Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
3.3
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
3.3
SWAG
3.8
The Go Green Saint Patrick’s Day Run is back again for another great year to celebrate shamrocks and leprechauns and everything Irish in the month of March. It’s our 10th anniversary and we’ll actually be running on St. Patrick’s Day. We’ll be running at Hellyer Park in San Jose for … MORE
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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '18

    Event & Course Description: The Go Green St. Patrick's Day Run used the Coyote Creek Trail, with the start and finish in San Jose's Hellyer Park. That sounds like any … MORE

    Event & Course Description: The Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Run used the Coyote Creek Trail, with the start and finish in San Jose’s Hellyer Park. That sounds like any of several other races (of which I’ve done several) on that trail, except that the start/finish area was in the Sylvandale Picnic Area in the northern end of Hellyer Park. So for the first (and last) mile and a quarter I was in a part of the park I had not seen before. The start/finish picnic area was in a sort of three-sided bowl, with beautiful mature trees and grasses on the embankments. It was very easy to ignore the fact that we were in the heart of San Jose!

    The courses were all out-and-back, with different “turn-around points”. Rather than a strict turn-around point the 5K course circled the lake at the southern end of Hellyer Park. 10K (including me) and half marathon runners used the same trail past the lake, coming and going. The 10K turn-around was shortly before going under Silver Creek Parkway. The half marathon turn-around was at Metcalf Park, midway between Bernal Road and Metcalf Road.

    The Coyote Creek Trail is paved and reasonably wide. It parallels the creek, which makes for some pleasant views. It has a few very short rolling hills. The weather for the 2018 race started out chilly (under 40F when I arrived just before 7 AM), but was reasonable by start time (9 AM for the half marathon). There were thin clouds in the sky, but it was more like a filter than cloud cover. I’d estimate the shade for the 10K course to have been 60%-70%. I wore a long-sleeve shirt, but had it been a bit warmer short sleeves and sunscreen would have been appropriate.

    Organization & Production: This was my first race with Finish Line Productions. Historically, this race has been run on the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Due to work being done near the usual start/finish area in Vasona Lake Park, Go Green was moved to the Coyote Creek Trail. Information on the website was complete (see below regarding swag), registration was easy, and there was a helpful pre-race email. There was some minor confusion about where to park, partly due to my arriving before the volunteers handling parking and partly due to a delay in the new parking information being posted to the website. I did race day check-in, which was easy. The number of portacans in the start/finish area was marginal, though I think the nearby permanent restrooms were a little under-used. There were park-owned portacans along the course. I don’t know exactly when the result were posted online, but it was done less than 24 hours after the race.

    The course was marked with tape arrows on the pavement in a few places. There were also tape mile markers along the course, specific to the various distances. I’ve seen course arrows in the past that were rendered unremovable due to runners beating them into the ground, wearing holes in them, and took a year to weather away. These seemed to be made of a material that made them easy to remove after the race. I encountered 2 aid stations on the 10K course, the second one located about a third of a mile from the 10K turn-around, so that I came to aid stations 4 times during the 10K. The aid stations offered just water, which was fine for a cool day. The stations were well staffed, and the volunteers were friendly and encouraging. Overhearing some chatter among the volunteers, it sounds like the instructions email they received could have been more detailed and complete about where to check in and when.

    Swag & Goodies: There were bottles of water available near the finish arch. I didn’t wander around the recovery area much, so all I SAW was some packaged cookies (which were good) and a craft beer poured from cans (which I did not try). I sat down for a bit and did not see other things at other tables.

    Bib: Bibs were fairly simple. Across the top was the race name, with a shamrock to its left and the organizer’s logo to the right. At the bottom was the distance. In the middle was the bib number in large characters, with a broad color-coded stripe for runners of the half marathon (green) and 10K (orange).

    T-Shirt: All runners received a long-sleeved tech T-shirt, gray for men and white for women. The front is the race logo from the race webpage: “Go Green” at the top; “St. Patrick’s Day” in the middle; “Run” at the bottom; the race distances were below that; a 4-leaf clover and swirls below “Go Green”; leafy vines on either side of “St. Patrick’s Day” and “Run”. The back has the race sponsors’ and organizer’s logos. Added: I finally wore the shirt a week later. I got a 2XL, but the fit lengthwise and in the sleeves is more like an XL. It isn’t one of my favorites, maybe, but it’s definitely a very nice shirt.

    Finisher’s Medal: The main race webpage is not exactly accurate. In the left margin it says there would be finisher medals for all distances. In the central main body it says there would be pint glasses for all finishers and bottle opener age group place medals. The main body is what was given out to finishers – pint glasses for all and gold, silver, and bronze colored bottle openers for those who placed in their age group. The pint glass is clear, with the website race logo with one word changed: “Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Finisher”. The age group medal (I was 3rd in Old Goats age group) is about 2” long, with a sticker with the race logo, but with “Age Group Third” instead of “Run”. I display my bibs and finisher’s medals, so the glass messes with that, but it’s different from what is typical, kind of nice and useful.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: I’d been sick for the previous week and a half, and was probably at about 90% between not being fully over it and not being able to hit the trail much. So I was happy to finish vertical and under my own power; I was over half an hour “faster” than my most pessimistic anticipation.

    I was a bit torn on my Overall Rating, between a weak “4” and a very strong “3”. It was a very good race experience, but not quite fully comparable to many other well done races in the SF Bay Area. There were things that could have been done better, more along the lines of needing to be tightened up than significant deficiencies. More extensive recovery area snacks would be nice. The website has some legacy information and needs a clean-up.

    Would I do Go Green again? I will definitely consider doing the race next year, whether it’s run on the Coyote Creek Trail or the Los Gatos Creek Trail. Both are beautiful suburban greenway courses and both are close to my home. More importantly, it’s a register-and-run race, with no unpleasant missing information surprises.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    trainwithv FIRST-TIMER '17

    This is my back yard and so I run this route weekly so know it well and could run fast knowing where the end is and running by neighbors was … MORE

    This is my back yard and so I run this route weekly so know it well and could run fast knowing where the end is and running by neighbors was supper fun for me

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
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    faerybard FIRST-TIMER '16

    This poor race had problems the minute it started to rain. First of all, I want to say that I HAD SO MUCH FUN IN THIS RACE. The gentleman who … MORE

    This poor race had problems the minute it started to rain. First of all, I want to say that I HAD SO MUCH FUN IN THIS RACE. The gentleman who handed me my bib told me that my number was a PR number….that I would run my personal best. And you know what? HE WAS RIGHT!! We hardly ever get rain in Los Gatos, but on this day it didn’t stop for all 13.1 miles! The race started nearly 15 minutes late and by the time I started running I was already drenched. Regardless, I had a great time! The main problems were that the aid stations were barely manned because they were run by teenage volunteers who didn’t want to be in the rain. So for slower runners, there were a couple of stops where I had to pour my own water because the aid station was abandoned. TONS of runners changed their distance mid-race too. Whatever. I stuck it out and was still met with a few happy, cheering folks at the finish line.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '14

    i participated in the go green st. patrick's day race on the eve of st. pat's in 2014, which was my first time as a participant in a moshan productions … MORE

    i participated in the go green st. patrick’s day race on the eve of st. pat’s in 2014, which was my first time as a participant in a moshan productions event. although i had read some fair to average reviews for this event, i decided to sign up anyway, since my friend had already signed up and we’re both seasoned veterans of los gatos creek trail. no podium for me this time, as i finished 5th in my age group, and was the 10th female finisher.

    for this particular event, there was a choice of 3 distances:
    1. half marathon (13.1 miles)
    2. 10k (6.2 miles)
    3. 5k (3.1 miles)

    i chose to participate in the half marathon, since my friend was also running this distance, and price-wise, i thought this was the best bang for your buck @ $65.

    the pros:
    -scenic course along los gatos creek trail, starting at vasona lake, passing through campbell park, heading north to san jose, and turning back to vasona lake
    -good amount of tree cover throughout the course
    -staggered start times (every 5 minutes) for each of the 3 events to avoid congestion at the start
    -white sandwich boards to mark each mile for each race distance, distinct flag colours with arrows on the trail for each distance to avoid confusion
    -accurately measured distance for the half marathon. i got 13.14 miles on my garmin, which is pretty much spot on. actual half marathon course = 13.11 miles.
    -aid stations with water and electrolyte drink for all distances. half marathon actually had 7 aid stations, roughly every 1.5-2 miles, which was great (some even had power bar gels)
    -friendly volunteers directing runners and manning aid stations along the course, and handing out medals at the finish line
    -tons of free street parking near the start/finish area by vasona lake

    what you get:
    *choice of packet pick-up @ sports basement in sunnyvale the two days prior to the race or on site pick up the morning of
    *goodie bag with protein supplement and kind bar samples
    *green, long sleeve, dri-fit, finisher’s shirt available in both men’s and women’s sizes (women’s shirts were cut a bit slimmer)
    *green and gold medal with a pot of gold, which also doubles as a bottle opener! medal was given out to finishers for all distances
    *dri fit beanie hat for half marathon finishers
    *post-race food & drinks, including bananas, oranges, chips, power bars, kind bars, vega sports drink and water.

    the cons:
    -for those who were unable to secure free parking on the neighboring streets (or didn’t know about this option), parking inside vasona lake park is $6 per vehicle.
    -insufficient number of porta-potties. i attempted to line up and use the porta-potties a second time before the race start, about 10 min before the gun would go off, and the line was just ridiculous. i believe i counted about 14 porta-potties, and the number of finishers was a bit over 1000. not the most ideal ratio of runners to porta-potties.
    -within a few minutes of starting the half marathon, we were misdirected at the turn at the top of the hill. to make matters worse, the gate that should have been opened for this turn wasn’t even opened until all of the runners made a mad rush for it and the volunteers realized their mistake!
    -for the half course, there were a couple of sharp 180 degree turns which necessitated slowing down, one at the midway point (approx. 6.5 miles in) and one near mile 13 (toward the finish). as a seasoned runner, i do not like sharp turns at the very end b/c that is when i kick it into high gear and sprint toward the finish line.
    -no entertainment along the course. during the last few miles, it was actually very quiet along the trail and i ran several long stretches without any runners around me.
    -i felt that there weren’t enough high carbohydrate foods at the finish line, which is most essential especially for the half marathoners. perhaps bagels and pretzels could be added next year?
    -they ran out of beer before many of the half marathoners finished! my friend finished around 2:15 and when she walked over to the beer tent, they were completely out! i know that many more runners came in after her and also did not get their cup of beer. there should be enough ale flowing until after everyone has finished and had a chance to have a cup!

    overall, i thought moshan did a good job with this event, but i feel that there is definitely room for improvement. the swag was good, but logistics could be improved. will i run this again next year? guess you’ll have to wait and see!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4

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