Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
2
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
2
SWAG
3
Run in the Palo Alto Bayland Open Space. The Double 8K Run/Walk is a two-stage road and trail run (5K + halftime + 3K). This is a flat, fast course. Also you can run the UjENA Palo Alto 5K or the UjENA Palo Alto 10K. Every participant will receive a … MORE
Local Weather (Mar 10)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 53 59 72 68 69
L (°F) 46 50 53 58 51
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '19

    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?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
  1. Races
  2. Baylands 8K Double + UjENA 5K & 10K (Double Road Race - Palo Alto)