Overall Rating
Overall Rating (27 Reviews)
4.3
(27 Ratings)(27 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
3.4
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4.4
With a mostly-flat course hugging Cottonwood Lake and then Coyote Creek, the Hellyer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K 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! … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Fragileflower12 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Flat and fast~~or so I’m told..since I’m not fast. Haha. Expertly Run Race. Great AS support. Fantastic medals and shirts as well as AG awards. Not much scenery, sadly. A … MORE

    Flat and fast~~or so I’m told..since I’m not fast. Haha. Expertly Run Race. Great AS support. Fantastic medals and shirts as well as AG awards. Not much scenery, sadly. A great race that usually has one “Alice in Wonderland” character theme. Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter last year and the Queen this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I did it! 100 half marathons. And super happy that my 100th was a nice easy Brazen half. Not a lot of easy Brazen races, but this one is super … MORE

    I did it! 100 half marathons. And super happy that my 100th was a nice easy Brazen half. Not a lot of easy Brazen races, but this one is super fun and super easy. Easy to get to, easy to park (and lots of it, right near the start), and an super fun easy course. A couple out and backs and a little loop in the middle. Never dull. Bunch of fully stocked aid stations, with the best volunteers in the biz, cheering you on. I couldn’t have asked for a better day for my 100th half!! My twin brother came out to surprise me and run it with me and he loved it too. If you’re looking for a PR, this is an easy race to get it. (I took it easy and definitely wasn’t going for a PR, but this course is fast). It’s also right on the money as far as distance.

    Brazen rocks!!

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    PeteSinCA Apr 14, 2019 at 5:43am

    The toughest hill might be going from the finish area to where you parked your car. Literally. So, will half marathon #111 be this year or next?

    The toughest hill might be going from the finish area to where you parked your car. Literally. So, will half marathon #111 be this year or next?

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    damnchap REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This is a nice easy run, mostly paved along the creek. Not a ton of scenery but a fun (possibly) quick run. out and back in two directions and amazingly … MORE

    This is a nice easy run, mostly paved along the creek. Not a ton of scenery but a fun (possibly) quick run. out and back in two directions and amazingly enough tons of parking (starts in a parking lot).
    As always Brazen puts on a great event, amazing on course support, t-shirt designs and medals.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Karla FIRST-TIMER '18

    Nice fairly easy and clean course, plus I love my race shirt and the Brazen friendly staff with plenty of fuel/aide stations for a 10K. Love the fact that I … MORE

    Nice fairly easy and clean course, plus I love my race shirt and the Brazen friendly staff with plenty of fuel/aide stations for a 10K. Love the fact that I can also save $ and opt out of a race shirt.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    SamIam1972 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Alice in Wonderland themed. Can I say more? This is my PR course, and it's simply the best! The gently rolling paved path along the creek make for the small … MORE

    Alice in Wonderland themed. Can I say more? This is my PR course, and it’s simply the best! The gently rolling paved path along the creek make for the small climbs and the speedy downhills a runner’s dream. Again, Brazen is just fantastic. The aid stations and volunteers are amazing and supportive. Oh and the medals. So cute!!

    DIFFICULTY
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    5
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    5

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    mavenugo FIRST-TIMER '17

    Hellyer is a nice little Local race with plenty of parking and great support by the locals. It was my first ever race and didn't know what to expect. But, … MORE

    Hellyer is a nice little Local race with plenty of parking and great support by the locals. It was my first ever race and didn’t know what to expect. But, the entire production by Brazen is top notch and it made it very easy for a first-timer like me to enjoy the race from the get go.

    Water, Gatorade and gels were placed at the right places and the volunteers were very helpful. The snack varieties were interesting too.. From mini pretzels (for Salt) to Jelly belly (for Sugar), you have it covered. Infact the last 3 miles, I ran with handful of Jelly belly to cross the finish line.

    I have been training for the past 1 yr to improve the numbers and now am a sub-2 HM runner. But, I will never forget my first race. Thanks Brazen.

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    My Report
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    3
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    ken1ohmichi FIRST-TIMER '18

    This is a half marathon on trail, but it is not so hard to run even if comparing flat course. Stuffs are kind to help runners and nice scenery encourages … MORE

    This is a half marathon on trail, but it is not so hard to run even if comparing flat course.
    Stuffs are kind to help runners and nice scenery encourages runners at the middle of the course.
    I will run this again!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
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    4
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    4
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    5

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    lchristensen44 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I ran this race as part of a 20 mile training run while on vacation in California. The race has a Alice in Wonderland theme. I dressed for the theme … MORE

    I ran this race as part of a 20 mile training run while on vacation in California. The race has a Alice in Wonderland theme. I dressed for the theme as did a few other runners.

    The race allowed day of packet pickup which was great for us. Runners got a cool short sleeve shirt (tech for half and cotton for 5K). The medal for 2018 had the mad hatter and a rabbit on it. It was very colorful and cute.

    The half starts first. It starts in a parking lot and then moved to a paved bike/hike trail. There’s a bit of a bottleneck at the start as everyone gets to the trail so seed yourself in the front of the pack if you’re trying to PR. Not being from the area I thought the course was going to be more scenic. Nonetheless there was great support by local groups at the water stops which also had a big variety of Runner snacks! At the end of the race they had ice cream sandwiches which were a great treat. My family ran the 5K and had fun watching women practice for roller derby in the complex while waiting for me.

    DIFFICULTY
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    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
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    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    5

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    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
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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
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    5
    SCENERY
    3
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    5

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    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!

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    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.

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    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.… MORE

    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). LESS

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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! :)

    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.

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    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 😀

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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  1. Races
  2. Hellyer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K