Overall Rating
Overall Rating (19 Reviews)
4.3
(19 Ratings)(19 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
3.3
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.5
With a mostly-flat course hugging Cottonwood Lake and then Coyote Creek, this race was made for first-timers and those looking to break through with a new personal record! Come join us on this late winter morning and enjoy this picturesque, family friendly park and trail!
Local Weather (Mar 25)
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H (°F) 63 69 74 65 59
L (°F) 52 50 53 47 45
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Sabrina Cheng
    swcheng15 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This was my first 1/2 and first Brazen race, so I didn't know what to expect. What I did know was that because of the heavy rain we had this … MORE

    This was my first 1/2 and first Brazen race, so I didn’t know what to expect. What I did know was that because of the heavy rain we had this year, that they had to change the course. There were two out-and-back portions, which for a first timer like me, can be hard. They also said it was flat, but we had some minor rolling hills. Again, for a first timer, that made it difficult because I wasn’t expecting it. I’m unsure if things would’ve been different if the original course was open. In any case, it was a great first experience for me. They had enough water stations, bathrooms/portapotties and the volunteers were super nice. I’ve since ran a couple more Brazen races, and will continue to do so.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Tami Compton
    Tami REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The course is paved and runs through the trees which means plenty of shade. It has small rolling hills. I am the coach for our run club (ages 7 - … MORE

    The course is paved and runs through the trees which means plenty of shade. It has small rolling hills. I am the coach for our run club (ages 7 – 11) at the elementary school I teach at. We have used the Hellyer run as our 5k race for the past 2 years. I have chosen this run because it is well organized, and out and back course and well marked for the kids to follow.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This race starts and end near the Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose. The race runs along the paved Coyote Creek Trail. This year because of storm damage and flooding … MORE

    This race starts and end near the Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose. The race runs along the paved Coyote Creek Trail. This year because of storm damage and flooding all courses (5k, 10k, half) had to be altered. The Coyote Creek trail is much narrower in sections than the other Brazen races. This made for some congested sections because the all racers were not as spread out as usual on the course. There was a lot of “On your left” that was heard that day. Most people behaved themselves and stayed right when running.
    Aid stations were plentiful and were nicely stocked with the usual water, sports drink, sweet and salty snacks, and fruit.
    All racers received a gender specific shirt: Cotton for the 5k/10k and tech for the half marathoners.
    All finishers received a top notch medal. Brazen Racing always has the best medals. The Hellyer race has an Alice in Wonderland theme and the shirt and medal were the best.
    Post race food consisted of bagels, fruit, chips, cookies, and other goodies. Don’t forget to pick up that It’s It ice cream sandwiches after the race.
    For someone that lives in the San Jose area and wants to check out Brazen Racing and wants a paved race, the is a good first race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Anthony Pasqualini
    pasq77 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Another Brazen race after a rainy winter and they managed to pull it off with few hitches. I cannot imagine the challenges that Sam and Jasmine have run into this … MORE

    Another Brazen race after a rainy winter and they managed to pull it off with few hitches. I cannot imagine the challenges that Sam and Jasmine have run into this year with all the rain, the Silver Creek area had been underwater several weeks before the race so we were lucky to be able to run it. It forced some sub optimal changes to the course but it was still a fun race. I had run the 5k previously and the 10k was very similar all paved and a flat course. The course itself was in a kind of T shape, this forced the half runners to have do some back and forth on the same trail.

    The last mile of my 10k was crowded with 5k runners, walkers, strollers and kids. This was fine with me although I did hear some people complain I guess I find it easier to make my way around kids and strollers then mud, rocks, roots and fallen trees.

    When it comes to Brazen I am biased I have never had a bad experience and the fact that they have been able to pull off two races in poor conditions at short notice and not miss a beat says a lot about why I am so biased. Altogether a good race day!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    4
    SCENERY
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    Profile photo of Lani Teshima
    Lani FIRST-TIMER '17

    Brazen shows agility once again to accommodate flood conditions with an adjusted course on this flat, fast -- and this year, gnat-filled -- course. EVENT INFO Hellyer is one of … MORE

    Brazen shows agility once again to accommodate flood conditions with an adjusted course on this flat, fast — and this year, gnat-filled — course.

    EVENT INFO

    Hellyer is one of the few races Brazen Racing holds in San Jose. And although the race isn’t a “road race,” the entire course is on a paved bicycle path, making it historically a fast race (compared to their trail races with lots of elevation).

    This year’s race was a little unusual for a few reasons. Both the Livermore Half Marathon as well as the Rock and Roll Half Marathon San Francisco were held on the same day as Hellyer. Combined with the recent floods at Coyote Creek and the resulting course change, this meant the race had fewer participants for 2017 than last year.

    THE COURSE

    Due to the recent floods in Coyote Creek, Brazen had to adjust the course considerably. Normally, the course turns right from the starting area at the Silver Creek Sportsplex and heads down the trail by Coyote Creek, but this year’s race only had a short spur of left than a mile, before participants (for all distances) made a U-turn and headed back out towards the other end of the course. [Brazen had to make a far bigger adjustment for the race it just held the previous weekend, when they had to move the Badger Cove 5K/10K/Half from Del Valle in Livermore, to Wildcat Regional Park in El Sobrante near San Pablo.]

    Because of this extreme shortening on the first segment, the half marathon course required participants to complete the out-and-back TWICE, making for a really crowded path at times, with 5K, 10K, and half marathon participants heading in both directions at the same time. Although “On your left!” was heard often, most people seemed to take things in stride.

    One thing about all the water; there were a lot of little flying insects on the course. Other than the gnats, though, this course was flat and fast.

    AID STATIONS

    One huge benefit to the out-and-back-and-out-and-back course was that participants got to pass aid stations a total of 10 times, a special treat. As with standard Brazen races, the aid stations were well-staffed (and Hellyer has a lot of young students who volunteer) and offered water, sports drink, and carby snacks for quick pick-me-ups.

    GOODIES/BLING

    Finisher’s medal: Brazen always rewards every finisher with a beautiful finisher’s medal that is specific not just to the race, but to that year’s race. No generic race medals, or an undated version with the date just printed on the lanyard. This race was no exception.

    The theme of this race is “Alice in Wonderland.” For this year, the shirt and finisher’s medal featured the Cheshire cat.

    Age group medal: If you are fast enough to earn an age group medal, Brazen made a custom version specific to this race. If you find out you won an age group but didn’t get an AG medal, let them know so they can get it to you.

    For this race, the age group medal featured the White Rabbit, running.

    Race shirt: Gender-specific shirts were available in male, female, and youth sizes, and you could choose between tech fabric and cotton versions. 5K and 10K participants get a cotton shirt and half marathoners get the tech, although 5K and 10K folks can pay extra to upgrade to a tech shirt.

    You can pick up your shirt before the start of the race so you can wear it for the race–or if you’re like me, change into it after the race so you have a clean shirt to wear when you go and have brunch after the race.

    POST-RACE INFO

    Brazen is known for generous post-race snacks. Lots of fruit, bagels, chips, cookies. They won’t replace a sit-down protein meal, but it’s perfect for a quick refueling after a race. As always, they offer It’s-It Ice Cream sandwiches (pro tip: Look for the white styrofoam coolers by the post-race food tables. There is usually a volunteer there who will hand you one; it’s free–just ask!).

    GENERAL THOUGHTS

    If you live in the South Bay and don’t normally sign up for Brazen Racing races, this is a great option for you. [Summit Rock is in Saratoga and Trail Hog is in San Jose, but both courses are on unpaved trails with hills.] Since the entire course is on a flat, paved path, it’s stroller-friendly and is a good way to get a feel for what a Brazen race might be like. A good portion is covered in shade (from trees) and although there isn’t much of a view, the trail is very peaceful.

    If you’re used to the huge road races, you will love the personal intimate and friendly feel of a Brazen race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Mar 28, 2017 at 6:47am

    The regular half marathon course has 2 out-and-back legs, but no repeat. By the time half runners get to a turn around or encounter two-way traffic they're pretty spread out. The Coyote Creek Trail isn't Brazen's most beautiful course, but it's far more beautiful and interesting than central San Jose (where I've done several races). Hellyer is a good intro to a Brazen race experience (other than the lack of hills, ;) , though Brazen does several flat-ish races).

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    Lani Mar 28, 2017 at 10:10am

    Thanks for the feedback/clarification! I really like that the flat course brings out a lot of families with kids. What a great way to get your whole family involved! :)

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '16

    First time running Hellyer. It runs along Coyote Creek Trail. I use to ride my bike on this path when I lived in SJ. Always loved the tree lined course. … MORE

    First time running Hellyer. It runs along Coyote Creek Trail. I use to ride my bike on this path when I lived in SJ. Always loved the tree lined course. Running on it did not disappoint. It is paved, flat and fast and nearly set a PR. Brazen had their usual post race goodies(bagels, cream cheese, salty snacks, candy, fruit) and the It’s It. Loved the high quality medal and I got a cotton shirt this time for running the 5k. If you run the 1/2 marathon you get a tech tee. 5k/10k get cotton. The cotton shirt is soft and I really like wearing it. Will run again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Linda Young
    lindayoung FIRST-TIMER '16

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

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

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

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

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

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Karen Pinckard
    Fitbrit FIRST-TIMER '16

    Brazen are just one of the most fun races around the Bay Area. This course had rolling hills and very park like. There was very little traffic of locals out … MORE

    Brazen are just one of the most fun races around the Bay Area. This course had rolling hills and very park like. There was very little traffic of locals out running or cycling on the course. Parking is also plentiful but come early.
    My only complaint was that they ran out of medals but it was explained to me that the medals were late in being delivered. We were given a rain check and promised our medals would arrive by weds and we all got a $25 off our next race.
    For me this was a good run as I really run best in cooler temperatures and an even terrain. I would sign up again, loved it

    DIFFICULTY
    1
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    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '16

    Course Description: Hellyer 2016 used different start/finish area and course than in 2015. The start/finish area was Embedded Way, a short cul-de-sac street near the Silver Creek Sportsplex in San … MORE

    Course Description:
    Hellyer 2016 used different start/finish area and course than in 2015. The start/finish area was Embedded Way, a short cul-de-sac street near the Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose. 5K runners turned left onto the Coyote Creek Trail from Embedded Way and headed south. The 5K course was a simple out-and-back, and was also the last 3.1 miles of the half marathon. The 10K and half marathon course turned right onto the Coyote Creek Trail and headed north. 10K runners went as far north as the northern end of Hellyer Park, out-and-back, except for the two legs going around the lake in Hellyer Park on different sides of the lake. Half marathon runners went through Hellyer Park the same way 10K runners did, but went farther north, through Los Lagos Golf Course, past Stonegate Elementary School, and turned around near the Tully Community Branch Library. After coming back, half marathoners passed the finish area, did the 5K out-and-back, and finished.

    The trail is paved and largely flat. Coyote Creek Trail is an suburban greenway trail and generally very pleasant.

    Organization & Production:
    Registration and race information (website and emails) were easy and excellent, as usual.

    This was the first time Brazen Racing has used this start/finish venue. Access and parking were easy (though for much of the parking there was a pretty steep hill one had to climb to get to and from the start/finish area), and there were volunteers directing traffic. The start/finish area felt a bit compact for a race with about 1200 finishers. There were an adequate number of porta-cans.

    Immediately after the start there was a short but very narrow bottleneck, moving from the street onto the trail. I suspect more than a few faster runners who weren’t at the very front of the pack were frustrated by this. I did the 5K, the distance with the greatest number of runners and walkers. Once on the trail it was pretty bunchy for a quarter or half mile. This was my first time doing a Brazen 5K, and my wife and I were doing it together, side by side much of the time. Maybe our experience wasn’t unusual and at least partly due to walking abreast much of the time. I don’t think the race traffic planning could have been better than it was.

    Course marking was fine – one would have to try to go off-course, so marking and traffic directing was minimal. There were signs marking each mile. I didn’t look closely at the aid station, which was at the turn-around and busy. Water and sports drink were handed out by volunteers, and there were at least some snacks (probably in good quantity and variety).

    Swag & Goodies:
    Bib: The background of the bib looks like a field of tall, green, grass. Across the top of the bib is the race name and date. In the middle are the bib number and the distance in cursive script. Below the number is the runner’s name; at the bottom is the organizer’s name/logo. The bib number and runner’s name are color-coded for the distance (orange = half marathon; blue = 10K; Yellow = 5K).

    T-Shirt:
    My wife and I received cotton race T-shirts, and I saw the men’s and women’s tech Ts. The men’s cotton Ts were brown, and dark blue in tech; the women’s cotton Ts were mauve, and violet in tech. The front has a round logo, with a banner, “Hellyer” across it. Across the top of the logo are the distances, and a graphic of the Cheshire Cat, Alice, and the Mad Hatter chasing the White Rabbit just below (but above the banner). Below the banner are the year, date, and location. On the back is the name of the race – with the ears of a rather spooky-looking rabbit forming the “LL” – the distances, the date, the location, and sponsors’ logos.

    Finisher’s Medal:
    The finisher’s medal has the Cheshire Cat, Alice, and the Mad Hatter chasing the White Rabbit through tall grass, with the race name as the path below their feet. At the bottom are the date and distances. The ribbon features the same artwork and graphics.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    For me the point of doing Hellyer was doing the 5K with my wife, at her pace. She used it as a sort of milestone in her recovery from a broken ankle 9 months ago, and as a sort of test for our plans later this year. We finished, which was the big goal, with a reasonable finish time. Because my focus was on her, my observation during the race were less broad in scope.

    Brazen’s bibs, race T-shirts, and finisher’s medals are generally so nice that rating them – distinguishing VERY good from excellent – comes down to subjective personal taste. I’d rate the T-shirt and bib as very nice, but not my favorites (the T-shirt is “growing” on me, though). The finisher’s medal is among Brazen’s best, in my opinion.

    I would definitely consider doing Hellyer again.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    Profile photo of Shanna Greer
    greeneyegirl9 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    This is a nice flat course with a few little little paved uphills. I was able to get a PR at this race last year and I am usually a … MORE

    This is a nice flat course with a few little little paved uphills. I was able to get a PR at this race last year and I am usually a back of the pack runner. The shirts and bling are really cute with a bunny theme. Great for first timers. They have 5k, 10k or half. Have a rain jacket handy it has rained the past few years.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Renee Olson
    olsonrenee7 REPEAT RUNNER '12

    The scenery along the river was interesting and it has mostly flat terrain. Brazen Racing always organizes the race well, and I like their arch at the finish line and … MORE

    The scenery along the river was interesting and it has mostly flat terrain. Brazen Racing always organizes the race well, and I like their arch at the finish line and the great after race treats. The only thing I didn’t like was the t-shirt design.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Tami Compton
    Tami FIRST-TIMER '14

    I don’t enjoy races that take you out onto the street or through neighborhoods. Brazen Races are run though parks and mostly on dirt or paved trails. The Hellyer run … MORE

    I don’t enjoy races that take you out onto the street or through neighborhoods. Brazen Races are run though parks and mostly on dirt or paved trails. The Hellyer run goes through Hellyer park on a paved course. You run around the lake and through the trees. The course has rolling hills, but nothing huge. The run was well organized and fun to participate in. This year 2016 I am having my elementary school’s running club participate in the 5k as Brazen does a really good job hosting their events.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    Profile photo of Trisha Kotsubo
    daulphin75 FIRST-TIMER '15

    This was my first Brazen Race and the t-shirt and medal caught my attention. Everything about this race was well organized volunteers were awesome and the post race is awesome!! … MORE

    This was my first Brazen Race and the t-shirt and medal caught my attention. Everything about this race was well organized volunteers were awesome and the post race is awesome!! You get Its Its no one else does that! The course was also fairly flat love the trail!! Looking forward to this years race!! This made me a Brazen Runner!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Ellen Lee
    sfgal78 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    since i enjoyed this race so much last year, mainly due to the rabbit on the medal and all other race memorabilia, i decided to sign up again this year, … MORE

    since i enjoyed this race so much last year, mainly due to the rabbit on the medal and all other race memorabilia, i decided to sign up again this year, along with several other friends.

    i picked up my race packet at sports basement sunnyvale the day before the race, and upon seeing the official race shirt with a logo of the white rabbit from alice in wonderland, i immediately regretted not purchasing it at the time of registration, but was told that i could arrive early at the race and purchase one on the spot, provided they had extra shirts to sell and in my size!

    upon arrival race morning, i parked and immediately headed over to the registration tent to find that they had quite a few shirts for sale, and quite a few in my size as well. i loved that they had a woman’s cut shirt, which is more fitted and flattering than the men’s cut shirt, which is just a traditional t-shirt. the fabric was a stretchy cotton/polyester blend which ensured a snug fit and comfort to the wearer. they also had the hi-tech tees available for those who prefer the lighter, non-cotton material. note that purchasing a shirt on the spot is $10, as opposed to just $5 if you opted to include a race shirt with your registration fee, but they did accept both cash and credit card which was much appreciated.

    as with last year’s event, there were 3 distances to choose from, the half marathon, the 10k, and the 5k, all of which were runner and walker friendly. they even had a special hiker start for the half marathon, for those who planned to walk the entire 13.1 miles or require about 3 hours to complete this distance.

    i again chose to run the 10k and since my garmin device was actually working this year, i can report that the actual distance run was 6.14 miles, pretty close to the official 6.2 miles for a 10k event. and it was the same fast course as last year, with some gentle rollers and dips thrown in along the way. the fact that it didn’t rain this year ensured that i could run a traditional race, vs a “muddy buddy” or “tough mudder” event, running through puddles, and mini rivers, and muddy patches.

    volunteers were terrific as always, directing participants in the parking area, manning the aid stations along the course, handing out medals at the finish line, and restocking the refreshments at the finish pavilion post-race.

    i loved this year’s medal more than last year’s, b/c the face of the medal bore the white rabbit, in a little blue coat, in position to run, and the lanyard holding the medal had clocks all around, as well as the name of the event. very clever, and cute idea, and my favourite brazen finisher’s medal to date!

    as an added bonus, since i finished 1st in my age group, i got to take home a 2nd medal, one that bore a gold frame with the index finger pointing a “1.”

    and now for a few negatives….

    -as with last year, we had to pay $6 to park on hellyer park’s property, and despite the fact that i arrived almost 1 1/2 hours before my event start time, i still had to wait in line to pay, and that line stretched all the way outside of the main park gates.
    -none of the official park restrooms was open, so the 1000 or so runners were relegated to the porta-potties. although there were quite a few scattered throughout the parking areas and near the start/finish line, i felt that the lines were longer than last year since i couldn’t use the structures, which i know provide several extra stalls. i actually saw one guy with his back turned, going against a wall b/c he just couldn’t wait! sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do, right? 🙂
    -the refreshments area was pretty big, but for some reason, moved as slow as molasses! a majority of the 5k and 10k runners had already finished running, as well as a small handful of half marathoners, but the line barely moved…i might have walked about 5 feet toward the tables in 5-10 minutes, and was only able to get some water. i gave up waiting for the actual food, which included chips, cookies, cake, pretzels, and its-its ice cream sandwiches, since i actually had to leave for another engagement after. i felt that the volunteers should have kept these lines moving faster, and i suspect the culprit was small children who needed extra time choosing or reaching for their post-race food. this was a huge downer for me since brazen usually does a terrific job keeping the refreshments’ line moving quickly so that all runners can refuel as soon as possible after racing.

    aside from these few points, i still very much enjoyed this event and will likely sign up again next year so that i can add another rabbit medal and tshirt to my collection!

    thank you, sam, jasmin, and the brazen team for putting on yet another terrific event!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA VOLUNTEER '15

    Course description: I participated in Brazen's 2015 Hellyer Half Marathon as a volunteer, not as a runner/walker (the DB SW forced me to enter a distance and a "My performance" … MORE

    Course description:
    I participated in Brazen’s 2015 Hellyer Half Marathon as a volunteer, not as a runner/walker (the DB SW forced me to enter a distance and a “My performance” rating). Hellyer Half Marathon starts in San Jose’s Hellyer Park, loops around a lake, and is then an out-and-back on the Coyote Creek Trail. It’s a fairly flat course, good for getting a PR and as in intro to trail races. I’ve done and reviewed a couple of races that use the Coyote Creek Trail, and think it’s a generally beautiful course. That I know of, Coyote Creek Trail is used by the Vibha Dream Mile, Coastal Trail Runs’ Turkey Trot, JEM Racing’s Race to the End of Summer, and Moshan Productions’ Monster Dash.

    Organization & Production:
    Volunteers get very different views of a race. I say “views”, because parking traffic directors, check-in & start/finish area people, and the people at the various aid stations do and see different things. I worked at the second of three aid stations on the course. We were located a couple of tenths of a mile before the 10K turn-around, so half marathon and 10K racers came to our station twice, but 5K racers didn’t see us at all (except for a couple of 5K racers who decided to do 10K instead of 5K – they liked the goodies).

    Volunteers sign up using the same process as registering to run in a race. We were asked by e-mail to arrive and check in at 6AM. It also informed us where we would be working (including a map to the site, supplies load/unload point, and place for parking). I waited a bit after checking in for the rest of the team to gather, and then we loaded up our stuff – lots of water in gallon bottles (8 pounds apiece!) and lots of goodies. We – about 8 of us – then drove in several vehicles to the location, unloaded, parked, and started setting up our station. We had everything we needed, from cups for water and sports drink to bowls for goodies to knives to cut up oranges and bananas to signs and trash bags plus holders. We had everything set up and ready well before the first half marathon runners arrived. All in all it was an impressive array of sugary and salty snacks, drinks, plus all the other things the station needed!

    What did I do? Nothing huge or thrilling. I maintained a steady stock of cups of sports drink ready to be handed to racers. Another guy did the same with water, and we kept an eye on the snacks to be sure everything was available.

    Toward the end, we cleaned our area, making sure there was no litter from the race (picking up some litter that was not from the race), loaded up equipment, unused water and goodies, and drove back to the start/finish area, where we unloaded.

    A racer’s excellent (or poor) race experience is the sum of a very large number of small details, many of them handled by the volunteers. No matter how small a task, it is an essential detail among the many many essential details that make for excellent race experiences.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The race T-shirt is blue, with an “Alice In Wonderland” White Rabbit theme. On the front the White Rabbit (wearing a formal Victorian coat!) is running left to right. On the back the White Rabbit is running toward the viewer. And the White Rabbit’s eyes … this isn’t a nervous and harried Disney-esque White Rabbit, he looks more like DracuBunny! The finisher’s medal also features the White Rabbit, and the ribbon has rabbits and clocks.

    I’ve mentioned Brazen’s finish area spread before. Salty snacks, fruit, pastries and cookies, and, of course, It’s It ice cream sandwiches. A welcoming and tasty sight after burning off 2 or 3 thousand calories!

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    What did I get from being a volunteer? Well, I received a tech-type race T-shirt – a very nice one, as is usual with Brazen – and will receive a “free” race. As nice as those are, far better were helping the racers, getting to know some of my fellow volunteers, and getting an inside glimpse of how well organized Brazen’s races are! Would I do it again? Absolutely, yes (addendum: I have volunteered again since writing this)! And I already have a race in mind! If it isn’t incredibly obvious, I definitely am trying to encourage others to volunteer as well. You will love it! And, yes, I would consider running/walking in the race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Ellen Lee
    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '14

    this was my third time running a brazen racing event and i continue to be a happy runner in their events! despite the heavy rains, wind, and chilly conditions yesterday, … MORE

    this was my third time running a brazen racing event and i continue to be a happy runner in their events! despite the heavy rains, wind, and chilly conditions yesterday, they still pulled off a really great event, which is not easy when the weather doesn’t cooperate! although the rain and wind slowed me down a bit, and i had to run through and/or hop over a few rivers along the course (due to heavy rain), i still ran fast enough to place 3rd in my age group, and was the 7th overall female finisher, so i got to take home two medals, woohoo!

    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 10k.

    the pros:
    -fast and generally flat course with a few slight inclines
    -nice course along the coyote creek trail with lots of tree cover
    -staggered start times (every 20 minutes) for each of the 3 events to avoid congestion at the start
    -flags to mark each mile for each race distance, distinct flag colours for each race to avoid confusion
    -friendly volunteers directing runners and manning aid stations along the course, handing out medals at the finish line, and keeping the refreshments’ tables well stocked after the race
    -lots of porta-potties at the start/finish area, some a little further away, and park restroom structures near each of the parking areas
    -tons of parking very close to the start/finish area

    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
    *dri-fit, women’s cut, v-neck finisher’s shirt (shirt is optional, so if you don’t want the shirt, you can save $5)
    *big, colourful medal with a rabbit logo, displaying event name and date (option to engrave name and finisher time on back)
    *TONS of post-race food & drinks, including it’s it ice cream sandwiches, chocolate cake, bagels, peanut butter, pretzels, freshly cut fruit, trail mix, coffee and water. best part is that the food never ran out!

    the cons:
    -the weather wasn’t great for this year’s event, but that wasn’t brazen’s fault. they can’t predict the weather! but since it was raining, would have appreciated the starting mats being placed in a less muddy area. the start/finish mats were in a pretty large spot of mud, so all runners had to get muddy at the start and finish.
    -paying $6 to park in this county park, again not brazen’s fault, but i wonder if maybe going forward this could be incorporated into the registration fee so that we don’t have to bring exact change/cash with us?
    -arriving about an hour prior to the 10k start to find a backlog of cars leading to the park ranger window (everyone waiting to pay the fee to enter the park)

    thank you brazen racing for organizing yet another great event. i can’t wait to sign up for another one of your events!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    Angela FIRST-TIMER '13

    I ran this race in 2013 because a) I wanted an early March 10K, and b) it was Brazen so I knew it would be a small, well-done event. The … MORE

    I ran this race in 2013 because a) I wanted an early March 10K, and b) it was Brazen so I knew it would be a small, well-done event. The out-and-back course winds along tree-lined (read: shaded) paved trails in Henry Coe State Park in San Jose, with the picnic space by the pond as a great staging location. There were a few small rolling hills but nothing ridiculous, so it worked out pretty well as a fitness gauge/time trial type race for me. I’ve only run it once so I don’t know if it’s a routine thing, but I won a Sports Basement gift card for coming in 2nd woman, which was unexpected and cool. It was a long drive for me and slightly pricier than usual (due to extra fees associated with using the park) so I probably wouldn’t do it again unless I just really wanted a 10K on that date, but it was a nice little race and if it’s close to you, it could be fun.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Stefan Ryser
    Stefanryser REPEAT RUNNER '14

    The course is along the creek and back. Pure running, well organized, as every Brazen Racing event. The finisher medals from Brazen are very special. Each race has its own … MORE

    The course is along the creek and back. Pure running, well organized, as every Brazen Racing event. The finisher medals from Brazen are very special. Each race has its own theme, well coordinated with shirts and finisher medals. I like the medals so much and wanted all of them. In the process I became a Brazen Streaker, i.e. running every race within a calendar year. As a Brazen streaker I received all medals in a shadow box, my own bib number for life and two running shirts with the bib number on the shoulder.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Cathryn Ramsden
    UKCathryn FIRST-TIMER '14

    Brazen organize great races and this was no exception. The only thing they couldn't control was the weather and it was pretty cold and very wet but we won't blame … MORE

    Brazen organize great races and this was no exception. The only thing they couldn’t control was the weather and it was pretty cold and very wet but we won’t blame them. The course is very PR-friendly – pretty much out and back so no tangents to worry about. It’s on a paved trail which is quite pretty and you can just zone out and run. Very slight uphill on the way out, very slight downhill on the way back. Be wary of the wooden bridge just before the turnaround if the ground is wet – the runner in front of me went flying and cut himself quite badly. GREAT buffet at the end including red velvet cake. Big medals and the ability to opt out of the t-shirt and pay $5 less. Pretty much perfect, eh?

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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