during the outbound leg, and I spoke to a volunteer and the person in charge.

The finish area was a bit of a let down, and my over-all rating reflects this. The Airport Runway Run is a fairly well organized race, and benefits the museum. The race Tee was tech-type, which surprised me a little, and while not spectacularly awesome, is easily nice enough that I’ll be using it for work-outs. All in all, this is not a must-do-this-again race for me, but I will definitely keep it mind for 2020.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Cambrian Schools 5K Fun Run is done sort of school year annually. The previous running was in November, 2017, and in 2019 it was in March. … MORE

Event & Course Description: Cambrian Schools 5K Fun Run is done sort of school year annually. The previous running was in November, 2017, and in 2019 it was in March. The race benefits Cambrian School District (San Jose) schools. As best I can remember, the 2019 course was the reverse of the 2017 course. In 2019 the start and finish was at Ida Price Middle school, and the turn-around was a loop around Steindorf STEAM School.

The course is entirely on streets in the Cambrian area of San Jose. Cambrian is a Baby Boom era neighborhood, with a hill at the corner of Huh? Street and Not Here! Avenue. It’s flat. It has a good number of mature trees – decent shade – but isn’t exactly scenic. March weather is pretty variable. Race day 2019 was clear but chilly, but two days earlier there was rain, and rain is forecast for the next day.

Organization & Production: Instead of their own webpage, Cambrian gave relevant information to RaceRoster, the registration service company. It was fairly complete, though it did not include a course map, nor mention that there would be pre-race-day pick-up. The information for the latter was in the pre-race email, however, and a course map was in the bag received at packet pick-up.

The course was copiously marked with Route Arrows, orange traffic cones, and volunteers. And street intersections were blocked by San Jose PD. One would have to work really hard to go off course! There were 3 water stations. In a 5K! That seems kind of odd, but families are a BIG THING in this run! And they saw to it that staying hydrated would be easy. And then there was a fourth, unofficial, water station set up by a local Realtor at the curb in front of their personal home.

Race timing was done by South Valley Endurance. I didn’t time it, but they had my finish time posted online within an hour of my finish.

Bib: The top ~40% of the bib is a red stripe with logos of the district at the corners and the T-shirt artwork in a white diamond in the middle. The middle 50% has the bib number. In a narrow black stripe across the bottom is the url for the district’s website.

T-Shirt: The T-shirt is red cotton. The front features a turtle running ahead of a rabbit. In an arc above the turtle is “Cambrian Schools”, and in an arc below the turtle is “5K Fun Run”, with the year below it. The back has the logos for the sponsors. All the graphics are in white. It’s not a spectacular race T-shirt, but it is really nice.

Finisher’s Medal: The previous running, 2017, did not have finisher’s medals. I was fine with that, because this race benefits the district’s schools. And that is what I expected for 2019. But medals were given to finishers, a golden disc with “5K” on a red, white, and blue striped ribbon. My guess is that it was decided that because this event is an important, somewhat unique, family experience a tangible memento of the event would be nice.

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area had tables with pavilions for several sponsors, and tables with bottled water, apples, pears, and Kellogg protein bars (that I can remember). The finish area was an athletic field, so there were no tables or chairs.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was a very well done basic 5K. The biggest impression I came away with was that the emphasis was on family, and LOTS of students ran the race (the first four finishers were students), many in family groups. There were also a lot of preschoolers and toddlers (the latter mostly in strollers) with their Moms and Dads. So while the neighborhood scenery was pretty bland, the family “scenery” was a lot of fun.

The race is really well done, the start/finish areas about 10 minutes’ (or less) drive, and the pre-race packet pick-up is at the district office in my neighborhood. So I’ll be watching for this 5K again next “year” (whether fall 2019 or spring 2020).

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: I suppose the Palo Alto Double 8K // Ujena 5K/10K needs a bit of explaining. A Double Road Race is a race in two parts, or … MORE

Event & Course Description: I suppose the Palo Alto Double 8K // Ujena 5K/10K needs a bit of explaining. A Double Road Race is a race in two parts, or as the creator says, a race with a halftime. This race had a Double 8K – a 5K segment, a break, and then a 3K segment – plus regular 5K and 10K distances. I did the10K. With that prefatory explanation …

The start and finish area was the Baylands Athletic Center, at the dead-end of a small street at the southwest corner of the Palo Alto Golf Course. The all courses took streets for about 2/3 of a mile to the Renzel Trail. This parallels US101 freeway for most of the 1 1/3 miles to the Bay Trail. After passing the 3K and 5K turn-arounds, the 10K course then turned onto the Adobe Creek Loop Trail, following that for about 1.1 miles, and then turning around to retrace the same route to the finish. The one, water-only, aid station was just before the 5K turn-around.

The course is entirely paved and pretty much entirely exposed. The 10K and Double 8K started in moderate-light rain, clearing up to just cloudy after 15 or 20 minutes. For most of the course there was marsh or creek on at least one side of the course. There was a not very busy frontage road between the trail and US101, so freeway noise wasn’t too distracting.

Organization & Production: In my opinion, this was a mix of things done well and less than well. The website information was easily sufficient for a person to check out the race, understand it, register, and get to the venue. Parking was reasonably easy, the lots of a nearby business park.

I arrived very early, so check-in (race day only) was easy for me. But later in the morning the check-in line was long. This was probably due to the rain, the need to keep the check-in stuff dry, and the limited cover available. There was not room to “throw” extra people at the problem. The race started ~11 minutes late, possibly because of this issue.

The race was not chip timed. Timing was from the “gun start” (air horn) to when runners are observed crossing the finish. In exchanging emails with the timing person, I also realized there was no video/camera back-up. There were pacers for the 8K Double, very nice, but their signs were not well made and I saw at least two of the signs on the ground.

The course markings were with chalk or flour, which didn’t do great with rain and being trampled. The markings could be missed (I didn’t see the “1 Mile” marking until I was on my return leg). More than a few 8K Double runners passed their turn-around at the 5K point; they probably realized they had gone too far at the “2 Mile” marking near a bridge on the trail.

The water-only aid station at the 1.5 mile point was adequate for a cool day. The volunteers seemed not to be looking for runners having trouble, as I was limping and was not asked if I was OK (which I was, “just” a calf muscle spasm). The same was true of several course monitors at about mile 2.5. They directed 10K runners, but also did not ask about my limp.

I was the last to finish (unsurprisingly). When I went through the finish chute there was no one at the timing table. I was through the chute and heading for the water table when a lady gave me my finisher’s medal. Because no one was at the timing table, my finish time was not recorded, and was not on the race “preliminary” results page. That no one was at the table also means the RD and staff did not know they had a “runner” still out on the course. They were not in contact with their volunteers, and apparently had not crossed off bib numbers as people finished. Had someone had a serious problem, this would have been unsafe.

Bib: Bibs were color-coded by distance, black background for the 10K, green for the 8K Double, and white for the 5K. The name of the race was at the top, the bib number in the middle, and a sponsor’s website url at the bottom.

T-Shirt: Oy! Description first, then commentary. The T-shirt is short-sleeved tech type, fading from dark purple at the bottom to medium purple at the top, with a subtle vine and leaf pattern in it. A really beautiful shirt! On the front, in large plain white block letters is the name of the race across the chest and the date and location near the bottom hem. On the back at the bottom and on the right sleeve are sponsors’ logos.

I’ve received my share of “Meh!” race T-shirts, but this is the first I’m seriously thinking of not wearing it outside of my house. I usually use race Tees for work-outs at the gym or on the trail, but not this one.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is oval, on the small side compared to what is currently common with other races and organizers. The size aside, it is VERY nice. There is an oval in the center with a nature scene. Around this is a yellow ring captioned “Palo Alto Open Space Nature Preserves”. Then there is a purple outer ring giving the race name, “5th Annual”, and the location. The back and outer rim are black. The ribbon is purple, with the race name on it. Were it 50%-100% larger it would have gone from very striking to pretty amazing.

Finish & Recovery Area: This organizer bills its races as road races rather than trail runs. And the long distance for this race was 10K. With that context, the recovery area food and snacks were at least average, and probably above average for this race type. As late as I was in finishing, there were plenty of bottles of water, bananas, at least a couple of varieties of bagged chips, and a couple of varieties of bagged cookies.

As noted above, the timing table was unmanned, and it took a minute or two for the person giving out finisher’s medals to come to me. There was no one handing out water, but it was at a table adjacent to the end of the finishing chute, which is common.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: As anyone who has scanned a few of my Raves will know, I tend to be on the positive side of realistic. I seldom give a negative review!

Double Road Racing (or Double Running) represents itself as a significant or major race organizer. This naturally creates certain expectations. This was my first event with them, and I was disappointed. Some things were done well. A runner will have no problems getting to and starting the race, and the course maps are fine. The finisher’s medal is really nice, and the recovery area food was better than I expected.

As I’ve noted, the course marking and marshaling, in my opinion, needed improving. Especially stationing a course marshal at the 5K turn-around. Given the potential for wet weather, signs marking miles and turn-arounds would also have been better.

The biggest problem had to do with timing. Nothing is perfect, not RFID, not human observer-timers, not video/cameras. Going manual-only has at least two vulnerabilities. Larger bunches of finishers can overwhelm the observers. And the timing people need to know, toward the end of a race, how many participants are still out on the course.

DRR failed to use finisher check-off to know there was someone (me) still out on the course. Nor did they have their volunteers report on this. This resulted in the last timekeeper leaving the table before I was finished. And with no video/camera back-up, I know the finish time for me in their results was derived from my own, +/- 1 minute, tired guess. My email exchange with the person in charge of timing was less than satisfactory (I’ll just say that I was not stupid or obtuse enough to demand an accurate finish time I knew they could not have, and not elaborate further). And as noted above, not knowing someone was still on the course is a potential safety issue.

I said enough above about the race Tee.

This race is close to my home, perhaps a half hour drive. Despite that convenience, I probably will not do this or any other DRR races.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
2
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing's Victory starts and finishes at the Craneway Pavilion, where World War 2 Victory Ships were built. All distances go onto the SF Bay Trail … MORE

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing’s Victory starts and finishes at the Craneway Pavilion, where World War 2 Victory Ships were built. All distances go onto the SF Bay Trail , heading generally south and running along the marina at Richmond Marina Bay. 5K runners run about half way around the Bay, do a loop around Marina Park, and return to the finish. 10K (which I’ll be doing) and half marathon runners complete the circuit around Richmond Marina Bay and follow the trail south along San Francisco Bay, turning around at different points. The return is mostly the same route, except a different trail is taken into Marina Park to do a 3/4 circuit of the park before heading to the finish.

The scenery is varied and pleasant. The circuit around Marina Bay has views of the many boats berthed in the bay, and occasionally one that is maneuvering to head out into San Francisco Bay. After Marina Bay runners have San Francisco Bay on one side and views of the nearby hills on the other.

The weather can vary, year to year, so runners need to check forecast and be prepared. Victory 2019 was chilly (someone was prepared and wore a long-sleeved shirt, unlike two weeks ago), with lots of hazy sunshine. The course is pretty much entirely exposed, so depending on apparel sunscreen can be necessary.

Organization & Production: Except for three key junctions, the course is easily followed. Brazen always marks courses well, and the three aid stations are positioned at the junctions, so runners can get directions from the aid station volunteers. 5K runners come to the first aid station twice. 10K runners go through two aid station twice each. For half marathon runners there is some distance between the second and third aid stations, and they go though the third aid station twice. Brazen aid stations are always well stocked with liquids, snacks and cheery encouraging volunteers.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. Bibs usually have some sort of distance color-coding (having done the 10K, my bib’s background color was blue). There is artwork in the background (often shared with the race T-shirt) with, running from top to bottom, the race name and date, bib number and runner’s name, and Brazen Racing’s logo. The background of the bib for Victory had a hand making the “V for Victory” sign, with sun rays behind it.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). The tech Tee for Victory 2019 is dark blue. The front has the hand making the “V for Victory” sign, with sun rays behind it in light gray, red, and white. The race name, distances and location are below the hand. The back has a Victory Ship with the race information along the side, and the logos of sponsors and Brazen Racing below it.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion shows the fantail of a Victory Ship with the race information on the hull, and the propeller is a spinner. The ribbon has multiple dark blue and white stripes along its length, the name of the race and date in red outlined white letters, and the distances in red letters.

For those who did both the Bay Breeze race and Victory, there is a special connector medal. The medallion interlocks with the two finisher’s medals to form a “mega-medal. The medallion has a white and red lighthouse with “B2V Double” on its side, and a white banner with “Finisher”. At the bottom are a compass rose and anchor.

Finish & Recovery Area: I was too tired to hit the recovery goodies very hard. Brazen typically has a wide variety of fruit, chips, cakes, cookies, and candies to replenish calories and electrolytes burned. I grabbed a Chips It ice cream sandwich, chatted for a bit and headed home.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: The weather was near-perfect, and I worked for it, so I’m pretty happy with my finish time, not as THE goal but as progress and improvement.

Brazen Racing is a well-oiled machine when it come to organizing races, with lots of great people (runners, volunteers, and employees) and interesting venues. I’ll be back for more Brazen races and will consider doing Victory in 2020.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing's Bay Breeze starts and finishes in Marina Park in San Leandro, with half marathon, 10K, and 5K distances. I did the 10KI, but have … MORE

Event & Course Description: Brazen Racing’s Bay Breeze starts and finishes in Marina Park in San Leandro, with half marathon, 10K, and 5K distances. I did the 10KI, but have also done the half marathon in the past. For 10K and half runners the course is easily described: head south on the Bay Trail and turn around at the designated point to head back to the finish. The 5K course adds a ~1mile loop around a small peninsula which the other distances do not do. The half marathon course is about half paved, half packed dirt and crushed gravel. The 10K course is about 2/3 paved. Much of the paved trail has shoulders of packed dirt and gravel. The course is basically flat.

One side of the course is almost always the bay. The inland side is mostly marshes, with about a quarter of a mile going past a housing complex. There are a couple of bridges along the course. Personally I’m more inclined to rocks, cliffs and breakers for sea views, but the views along the Bay Breeze course are very peaceful, and may include views of the bridges crossing to the San Francisco Peninsula (weather allowing).

Over several years, the weather for Bay Breeze has varied from sunny and relatively warm to very light rain and somewhat windy. There is basically no shade on the course. 2019’s running saw light rain for the half marathon starts, and very chilly wind. The rain had stopped when 10K and 5K runners started (guess who checked the weather forecast for rain, but not the temperature forecast … and wore a short-sleeve Tee!). Outbound, the wind was almost directly in runners’ faces. I noticed it less inbound but can’t say whether it had lessened or was less annoying coming at my back.

Organization & Production: Bay Breeze is one of Brazen’s most popular races, with over 1300 finishers of the three distances in 2019. The three distances have separate starts, with a “Hikers” start an hour before the regular half marathon start. This is for slower runners who want the extra time, and is also used by runners who want an earlier finish. Hikers are not eligible for age group or overall awards. The course for Bay Breeze is very simple, out and back. But Brazen marks its courses well, has course marshals at key points (not many for Bay Breeze), and has “Mile #” signs for each distance along the course.

Brazen’s aid stations offer a wide variety of liquids and snacks. Water and electrolyte drink are always provided, and Coke and ginger ale are also usually available. Snacks include a wide variety of candies, Payday and Rice Krispie Treat candy bars, cut up bananas and oranges, Oreo cookies, chips, and pretzels. That I can remember. If this sounds pretty much identical to my past Raves’ descriptions of aid stations, that’s because Brazen is VERY consistent. The goodies are great, but for me the best part of Brazen aid stations is the very cheery and encouraging volunteers. There is always one or two experienced aid station workers at each station, so things are generally well organized, allowing the volunteers to encourage and cheer on runners while keeping the goodies flowing.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. Bibs usually have some sort of distance color-coding. There is artwork in the background (often shared with the race T-shirt) with, running from top to bottom, the race name and date, bib number and runner’s name, and Brazen Racing’s logo. The background artwork for Bay Breeze 2019 was an octopus playing guitar to serenade his love (Valentine’s Day meets sea creature!).

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7), which I did.

The tech type race T-shirt for Bay Breeze 2019 was RED (as it has been for several years) and long-sleeved. The front has the serenading octopus-of-love and guitar. The back features the artwork of a previous year, the octopus holding a bouquet of red roses for his love. The back also has sponsors’ and Brazen’s logos.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is a large red heart with the guitar-playing octopus-of-love in front of it, and the race information at its bottom left. The ribbon has multiple red an white stripes, with the race information in blue outlined white and blue hearts running along the length of the ribbon.

Finish & Recovery Area: Not only did it rain lightly and briefly on race day morning, it also had rained on several days the previous week. The start/finish area is all grass, except the ground was saturated, which resulted in the lanes into and from the arch being churned into mud. I saw a couple of people on Facebook who mentioned slipping and falling just after finishing, which I came close to doing. Not dangerous, just part of “rain or shine”.

Brazen does not skimp on recovery area food – candies, cookies, cakes, chips, and cut up fruit, probably 3X the variety offered at aid stations. Brazen’s “signature” finish area snack is several flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwiches. I usually go for the mint ice cream, and occasionally strawberry. It’s It recently introduced a “Chips It” sandwich, which uses chocolate chip cookies instead of oatmeal cookies. The Chips It is also not coated with chocolate. I tried and liked the Chips It.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Brazen is one of the best race organizers in the SF Bay Area, always an excellent race experience (I’ve done 38 Brazen races in the past 5 years, so I’ll make that generalization!). Bay Breeze 2019 was all that. Bay Breeze is the first of a two-race series, and those who do the second race two weeks later, Victory, receive a connector medal that combines the two finisher’s medals into one really large “mega-medal”. I’ll be doing Victory, and doing Summer Breeze (same courses as Bay Breeze) is a possibility.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Coyote Hills (CH) is organized by Brazen Racing and three distances are run, half marathon, 10K (which I did), and 5K. The race is creatively named … MORE

Event & Course Description: Coyote Hills (CH) is organized by Brazen Racing and three distances are run, half marathon, 10K (which I did), and 5K. The race is creatively named for its venue, Coyote Hills Park. All three distances do a loop around the hills. The 10K adds an out-and-back leg, branching off at about the 7/8 point in the loop. The half marathon does the 10K course twice, except for a .1-.2 mile segment through the hills behind the start/finish area that is unique to the half marathon course.

On starting, all runners go through the dirt parking area that is the start/finish area and onto paved access road for about a tenth of a mile. Runners then turn onto a trail that uses a boardwalk through a marsh and leave the marsh on paved trail. The course goes through some low hills and onto a trail that goes along the edge of the bay. After about a mile and a quarter, 5K runners split off to the left and go through a gap in the hills to the finish. 10K and half marathon runners, however, continue along the bay on packed dirt trail for another mile and a half or so, turn around, and head back to the split. At that point 10K runners use the same gap in the hills 5K runners used to go to the finish. Half marathon runners climb up into the hills, going behind the start/finish area, to start their second time around the course. When half marathoners are near the finish, they again climb into the hills, but turn onto a foot path to get to the start/finish area. The 10K and half marathon course is about half boardwalk and paved, half dirt trail. The 5K course is entirely boardwalk and paved.

Organization & Production: Brazen races are register-and-run. Information on the race webpage is very complete, course markings and marshals make it difficult to go off course, and aid stations are well stocked with water, electrolyte drink and a good variety of snacks, for even the slowest runner. Brazen is very consistent, race to race to … . One thing that sets CH apart from other Brazen races is that parking is so limited that Brazen has arranged for offsite parking and shuttle buses to and from the start/finish area.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The CH bib has distance color-coded race name, runner’s name, distance, and bib number. The race date is under the race name. Brazen Racing’s logo is in the bottom left corner. The background looks like a starry night sky with a steampunk robot coyote constellation.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7). The 2019 CH tech type Tee is dark blue and long-sleeved. Brazen usually has really nice T-shirt artwork, usually so good that picking a favorite comes down to personal taste rather than good vs. so-so.

For quite a few years Coyote Hills Tees have been outstanding among excellent for my tastes, and 2019 was up to that standard. The front looks like a string art coyote head, face-on. The coloring of the string art fades from yellow to aqua blue. The back features a winged robotic coyote leg in white, with the name of the race and year on a light blue banner zig-zagged behind it. Just below the paw is the date in white, and below that the distances in light blue. Below the distances, in white, are the sponsors’ logos and Brazen’s logo.

Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is the same artwork as the back of the T-shirt, a winged robotic coyote leg in silver, with white background and a yellow banner with the race name and information. The Ribbon is black, with dark gray machinery wheels (Hello, steampunk!). Along the ribbon are the race name and date in orange, and the distances in white.

Finish & Recovery Area: As runners finished, they received their finisher’s medal and a little farther along someone was handing out bottled water. There was a sort of chute that funneled runners into an area with vendors’ pavilions, a massage pavilion, and several tables with goodies. Brazen’s “signature” recovery snack is It’s It ice cream sandwiches in several flavors of ice cream. I seldom pass up on having one, but I wasn’t sure it would be OK with my stomach. Anyway, Brazen recovery areas offer a wide variety of cakes, cookies, fruit, and more.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Coyote Hills was my first Brazen race, five years ago. Other than incremental improvements in things like race Tees and finisher’s medals, Brazen has remained consistent in the many things that make for a register-and-run race and an excellent race experience. A Brazen race is like a ginormous (more than 1100 finishers in the three distances at CH, one of Brazen’s larger events) family reunion picnic. Whether Brazen employees, volunteers, or the runners, everyone makes for a great atmosphere! My next two races are also Brazen races, so I’ll probably run or volunteer at Coyote Hills again.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: As the name suggests, the Kiwanis Resolution Run benefits a Kiwanis service club and through it, the charities it supports. The run has 10K and 5K … MORE

Event & Course Description: As the name suggests, the Kiwanis Resolution Run benefits a Kiwanis service club and through it, the charities it supports. The run has 10K and 5K distances, is run on January 1st, and is run in Mountain View’s Shoreline park. I ran the 5K.

The start and finish was in a large open field. All runners cross about 3/4 of that field, follow a trail that parallels Stevens Creek, and then turn to run along side a marsh. The trail curves around a slough. About 2/3 around the slough 5K runners turn left, while 10K runners continue around the slough and continue along the marsh. 5K runners go about half a miles to a turn-around, then go back around the slough and onto a trail that parallels a golf course access road. Runners are then turned onto the open field again, completing what amounts to a loop with a tail in the middle of it. Meanwhile, 10K runners continued along the mash, did a little loop with a short out-and-back leg, and then came back the way they came. Except for perhaps a half mile at the start and finish which is packed dirt and crushed recycled street pavement, the course is paved (though there are parallel packed dirt paths along some of the trail).

January in the SF Bay Area is not cold like in most of the US, but it is the coldest part of the year. In 2019, skies were clear, temperatures during the run were in the 40s F, and it was very breezy.

Organization & Production: This was a basic well done charity run – register-and-run, as I like to call it. The information on the website was complete and registration easy. There are maps for both distances on the site. Pre-race and race day packet pick-up were done (also race day registration). Probably the one unusual point was that the start times were 10:00 for the 10K and 10:15 for the 5K – allowing for people who had been festive the previous night.

The course was well marked with cones and with course marshals at key points, and there were mile markers. 5K runners passed an aid station at about the 1.7 or 1.8 mile point, though it was on the other side of the trail, and then came back to it, at about the 2.2 or 2.3 mile point. It was water only and well stocked.

Bib: The bib is plain white, with the bib number in red in the middle, and the race timer’s website at the bottom in blue.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is dark sky blue cotton-polyester blend. The front has the race logo (yellow is the main color), basically a large circle. Around the outside of the circle are the race name, location, and distances. Below the logo are the year and the name of the specific Kiwanis Club. As usual race sponsors’ logos are on the back of the shirt.

Finisher’s Medal: There was no finisher’s medal. Instead finishers received a blue ribbon with the race logo, name, and date. There were medals for the top over-all finishers and for age group top three.

Finish & Recovery Area: I guess the finish area could be called “no frills”. There were no places to sit, but that’s due to the area of the park used for the race. There were tables where finishers could grab bottles of water. At several more tables there were cut up apples and bananas, sliced blueberry coffee cake, and cut up brownies. As “no frills” goes, it was pretty nice.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: My results were about what I had hoped for, though I probably was held back by 10 or 20 seconds by the bottleneck at the starting arch. In an odd way, nothing exactly stood out to me about the race. The organization was tight, the volunteers helpful the course well managed, the marsh and slough scenery pleasant. The race is definitely family-friendly. I saw one 4YO young lady doing her first 5K, and I saw family groups that had 3 or 4 generations represented (Can you say “Octogenarian”? I knew you could.). The Kiwanis Resolution Run is a really nice community run. Being well done and close to me, I will definitely considerate doing it in 2020 and beyond.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Campbell’s Oktoberfest 10K & 5K Fun Run/Walk starts and finishes in Campbell Park near downtown Campbell, with the Los Gatos Creek Trail as a course. The … MORE

Event & Course Description: Campbell’s Oktoberfest 10K & 5K Fun Run/Walk starts and finishes in Campbell Park near downtown Campbell, with the Los Gatos Creek Trail as a course. The race is, as the name suggests, part of downtown Campbell’s Oktoberfest celebration as well as benefiting Campbell’s Parks & Rec Department. The 10K course, which I did, is an out-and-back with a ~1 1/4 mile loop added to the return leg. The 5K is an out-and-back.

Both distances started from the same point, 10 minutes apart. Just before going under San Tomas Expressway (STE), 5K runners crossed Los Gatos Creek on a bridge, returned toward the start (but on the other side of the creek), and crossed the creek again to run into Campbell Park. 10K runners kept going, under STE, past Los Gatos Creek Park, turning around just before reaching the Highway 85 freeway. About a third of the way back runners crossed the creek on a bridge, did a loop around a couple of ponds, and then crossed back to the trail back to the finish.

This part of the Los Gatos Creek Trail is almost all paved, wide enough and marked for two-way traffic, and close to flat. The weather in 2019 was near perfect, cool without being cold and mostly overcast. The 10K course is about 40%-50% shade.

Organization & Production: This event is what I call register-and-run. The website information is basically complete, registration is easy, and parking is readily available. A runner just needs to “worry” about getting there and doing their race. The course was well marked with orange arrows plus course marshals at a couple of key turns. There were two water-only aid stations, one about midway in the 5K course and another at the 10K turn-around. 10K runners would go through the first aid station twice. I was the last 10K finisher, and that aid station had no volunteers present when I passed it, though there was plenty of water.

Bib: The top of the bib is white, with the race logo in the left corner and the distance to the right. The middle has the bib number on a color-coded stripe, green for 10K and orange for 5K. Across the bottom is a narrow white stripe with the Campbell Parks & Rec Department url.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is olive green poly-cotton blend, very comfortable. The front has what looks like a running shoe footprint in white, though it has runners, a tree, and a wheat stalk worked into it. Toward the top of the shoe is the year in white and the name of the race in orange. Toward the bottom is a water tower, a symbol of the City of Campbell. On the back in white are sponsors’ logos.

Finisher’s Medal: Because of the Oktoberfest theme and festival nearby, adult finishers over age 21 received off-white ceramic beer steins. One side of the stein has the race logo, which includes the race name, runners, a tree (“The Orchard City” is the city’s nickname), and a water tower. On the other side is a guy with a head like the water tower wearing lederhosen with a stein of beer in one hand, and on the other arm carrying all sorts of edibles (including wurst!).

Children and adults under age 21 received a medal. The medallion is off-the-shelf, fairly simple, and black. In the center is a custom-printed sticker with the race logo on a brown background and surrounded by leaves in fall colors. I’m spoiled and tend to dislike this kind of finisher’s medal, but the black medallion makes the very colorful sticker the “star”, and the overall effect is very nice. The ribbon has a black and an orange stripe along its length.

Finish & Recovery Area: By the time I finished, just under two hours, the finish area was mostly packed up and some exhibitors were gone already. There was plenty of water available and helpful volunteers (I received two steins and a finisher’s medal, which was a bit of consolation as well as a convenience to the race people – less stuff to pack up). The finish area was a set of basketball courts, but there were places people could sit down to rest if they wanted.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was OK with my finish time, possibly a bit better than I deserved. I was a bit concerned that the volunteers were no longer at the last aid station when I passed through. It suggested that no one was keeping track of whether any runners were still on the course, a possible safety issue. However it was located at a park, where the volunteers and other people might have been nearby (I did go by a family who were there to use the dog park). Other than that concern, this was a very well organized family oriented event. Would I do this even again? I did it before in 2015 and the parking area I used was 5-10 minutes from my home. I certainly would consider it in the future, and the City of Campbell has a Valentines Day themed event in February that I also consider when I plan out what races I do.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Brazen Racing’s Almost New Year’s Eve starts and finishes in Fremont’s Quarry Lakes Park. I did the half marathon in 2017, and my description in my Rave of the course … MORE

Brazen Racing’s Almost New Year’s Eve starts and finishes in Fremont’s Quarry Lakes Park. I did the half marathon in 2017, and my description in my Rave of the course was pretty thorough, plus or minus some punctuation oopses. In 2018 I volunteered, working at an aid station.

Our aid station was between miles 4 and 5 for runners of the half marathon, a turn-around point in an out-and-back leg. We only saw runners of that distance. We packed all our stuff at the start/finish area – tables, water, fruit, goodies. We were able to park our vehicles 20 or 30 yards from where we set up. While Brazen advises those who do the early, “Hikers” start that aid stations may or may not be fully set up, we were fully set up long before the first “Hiker” showed up.

We had the usual fluids: water (30 gallons!); electrolyte drink mix with the necessary 5 gallon jug; cans of Coke; pitchers and paper cups. For snacks we had regular and peanut M & Ms, trail mix, gummy bears, Skittles, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Rice Krispy Treats, Payday bars (the Treats and Paydays were cut up, potato chips, and peanut butter filled pretzel bites. For fruit we had cut up bananas and orange wedges. That I can remember. This is typical of a Brazen aid station.

We had a pavilion in case shade or shelter from rain was needed. It was a beautiful very cool day, so we didn’t use it.

In my opinion, “working” at an aid station hardly deserves to be called working. Several hundred pounds of water, goodies, and tables have to be brought from vehicles to the trail and set up (there were three of us sharing that work), but that takes perhaps 20 or 30 minutes. Once the runners start coming, though it becomes fun. The “Hikers” come one or two or three at a time, with the fastest of the regular-start runners mixed in with the slowest “Hikers”. We chat with them, offering liquids and goodies. This also is a safety check for whether any are having trouble. For all the serious purposes, it was a fun few seconds or couple of minutes with each runner.

Then the main pack of runners came in waves of 3s and 6s and #s, where one is continually offering water or electrolyte drink or snacks and still keeping an eye out for a runner who might be struggling. Since we were at the ~1/3 point in the half marathon course, many – especially the fastest – just did the turn-around and kept running. Others snagged a cup of water and a snack item and headed back out. Others spent a minute or two grazing and chatting. It was a slightly crazy time, handing out water (me), pouring more glasses of water and electrolyte drink, replenishing water bottles, and cutting up more fruit and candy bars, but it was FUN!

As the runners thinned out again and we knew there were only a few more, we consolidated our goodies onto one table and started packing things we knew we wouldn’t need. The course uses a public trail, so all along we offered water and such to others running or biking or walking on the trail. A few stopped and took up our offer, chatting about the race, and such. One family stopped with us for quite a while as their two pre-school-aged daughters grazed and we chatted with the parents.

Finally the “sweeper” came, assuring us that there were no more runners coming. We finished packing (we left the trail a little cleaner than it was before the race) and headed back to Quarry Lakes Park. All in all it was a very pleasant and fun 3 or 4 hours. For volunteering Brazen gives those who do a race T-shirt and credit for a “free” race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

My original plan was to do this race as I did last, walk the half marathon distance. A nagging calf injury changed that plan for me. My Rave from last … MORE

My original plan was to do this race as I did last, walk the half marathon distance. A nagging calf injury changed that plan for me. My Rave from last year describes the courses for the several distances.

Around the beginning of November I realized I should just do what races for which I was registered, conservatively, and otherwise let my calf recuperate. I also realized that I didn’t volunteer at a race in all of 2017 or 2018 up to that point, so I registered as a volunteer, my first time with Coastal Trail Runs.

I frequently describe CTR as an excellent no-frills organizer. That’s an over-simplification, particularly in reference to aid station snacks and finish-recovery area snacks and food. I was at Aid Station 1, the first station 10K, half marathon, 30K, and marathon runners would encounter. We were located at the turn-around for the first out-and-back leg on the crossbar of the “T” course. The second aid station the longer distance runners would encounter was the one aid station through which 5K runners ran.

My partner Gary and I were dispatched to the station with a tub with the various snacks and an ice chest loaded in our vehicle. When we arrived the station was partly staged, with 2 or 3 multi-gallon jugs of water, a 5-gallon jug filled with water, and tables. So setting up was pretty quick – set out the tables and position two jugs for runners.

The tub of supplies had what we needed: pitchers, plates, bowls, and utensils; electrolyte drink mix; pretzels and potato chips; Oreo cookies; bananas and oranges; Coke and Sprite in the ice chest; Clif Bar gel packets. CTR’s aid stations commonly have trail mix and another snack item or two, but this was still much more than would be found at a large street/road race or some charity runs.

So Gary set out the snacks and cut up the fruit. I set up the water jug and the 5-gallon jug for the electrolyte drink and mixed the drink. The race was supposed to be cupless, but was had some paper cups for those who didn’t understand that. We asked them to preserve their paper cups to use again at subsequent aid stations (several marathon runners had and used the paper cups they had gotten from us the first time they came to our station).

We were well ready when the first runners showed up. From there we just served the runners what they needed (pitchers are faster than the spigots on water jugs), made sure the plates or bowls of snacks, fruit, and gel packets were replenished. And we chatted up the 30K and marathon runners the second time they came to our station to be sure they were “there”. We had, but did not need, a first aid kit, and we had the RD’s cell phone number in case we needed assistance.

The guy who was to relieve us showed up more or less on time (I wasn’t watching my watch). He handled the slower marathoners and taking the aid station stuff back to the start/finish area. The finish-recovery area snacks and food were typical of a Coastal race, a larger variety of snacks than were at aid stations, water, electrolyte drink, and sodas and craft beers in an ice chest. The RD usually grills hot food for the longer distance runners, and this time it was hot link sausages.

I did seven CTR races last year, and the finisher’s medals were all discs or rectangles – simple but elegant. I saw the finisher’s medal, and like the two medals I have from 2018, it was more complex. The medallion was fan-shaped, and the ribbon was a Christmassy green. The bibs were also distance color-coded rather than plain white.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: The Firehouse Run (TFR) is put on by Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation, Santa Clara Schools Foundation, Santa Clara Rotary Foundation, Santa Clara Unified School District, University … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Firehouse Run (TFR) is put on by Santa Clara Firefighters Foundation, Santa Clara Schools Foundation, Santa Clara Rotary Foundation, Santa Clara Unified School District, University of Santa Clara, and the City of Santa Clara to benefit Santa Clara Schools Foundation and two veterans charities. It started near and finished in the stadium at the University of Santa Clara. The 5K course was a loop, mostly through the neighborhood just to the west of the university. Those doing the 10K (including me) did the loop a second time. The course was through a neighborhood of homes that are probably 80-100 years old, on paved streets. It has mature trees, so it’s fairly shaded for much of the course, though it was a pretty chilly morning and I didn’t try to guesstimate a percentage. Race day was chilly (below 40F at the start) and sunny, but the previous day was showery, so weather can vary.

Organization & Production: The TFR is pretty much Register-and-Run. The website information is ample, and pre-race emails were informative. Packet pick-up could be done at a local Sports Basement the day before the race or at the race venue on race day. There is plenty of parking on the campus. The course was well “marked” by volunteers and orange cones at some intersections or police directing traffic at more significant intersections. There were water-only aid stations at the ~1.5/4.5 mile point and a little past the start of the second loop for those doing the 10K.

Bib: The bib has a black background, with the race logo in red and white in the top left. The top right has “4th Annual” and the distance. Across the bottom is the bib number. For 5K bibs, the letters and numbers were white, and for 10K runners, red. The bib is pretty simple, but attractive, especially the red on black 10K bib.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is light burgundy, 50-50 cotton-polyester, soft to the touch. On the front in white block letters is the name of the race. On the back is the race logo and names of sponsors.

Finisher’s Medal: The race did not have finisher’s medals, but did have age group medals, with 5-year groups. I had the “honor” of being the DLF (not a surprise to me, see below) and winning first in my age group. The medallion is sort of square, 2+ inches on each side. It looks like the front of a firetruck, including tires, mirrors, and light bar. It has the name of the race just below the center. The ribbon color transitions from dark reddish-brown to bright red-orange. Along the ribbon are the race name and the year. It’s really very nice.

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area was a sort of entry-exit plaza just inside the stadium. There was no place for finishing runners to sit down, because of the nature of the place. For recovery food there were Cliff Bars, pizza, and lots of bottled water poured out into cups. Because of how late I finished there was no pizza or Cliff Bars left, which was a bit disappointing.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: Before going any farther I should add an explanatory note. In the description of the race distances on the website it says that the 10K is not for walkers. Well, I emailed the organizer to see whether they had a particular concern that a brisk walker like me would be able to satisfy. The reply was that what was not wanted was slower walkers with strollers. It’s a safety issue more than a time issue. So, with the encouragement of the organizer, I signed up for the 10K. I think walkers who want to do the 10K distance in future runnings of TFR should first make sure it’s OK (which I also will do).

Anyway, because of this circumstance, I was not only the last finisher, but there was 11 minutes between me and the finisher just ahead of me, because I was probably the only one to inquire about the reason for the no walkers “rule”. That may have been why there were no goodies left by the time I finished. Disappointing, but my unusual/unexpected choice was kind of the underlying cause. Had I been DLF by only a couple of minutes the goodies situation probably would have been different. So I’ll “own it”.

I’ve been trying to recover from a strained calf muscle, and had re-strained it at my previous race. So I was not at all pushing myself. My comfortable “safe” pace actually resulted in a better finish time than I expected. So I’m happy on that point. A default age group medal is usually kind of amusing to me, but at least I had a (for me) decent finish time.

As a whole, the race was fun. The volunteer course marshals were very cheerful and encouraging, as were the police officers along the way. I’m more of a trail scenery type, but the neighborhood we coursed is very pleasant. All in all, depending on circumstances and timing I would definitely consider doing The Firehouse Run again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: The Zoom Turkey Trot (ZTT) has three distances, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. ZTT is the only Thanksgiving day race in the SF Bay Area I … MORE

Event & Course Description: The Zoom Turkey Trot (ZTT) has three distances, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. ZTT is the only Thanksgiving day race in the SF Bay Area I know of that offers the half marathon distance. I did the 10K. The start/finish area is in Hellyer Park. All distances circle the park and then head south on the Coyote Creek Trail. There are different turn-around points for each distance. The course is almost all paved, and about 60% shaded (depending on distance and time of day; for more details, see my 2017 ZombieRunner Halloween Run Rave). Two weeks before the 2018 race there was a major fire whose smoke significantly affected SF Bay Area air quality. Fortunately the weather changed, and rain showers the day before the race blew and washed the crud out of the air. Race day was pleasantly cool – upper 50s to lower 60s, with blue skies and a few fluffies. ZTT is intended to be a fun family-friendly event – there is a 50 yard run for young children (with the same finisher’s medal as the adults received!) – and an easy-going introduction to trail running.

Organization & Production: Coastal Trail Runs is a very consistent register-and-run organizer. All a runner need worry about is getting to the venue and running their race. Aid stations have a variety of snacks (fuel and electrolytes), and the recovery goodies are even more varied. The aid station used by all but 5K runners is at a trail entry point staging area that has restrooms. The ZTT course is so simple that it scarcely needs markings other than turn-around points, so I didn’t notice whether there were markings.

Bib: Coastal Trail Runs bibs are usually plain white, with organizer logos across the top, their, “Have Fun Out There,” slogan across the bottom, and the bib number in the middle.This race was different. Not only were the numbers distance-coded, but the bibs were color coded for distance. 5K bibs were white, 10K bibs were yellow, and half marathon bibs were purple. I don’t know whether this was the first time with color-coded bibs, a new norm, or whether Coastal have done this at their Turkey Trot before (they didn’t in 2014).

T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. I saw multiple colors, but mine is lime green (I also saw sky blue and white). The front has the race logo, a spaced-out looking turkey and the race distance on a blue background, along with the race date. The back has the race sponsors’ logos in orange. Coastal has been using this race logo since at least 2014, but I’ve always liked Space Turkey.

Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal is a spinner type. The center medallion is a disc, pretty much the same as the 2014 medal, with the race logo and distances. The outer rim is yellow, with the race name across the top and stars around the rest of the circle. The ribbon is orange, with the race logo and “2018 Finisher” running along it.

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area is a covered group picnic pavilion, with lots of tables and benches at which one can rest. Coastal’s recovery goodies are pretty consistent, a good variety of sweet and salty snacks, bottled water, and a cooler stocked with sodas and beer. They also have some grilled food, though I didn’t check that out. Coastal also does a drawing for 10-20 (I didn’t count or win) turkeys.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I had very moderate expectations, since I’m trying to recover from a calf muscle strain. I was able to sustain a pretty good pace and my time was better than I anticipated. Coastal is an excellent race organizer. The Zoom Turkey Trot is a nice small-medium event – much to my liking – and close to my home. So I will consider doing it again next year.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

Event & Course Description: Down By The Bay 5K benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. The start and finish is in Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale. From the start, participants … MORE

Event & Course Description: Down By The Bay 5K benefits the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. The start and finish is in Baylands Park, in Sunnyvale. From the start, participants ran on a dirt trail along the south side of the park for about a third of a mile, and then another almost two thirds of a mile on paved trail next to the State Highway 237 freeway. Runners then turned toward the bay and ran along levees between marshes for a little over a mile and turned around, retracing their steps until the point the paved trail meets the park. At that point runners turned toward the bay and ran on dirt trail along the east side of the park until meeting the trail back to the start. Turning there, runners could go straight, up and over four mounds, and then to the finish. Or runners could go around the mounds to the finish.

There were divisions for runners/walkers and for parents with strollers. In addition, before the race there was a Tot Trot that went over the four mounds and then back along the trail around the mounds, perhaps 100 yards. Because DBTB5K benefits a preschool, there were a LOT of kids doing the Tot Trot. There were also quite a few participants in the Stroller Division, and quite a few children under age 10 running/walking the 5K.

Baylands Park is really nice, with a large grassy area, picnic areas shaded by trees, a good sized play area with slides and swings and such, and restrooms near the play area. The course is about 80%-85% dirt trail and about 90% exposed. In 2018 the weather was sunny and pleasant (still under 70F when I finished.

Organization & Production: DBTB5K is organized by volunteers and preschool staff, and is register-and-run. The website information is complete. There was pre-race and race day check-in available. Parking was free (very nice!) and plentiful. The “feel” was very low key, but very smooth. The course wasn’t complicated, but there were friendly and encouraging course marshals at turns. The one aid station was at the 1/3//2 2/3 mile point. It was well and encouragingly staffed and still had water available near the end of the race when I went through.

There were a couple of noteworthy changes from last year and when I did DBTB5K in 2015. The race has always been timed, but in 2018 the timing was done by SVETiming, who does LOTS of races all over the greater SF Bay Area. Results were available online race day afternoon, and possibly before noon (I didn’t check). In past years the race T-shirt was cotton, which is fine in my opinion for a charity 5K run. In 2018 the race Tee was tech type, a pleasant upgrade in my opinion.

Bib: The DBTB5K bib has three horizontal stripes. Across the top is a white stripe with the Whale Tail logo for the race, the name, and the date. The middle is a broad orange stripe with the bib number. Across the bottom is a thin white stripe with the url for the race website.

T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is navy blue tech type. In the front in orange block letters is the name of the race. Above that in light blue is the Whale Tail, and below, also in light blue is the race date. On the back in light blue are the sponsors’ logos and the logo of the Mountain View Parent Nursery School. All in all it’s a really nice race T-shirt!

Finisher’s Medal: Other than prizes for the male and female top three runners, DBTB5K is a no finishers medal race. It’s a charity race, so I’m entirely fine with that. On the other hand, children who ran the Tot Trot each received their own finishers medal, which I think is really cool!

Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area had activities for children and sponsors’ tables. For recovery food there were bagels, cream cheese, bananas, and oranges. Pretty average/normal I guess. The bagel I had was fresh and the cream cheese shmeared on by a very cheerful food handler wearing gloves. There are picnic tales near the expo and play areas where one could eat, drink and recover.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: If it isn’t already obvious, I really enjoyed 2018 Down By The Bay 5K. Low key, beautiful day, kids having fun, very pleasant course … what’s not to like?! 2018 was my second year in a row and my third time doing the race. There’s a really good chance I’ll do it again in 2019.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

The ZombieRunner Halloween Run has four distances, marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. Like last year, I did the 10K. The start/finish area is in Hellyer Park – evidently last … MORE

The ZombieRunner Halloween Run has four distances, marathon, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. Like last year, I did the 10K. The start/finish area is in Hellyer Park – evidently last year’s change from Los Gatos Creek Park and Trail is “permanent”. All distances circle the park and then head south on the Coyote Creek Trail. There are different turn-around points for each distance, with full marathon runners doing the half marathon course twice. The course is almost all paved, and about 60% shaded (depending on distance and time of day; for more details, see my 2017 Rave). ZRHR is intended to be a fun family-friendly event – it includes a costume contest – and an easy-going introduction to trail running.

Coastal Trail Runs is a very consistent register-and-run organizer. All a runner need worry about is getting to the venue and running their race. Aid stations have a variety of snacks (fuel and electrolytes), and the recovery goodies are even more varied. The aid station used by all but 5K runners is at a trail entry point staging area that has restrooms.

The race T-shirt for 2018 was similar to that of 2017 (see my Rave below), in a different color and shirt vendor. Coastal Trail Runs bibs are plain white, with organizer logos across the top, their, “Have Fun Out There,” slogan across the bottom, and the bib number in the middle. The numbers are distance-coded. For example, the 1000 series numbers were for runners doing the 5K distance.

Coastal’s finisher’s medal have traditionally been discs or rectangles, but 2018’s ZRHR medallion is unique. It’s shaped like a fanged vampire bat, with the race name and distances. The ribbon is black, with the year in white and race logo (pumpkin-headed runner surrounded by bats). The medals I have from 2017 races are very nicely done, but ZRHR 2018’s medal is really cool, insta-favorite.

My finish time … sigh … I told one person while recovering that it was the worst 10K finishing time I’d ever been glad to get. I’d strained a muscle the previous day (who knew one could do that while walking across one’s kitchen?!), and both DNS and bailing out mid race for a DNF were considerations. I was DLF for the 10K by half an hour and won AG second. I was happy to finish and earn my bat (medal).

Anyway, would I do the ZombieRunner Halloween Run again? I’m already registered for Coastal’s Turkey Trot, in the same park and trail. And 2018 was my second time doing ZRHR, so doing it next year is reasonably possible.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

Event & Course Description: Tarantula Run! is done in the Vaqueros Watershed, near Lake Vaqueros and the City of Brentwood, CA. It has three distances, half marathon, 10K (which I … MORE

Event & Course Description: Tarantula Run! is done in the Vaqueros Watershed, near Lake Vaqueros and the City of Brentwood, CA. It has three distances, half marathon, 10K (which I did), and 5K. The setting is the hills around Lake Vaqueros. Being run in October, the grasses are all brown, dotted here and there with trees. The half marathon course looks like a figure-8, with a tail of the larger loop that is the start and finish legs. The 10K course looks like two loops, with a connector that is used twice. Parts of each loop plus the connector are used by the half marathon course as well. The 5K course is the second loop of the 10K course. Lots o’ hills, including some overgrown rollers in the last two miles that barely show up in the elevation profiles.

Other than a couple of road crossings, the courses are entirely dirt trail or graveled access road. Except for a few clusters of trees late in the course, the course is entirely exposed to sun. 10K runners encountered two aid stations, reasonably well spaced. The 10K’s second aid station was also encountered by runners of the other distances. Runners of the half marathon went 4 or 5 miles between their first and second aid stations, something that should be kept in mind, especially in warm weather.

Organization & Production: Tarantula Run! is a Brazen Race, which means well marked course, well stocked aid stations and recovery area, and really nice swag. A Brazen race is register-and-run, and will spoil you.

Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The usual pattern has distance color-coded stripes for the bib number and runner’s name, the race name and date, artwork shared with the race T-shirt, and Brazen Racing’s logo. The background is like a sun, hidden behind the colored stripe, with rays above and below. In the top right corner is a large, scary-looking spider.

T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7, which I did). The race Tee is black, with a big brown spider and the race name on the front. Shades of Shelob! Very Halloween-ready. The back has a brown spider silhouette, the race name, date and distances, and sponsors’ logos. It’s going to be a favorite.

Finisher’s Medal:The finisher’s medal has a giant spider with the “sun” behind it and the sun’s rays filling a square. Above the spider is “Tarantula”, and just below one of its legs, “Run!”. Across the bottom are the location, date, and distances. The ribbon is orange, and has a spider, the race name, location, date, and distances along it.

Finish & Recovery Area: Tarantula Run! is a Brazen race. That means lots of goodies – candies, cakes, fruit – in the recovery area, including It’s It ice cream sandwiches. I was exhausted and just sat and chatted for a while (the big-family-like atmosphere is one of the things I found attractive in my first Brazen race nearly 5 years ago, and it’s still true). I’ll just say that Brazen doesn’t disappoint and leave it there.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: When I registered I knew from the elevation profile and near total exposure (via Google Satellite View) that Tarantula Run! 10K was about the limit of what I can do, presently. With the warm day (sun exposure and heat are not my friends!) it was a very close call. I thought about dropping out as a “5K”, but with some encouragement managed to finish, vertical, and under my own power. Mission accomplished!

Brazen never disappoints. I will definitely consider doing Tarantula Run! again next year.

DIFFICULTY