Overall Rating
Overall Rating (48 Reviews)
4.6
(48 Ratings)(48 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.5
The sun is rising on the morning of January 1st. Where should you be? Pounding the trails of Lake Chabot, of course! Join us at Lake Chabot in Castro Valley for the scenic and invigorating 5K, 10K or half marathon. Better yet, make sure you run at the Brazen New … MORE
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Recent reviews

    sameerkhurana REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race happens at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley, CA. The race starts inside the park on the paved path and later the converts into the trail for … MORE

    This race happens at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley, CA. The race starts inside the park on the paved path and later the converts into the trail for most of the course and ends at the paved again for around last 1 Mile. Total elevation of the course is around 2150′ as per my Garmin watch. I like this course as one starts running around the Lake and later into the beautiful trails in the woods. During this time of the year vegetation is usually green with pure oxygen. Brazen Racing did a great job in provideing good aid station support, creative medal and some good food at the finish line (love the It’s It ice-cream). If one did the previous race which is New Year’s Eve then one will receive a connector medal as well. This year New Year’s Eve happened on Dec 30th and the New Year’s Day was on Jan 1st with a day break in between. I did both the races and had a great time!

    When I did this race series 2 years back in 2016-17, got cramps during this specific race as the New Year’s Eve Half Marathon was a day earlier and being a new runner my legs took a toll. This time around got PR in NY’s Eve race and got my new course PR in NY’s Day! Happy to end 2018 and start the new year 2019 with a bang!!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Kari Haupt
    itsjustkari REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This gorgeous 5k course offers gently rolling hills on a paved trail along the edge of Lake Chabot. There's plenty of shade from the stunningly beautiful trees, and also a … MORE

    This gorgeous 5k course offers gently rolling hills on a paved trail along the edge of Lake Chabot. There’s plenty of shade from the stunningly beautiful trees, and also a couple of restrooms along the way. This course is great for fast runners, hikers, and those with kids in strollers, too! All ages, shapes, sizes and skill levels are encouraged to participate!

    Brazen Racing does it right! From the totally awesome shirts, to the super detailed bling (with custom, race-specific lanyards, too!), you’re sure to feel pampered! But wait, there’s more! The aid station had not only water, but also electrolyte drink, chips, fresh cut fruit, candies and a whole bunch of stuff. The aid station volunteers are also first rate! They keep the refreshments fully stocked until the last person comes through, and they offer support and encouragement to help us all keep moving! Once you’ve finished your race, you’re met by yet another volunteer that gives you a medal, and maybe another offers a water. You’ll make your way over to the post-race “cafe” where you’ll find several varieties of fresh cut fruit, chips, donut holes, pretzels, candies, nuts, cookies, cheesecake and/or pie, sometimes fruit gummies, and bagels (THEY HAVE NUTELLA!!!). They also have several flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwiches….YES you read that right ITS IT!!! (and did I mention THEY HAVE NUTELLA!!!)

    They usually offer on-site medal engraving, so you can customize your bling right there on the spot. You’ll also want to check the stats to see if you might have earned an age group award (medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd in every category!), and then stop by the Photo Booth for your post race Selfie!!

    This is one of the best ways to kick of a new year – I’ll be back year after year, for sure!!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Third time running the Brazen New Year's Day Run. This year, I ran the 5k. The 5k is a great course. It’s all paved and it has nice tree lined … MORE

    Third time running the Brazen New Year’s Day Run. This year, I ran the 5k.
    The 5k is a great course. It’s all paved and it has nice tree lined areas. You can see Lake Chabot on your left heading out. There is one aid station at the 5k turn around. It is well stocked with water, sports drink, sweet and salty snacks. Brazen has great volunteers. All finishers get a top notch medal and yummy post race snacks.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Detsie REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I've done the half a bunch of times, and this is one of my favorite new year traditions. It's freezing at the start so I wear a long down coat … MORE

    I’ve done the half a bunch of times, and this is one of my favorite new year traditions.

    It’s freezing at the start so I wear a long down coat and bag check it right before the race begins. The course is a clockwise loop around the lake with a long downhill that’s got a lot of steep spots (“Live Oak”) about 3-4 miles from the finish.

    After a cross the line, I put my coat back on, eat an It’s-It (green tea is my fave), and take a photo with my medal in front of the race banner. I am always so happy and proud to ring in the new year this way — nothing beats crushing a hilly half!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Jennynoel314 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Set your alarm and start the New Year off strong! The half marathon wasn’t easy, but it was fun and challenging - worth every step. Plus, incredible support from the … MORE

    Set your alarm and start the New Year off strong! The half marathon wasn’t easy, but it was fun and challenging – worth every step. Plus, incredible support from the awesome people at Brazen Racing.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    RacerKN REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This race is the second in a series where you get an amazing mega medal. Who doesn't want three medals, right? Unlike the NYE course, this one is really hard … MORE

    This race is the second in a series where you get an amazing mega medal. Who doesn’t want three medals, right?
    Unlike the NYE course, this one is really hard if you run the 10K or half marathon. Big uphills and downhills, so this course is not for the faint of heart. But it is a beautiful course, and if you run the half, you run all the way around Lake Chabot which is super cool.
    Like all Brazen races, this race is well put on and has a terrific snack table at the finish line.
    I have been doing the double race for 5 years, and love it.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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    Slowpoke1 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a tough course especially if you do the NYE half before. I love being put in the wilderness on New Years morning to think about what I would … MORE

    This is a tough course especially if you do the NYE half before. I love being put in the wilderness on New Years morning to think about what I would like to accomplish in the coming year. The volunteers, food, medals and shirts are always great.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    kayster REPEAT RUNNER '17

    If you ever want to run with an amazing company, Brazen Racing is THE BOMB! These guys seriously know how to execute a race. I've run many of their races … MORE

    If you ever want to run with an amazing company, Brazen Racing is THE BOMB! These guys seriously know how to execute a race. I’ve run many of their races and plan to run many more. Many of their runs are trail and some are regular road races. They always offer a variety of distances to appeal to any level of runner: 5k, 10k, 13.1, 26.2 and even some 50k.

    Brazen Racing knows how to do it right. Their courses are well marked, aid stations well stocked and their finish line food is second to none. One really cool thing, too, is their hardware. Brazen has some of the best, if not, the best race medals around. They really are worth running for. After all, it’s all about the medal, right?

    Give them a run. You won’t be sorry you did.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    neyra REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The aid stations were wonderful. Well stocked. The volunteers were super enthusiastic.bThe scenery was spectacular. The course was a trail run. Up mountains and doesn't slopes, through the trees and … MORE

    The aid stations were wonderful. Well stocked. The volunteers were super enthusiastic.bThe scenery was spectacular. The course was a trail run. Up mountains and doesn’t slopes, through the trees and back. It was a great workout.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    frankhwu REPEAT RUNNER '17

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

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

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

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

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

    I signed up for 2017-18.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    amandasava REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is my favorite way to start off the year - some times I do the 10k and sometimes it's the 5k (it usually depends on how New Years Eve … MORE

    This is my favorite way to start off the year – some times I do the 10k and sometimes it’s the 5k (it usually depends on how New Years Eve goes). This year was a lovely 5k stroll 🙂

    The 5k course is relatively easy, a few small rolling hills on a pavement course (there’s a little trail at the turn around, but that’s it). As usual with a Brazen race the aide stations and finish are both stocked with tons of food and water and the shirts and medal are great.

    Two random/important things to know about this race:
    1. If you want to get the “mega medal” you need to run both the New Years Eve race and the New Years Day race.
    2. If you want to be a Brazen Streaker (the few, the proud, the crazy) this is the beginning of the year and the first race you need to complete.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Brazen New Year's Day 5k/10k/ Half Marathon takes place at beautiful Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. Due to the seismic retrofitting of the dam, the half marathon course is run … MORE

    Brazen New Year’s Day 5k/10k/ Half Marathon takes place at beautiful Lake Chabot in Castro Valley. Due to the seismic retrofitting of the dam, the half marathon course is run on the same course as the Bad Bass 2016. I ran the half marathon. The course length is 13.7 miles with 1544 ft of rolling hills. The first 1.5 miles is on the pave trail along the lake. The next five miles. you head on the dirt trail where you climb on rolling hills to the second aid station where the 10k and half marathoners meet up. The 10k’ers turn around and head down the hill they just came up. We head across a road onto another trail that loops us through more rolling hills through a eucalyptus grove. This loop is about five miles, so make sure you have water. We return to the aid station and then head down Live Oak Trail. This trail is steep and was very rutted. We had heavy rain the previous week, so it looked like there was some heavy drainage coming down the hill. Once we were off the hill, we returned to the paved section and headed back to the start/finish. I thoroughly enjoy this course. The rolling hills make it fun and it’s not too difficult. Some sections are technical with roots, rocks, and rutty trail. I still wore my regular street running shoes, not my trail shoes.
    The half marathon had four aid stations. All were stocked with snacks and drinks to keep us fed and hydrated. Volunteers were awesome.
    Amplified sound is not allowed at Lake Chabot, so Race Director Sam did not announce our names as we finished, but there were still enough cheers from the runners that had already finished.
    Post race snacks included the usual pastries, bagels, fruit, sweet and salty snacks, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches.
    Medals were handed out at the finish and if you completed the New Year’s Eve race, you got a ‘joiner’ medal to make the three medals a Mega Medal. All runners received a shirt based on what race they ran.
    I thoroughly enjoyed this ‘new’ course with it’s rolling hills.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '17

    vent & Course Description: Every year, Brazen Racing does (Almost) New Year's Eve and New Year's Day (NYE and NYD, no “Almost” in 2016) as twin events. Those who participate … MORE

    vent & Course Description:
    Every year, Brazen Racing does (Almost) New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (NYE and NYD, no “Almost” in 2016) as twin events. Those who participate in both receive a special connector-medal that joins the two finisher’s medals into a large “mega-medal”. Usually the half marathon course for both races is the same, circling Lake Chabot, with NYD in the reverse direction from NYE. 2016/2017 was different.

    Seismic upgrades were in progress at the Lake Chabot dam, so NYE was run at Quarry Lakes Park, and while NYD was run at Lake Chabot, only on trails east and north of the lake. The first ~1.66 miles follow the east shore of the lake, “flat”, except for rolling hills. Shortly after aid station 1 the course did a hairpin turn to start climbing the first major hill (not the longest!). After some rolling hills along the “top”, the course went down hill again to a “flat” section. Then at mile ~4.25, we began to climb a ~1.25 mile hill – not super steep, but definitely a climb. Aid station 2 is around the top of this hill. From there is a ~1.5 mile stretch of rolling hills, and then a loop with a long descent at the start, and a fairly steep ~.4 mile climb back to the start of the loop. Runners then return to the second aid station, and take a shorter – and much steeper – route back to where they had done the hairpin turn, and again following the lake shore to the finish area,.

    The first (and last) 4-5 miles go through live oak forest. The out and back section and loop after aid station 2 go through eucalyptus forest. The forested areas, glimpses of the lake through trees, and views of San Francisco Bay from high points amply reward runners for their work! The first and last ~1.66 miles are paved trail. The rest is dirt. Recent weather having been dry, the ground was moist, with some mud and puddle patches at low points along the trail. Some areas were rutted, but not severely. I didn’t see the steep downhill on the return from the aid station (more about this later), so I don’t know how rutted it was (I’ve seen it before, and am pretty sure there were lots of ruts!).

    Organization & Production:
    Brazen Racing does races really well, from checking out a race on their website through leaving after a race, and at every stage between. And they do not skimp! New Year’s Day was no exception. Everything was set up and ready to go when I arrived at 6AM (!). I opted for the “Hiker’s Start”, an hour before the regular half marathon start. The course was well marked with color-coded flags, chalk on the ground, sign boards, and occasional course monitors. Going off course would not have been very easy. The aid stations were well stocked with the usual array of snacks, water, electrolyte drink, and encouraging volunteers. The allegedly orange-flavored electrolyte drink tasted hideous! And it was mixed correctly (i.e. not the volunteers’ fault). Organizationally, Brazen does and did everything necessary to let runners focus on running their race and enjoying the course.

    Swag & Goodies:
    Brazen’s aid stations are about as elaborate as any I’ve seen by any organizer. Along with the usual water and electrolyte drink, one will typically find Coke, potato chips, pretzels, plain and peanut M & Ms, Skittles, Mike & Ikes, gummy bears, trail mix, cut up Payday bars and Rice Krispie Treats, Oreo cookies, and cut up bananas and oranges.

    The finish area goodies included most of the above plus multiple varieties of cookies, cakes, plus Brazen’s “signature”, It’s It ice cream sandwiches. Arriving in the finish area fairly late, there were plenty still plenty of goodies on hand.

    Bib:
    The NYD bib features the space shuttle with smoke billowing as it is being launched, along with the race name, distance, and bib number on a black background. The distance and bib number are distance color-coded.

    T-Shirt:
    The race T-shirt is navy blue, tech-type, since I was in the half marathon (10K and 5K runners get poly-cotton, unless they upgrade for $7). The front has “Brazen”, the race name, the distances, and the date in the shirt pocket area (no pocket, of course). The back features the space shuttle, about to launch (into the New Year!) with “Brazen Racing” above it, and “MMXVII” below.

    Finisher’s Medal:
    The finisher’s medal features a glow-in-the-dark rocket-ship in flight, with Baby New Year peering out a porthole. The ribbon is black, with with race name, distances, and date along it. It’s not as hugenormous as many Brazen finisher’s medals have been recently (not disappointingly so), but it is designed to fit with the NYE medal (sun and planets) and connector to form a much larger mega-medal.

    I volunteered at NYE – one of the aid stations – and did the NYD race. As such, I thought I would receive “just” the NYD finisher’s medal. As I learned, NYE volunteers also received the connector. Brazen rewards its volunteers!

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    Writing this has been less easy than usual. NYD was a really well run race, and I would do it again. But it was a discouraging experience for me. I had been fighting a bad cold all week. I thought I was doing pretty well, maybe at 85%-90% of my normal. 65%-70% was reality, and I ran out of gas by mile 11 – only my second half marathon DNF. What’s useful for this review, however is that I experienced aspects of Brazen races that most people don’t, but might be interested to know.

    Soon after I reached the conclusion that I would have to drop out when I reached the aid station at mile 11, the sweeper caught up to me. He asked how I was doing, took a picture of my bib, and notified the aid station people to wait for and assist me. He also kept me in sight for most of the remaining interval, making sure I didn’t go off course. Once I reached the already packed up aid station, one of the volunteers got me some water, tied down his truck load, and I rode back with him to the finish area. The sweeper had also let the race director know there would be a DNF runner, so I checked in to let them know I was OK.

    All in all, Brazen New Year’s Day 2017 gave several insights into Brazen as a race organizer. Brazen was able to change the NYD course – and maybe the NYE venue – to work around maintenance at the venue. I’ve seen this before, at a couple of Brazen’s races. Second, Brazen pays attention to how its runners are doing. Volunteers at aid stations toward the end of the longer distances are instructed observe and chat with runners to be sure they’re OK. As my experience (not Brazen’s most extreme in 2016, by the way) showed, when someone needs assistance the volunteers are ready and do what is needed. Third, Brazen is flexible with regard to finisher’s medals. I signed up for and DNFed the half marathon, dropping out at mile 11. Because I had done well over 10K I was given the finisher’s medal as having finished the 10K distance. It couldn’t help my frustration very much, but DNFing was due to MY limitations that day. Brazen does what it can to make runners’ experiences of what Brazen controls good. I will be running and volunteering at quite a few Brazen races in 2017.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    M_Sohaskey Jan 10, 2017 at 2:55pm

    Wow, what a way to end one year and start another, Pete! Makes the rest of us feel like slackers (because, well, we are). Sorry to hear your cold got the best of you at NYD, but better safe than sorry, especially given that you'll have 25 more opportunities with Brazen this year. I always love hearing stories of how Sam, Jasmin and their volunteers go above & beyond to make sure everyone feels taken care of at their races, such an unrivaled ethic on their part. Thanks for the wonderful review – hope you're now back to feeling 100% (no thanks to the weather), and glad to see you're already plotting your comeback to the trails!

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    mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I don't normally do the 5k distance, but I decided to do it this time. It was really fun. Some really small rolling hills around beautiful Lake Chabot. It's a … MORE

    I don’t normally do the 5k distance, but I decided to do it this time. It was really fun. Some really small rolling hills around beautiful Lake Chabot. It’s a simple out and back course, and allows you to run it fast. I came in 4th in my age group, which I’m really happy about, because seems like all the really fast people are 45-49. 🙂

    This is a really fun way to start the year off right. Lot’s of New Year type props to take tons of funny pics with.

    As with any Brazen race, you are going to get the best of the best of everything. Doing this race and the NYE race got you a connector medal to turn your two medals in to a MEGA medal.

    Also, if you’re ever looking to become a Brazen Streaker (doing all the races in a calendar year, which is currently 26) you have to start with this one.

    Happy new year all!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    IRun2live REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This race was out at Lake Chabot, but a pretty run since it was on paved and dirt trails. This was my first race at Lake Chabot that was not … MORE

    This race was out at Lake Chabot, but a pretty run since it was on paved and dirt trails. This was my first race at Lake Chabot that was not a half. Kind of felt odd, because most of the people doing the 10k i did not recognize.

    The food at the end and hydration is awesome throughout, and the metal is top notch. Their shirts are also wonderful, although i tend to prefer colorful shirts, and they sometimes use gray and black a little too often for my preference. But the art is amazing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Tessa REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is always a favorite for me. I don't think I've ever had a bad experience bringing in the New Year with this Brazen race. This year was exceptional. The … MORE

    This is always a favorite for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience bringing in the New Year with this Brazen race. This year was exceptional. The weather was pretty darn perfect. Because there is work being done at the Lake Chabot Dam, there is a change of the “normal” course. I like this course though, so no complaints from me. I actually like that they changed it up this year and had the NYE and NYD races at two different locations. The distance is a little bit further than a half marathon, but this race counts towards the Ultra Series event.

    The shirts and medals are always great and if you do the NYE and NYD races, you get a mega-medal. They ran out of the middle connector piece, but they always follow through and send you the medal in the mail.

    Great course, great food, great race organization! Happy New Year!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    andreak REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Beautiful location with both paved and trail sections. A lot less elevation than other races, but great views of the surrounding areas at the top and easy trails. Always a … MORE

    Beautiful location with both paved and trail sections. A lot less elevation than other races, but great views of the surrounding areas at the top and easy trails.
    Always a great way to start the year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cardinal91 FIRST-TIMER '15

    After doing the Almost New Year's Eve 5K in 2013, I ran both of the Brazen New Year's 10Ks to end 2014/begin 2015. Wow, what a difference. Where the 5K … MORE

    After doing the Almost New Year’s Eve 5K in 2013, I ran both of the Brazen New Year’s 10Ks to end 2014/begin 2015. Wow, what a difference. Where the 5K was pretty easy and mostly flat, the 10K course has some brutal elevation gains that were, despite Brazen’s description, not “mostly runnable.” We were actually laughing when we’d get to what we thought was the top of the hill, only to find another elevation behind it. Still, the course is pretty and the view from the top is breathtaking (and not just because you’re out of breath from the climb). It was also rough on my knees to run back down the hills because of the steepness. The weather is quite often really cold by Bay Area standards — start temp was around 40 degrees and my fingers went numb in the first mile. Like all Brazen races, the shirts and medals are really nice, and if you do both New Year’s races, you get a fun joiner medal to make a mega-medal out of the two race medals. The post-race spread is amazing as well; yes, I had the traditional It’s-It despite the cold.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Ayesha Williams-Islam
    awill.awill REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This race is not too difficult. There are some "rolling" hills, but nothing too difficult. For the 5k it's all paved. The snacks & vendors after are always great. We'll … MORE

    This race is not too difficult. There are some “rolling” hills, but nothing too difficult. For the 5k it’s all paved. The snacks & vendors after are always great.
    We’ll organized as usual.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Tessa REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This was the first time I've done the 10k distance for this race, and the first time running a race with my youngest son. As usual, the awesome volunteers were … MORE

    This was the first time I’ve done the 10k distance for this race, and the first time running a race with my youngest son. As usual, the awesome volunteers were helpful, and made it easy for me to change distance so I could run with my son. I really enjoyed the course, I’ve only done the HM in the past. This 10k is tough enough to make it a challenge, but easy enough for family to enjoy together. Aid Stations are really setup nicely, I did not need to carry anything with me. Course markings are great, as usual. I feel the Chabot races are very family friendly. It is always a nice way to bring in the New Year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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  1. Races
  2. Brazen New Year's Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K