Overall Rating
Overall Rating (12 Reviews)
4.8
(12 Ratings)(12 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.1
SCENERY
4.4
PRODUCTION
5
SWAG
4.9
Be it on eight legs or two, get ready to traverse the hills of Los Vaqueros Reservoir! Brazen Racing is proud to carry on the popular Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run! The Tarantula Run was first held in 2006, organized to recognize the District’s 70th anniversary and encourage visitation to the … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Kerry Hines Long
    kerrytl12 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Big shout out to Brazen for the Tarantula Run. This was my 1st Brazen race and it was amazing. Well done with great people. I was recommended to try these … MORE

    Big shout out to Brazen for the Tarantula Run. This was my 1st Brazen race and it was amazing. Well done with great people. I was recommended to try these races and I wasn’t disappointed. The organization was top of the line. The crew are all very friendly and it’s a family atmosphere. The volunteers were fantastic. It’s also nice that if you volunteer you get a free entry into another race.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '18

    Event & Course Description: Tarantula Run! is done in the Vaqueros Watershed, near Lake Vaqueros and the City of Brentwood, CA. It has three distances, half marathon, 10K (which I … MORE

    Event & Course Description: Tarantula Run! is done in the Vaqueros Watershed, near Lake Vaqueros and the City of Brentwood, CA. It has three distances, half marathon, 10K (which I did), and 5K. The setting is the hills around Lake Vaqueros. Being run in October, the grasses are all brown, dotted here and there with trees. The half marathon course looks like a figure-8, with a tail of the larger loop that is the start and finish legs. The 10K course looks like two loops, with a connector that is used twice. Parts of each loop plus the connector are used by the half marathon course as well. The 5K course is the second loop of the 10K course. Lots o’ hills, including some overgrown rollers in the last two miles that barely show up in the elevation profiles.

    Other than a couple of road crossings, the courses are entirely dirt trail or graveled access road. Except for a few clusters of trees late in the course, the course is entirely exposed to sun. 10K runners encountered two aid stations, reasonably well spaced. The 10K’s second aid station was also encountered by runners of the other distances. Runners of the half marathon went 4 or 5 miles between their first and second aid stations, something that should be kept in mind, especially in warm weather.

    Organization & Production: Tarantula Run! is a Brazen Race, which means well marked course, well stocked aid stations and recovery area, and really nice swag. A Brazen race is register-and-run, and will spoil you.

    Bib: Brazen doesn’t do plain race bibs. The usual pattern has distance color-coded stripes for the bib number and runner’s name, the race name and date, artwork shared with the race T-shirt, and Brazen Racing’s logo. The background is like a sun, hidden behind the colored stripe, with rays above and below. In the top right corner is a large, scary-looking spider.

    T-Shirt: Brazen’s registration fee includes a tech type T-shirt for half marathon runners and a poly-cotton T-shirt for 10K and 5K runners. 10K and 5K runners can upgrade to a tech type Tee for a moderate fee (currently $7, which I did). The race Tee is black, with a big brown spider and the race name on the front. Shades of Shelob! Very Halloween-ready. The back has a brown spider silhouette, the race name, date and distances, and sponsors’ logos. It’s going to be a favorite.

    Finisher’s Medal:The finisher’s medal has a giant spider with the “sun” behind it and the sun’s rays filling a square. Above the spider is “Tarantula”, and just below one of its legs, “Run!”. Across the bottom are the location, date, and distances. The ribbon is orange, and has a spider, the race name, location, date, and distances along it.

    Finish & Recovery Area: Tarantula Run! is a Brazen race. That means lots of goodies – candies, cakes, fruit – in the recovery area, including It’s It ice cream sandwiches. I was exhausted and just sat and chatted for a while (the big-family-like atmosphere is one of the things I found attractive in my first Brazen race nearly 5 years ago, and it’s still true). I’ll just say that Brazen doesn’t disappoint and leave it there.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: When I registered I knew from the elevation profile and near total exposure (via Google Satellite View) that Tarantula Run! 10K was about the limit of what I can do, presently. With the warm day (sun exposure and heat are not my friends!) it was a very close call. I thought about dropping out as a “5K”, but with some encouragement managed to finish, vertical, and under my own power. Mission accomplished!

    Brazen never disappoints. I will definitely consider doing Tarantula Run! again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    RC.Jennings REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Kudos to Brazen Racing for holding the Tarantula Run. Many other races were cancelled this weekend but not Tarantula. Air quality was good and Race Director Sam dressed up as … MORE

    Kudos to Brazen Racing for holding the Tarantula Run. Many other races were cancelled this weekend but not Tarantula. Air quality was good and Race Director Sam dressed up as a tarantula for the whole race. Kids race before the other races was fun to watch. Overall fun run, chance to catch up with race friends, and eat great food. And we got to run up the Los Vaqueros Dam where normally public isn’t allowed. And interpretive center guide brought lots of tarantulas to see live. Whether you are a hiker, a 1/2 runner, a 10K runner, or a 5K runner, this run had something for everyone. And you can streak (run all the races Brazen offers in a year) and get a shadow box with finisher medals, a black shirt, and your own streaker number (which is your bib number forever more). Just a great vibe.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is a super fun course with only one big climb. Total elevation gain is just over 2,000 feet. It starts with a rolling 2 1/3 mile out, then a … MORE

    This is a super fun course with only one big climb. Total elevation gain is just over 2,000 feet. It starts with a rolling 2 1/3 mile out, then a big loop. The big loop starts with nice big climb of about 1.3 miles long and just under 1,000′ feet. It’s tough but the views are super awesome. After this, it’s some awesome downhills that you can speed through. At about mile 11 you come back to where you started the climb, but you turn and run the 2 1/3 miles back. This is net downhill a little, so it’s a nice speedy finish. Lots of people come dressed in Spider themes. You can also spot some Tarantulas on the course if you look closely. Personally I’ve only seen one one time, and I am not a lover of spiders, so it just makes me run faster. 🙂
    As always, Brazen’s events are amazing, and very well organized and staffed. Best crew and volunteers in the biz.
    Oh, and this was my 100th ALL TIME race, so this made it pretty special for me.
    Hope you’ll join me next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race takes place at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Brentwood. There is a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and a Spider Scramble for the little kids. The courses are mostly run … MORE

    This race takes place at Los Vaqueros Reservoir in Brentwood. There is a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and a Spider Scramble for the little kids. The courses are mostly run on dirt trails, with some asphalt and gravel. For the half marathon, the hills start around mile 2.5 and climb to mile 4. There are rolling hills until mile 6 and then you drop down and continue on with a fairly easy course to the finish. I really enjoyed this course. The paths are wide and not too difficult or technical to run on. It had rained the day before, so there were some “sticky” parts. This area of East Contra Costa County has clay soil and when wet, the clay will stick to your shoes. Before long, you’ll feel like you’re running in platform shoes. Luckily, there was little of this. The weather was nice in the 60’s. The course is completely exposed, so it would be a hot race if the temperature was higher. Total elevation for the half is 2208 ft and distance is 13.31 miles.
    There were three aid stations that were fully stocked with water, sports drink, sweet and salty snacks, Gu, and Coca Cola.
    All races participants receive a shirt. There is a Tech tee for 1/2 marathoners and a cotton tee for 5k/10k. All finishers receive an awesome finishers medal. This year, Brazen Racing has new age group medals specific to this race. Unfortunately, I placed 4th in my AG and did not score one. I’ll have to try harder next year.
    Post race food consisted of bagels, pastries, sweet and salty snacks, water, and an It’s It ice cream sandwich.
    Brazen Racing races are top notch and I will run this one again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of McKinley Williams
    macg35 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    What is an Ultra Half Marathon? Think 13.1M + some elevation gain on steep hills not just for hiking anymore. Brazen Racing's Ultra Series was kicked off with this gem … MORE

    What is an Ultra Half Marathon? Think 13.1M + some elevation gain on steep hills not just for hiking anymore. Brazen Racing’s Ultra Series was kicked off with this gem on rolling hills, some single track and open trails with stunning scenery well worth the pain. The aid stations were fully stocked with attentive help. At the end, their new age group medals (I placed 2nd) with race specific theme was an unexpected treat. Nice swag t-shirt was Halloween orange & black!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
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    cardinal91 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    I ran this race before Brazen took it over, and I was thrilled when they did, making a good race even better. The course has lots of hills, which is … MORE

    I ran this race before Brazen took it over, and I was thrilled when they did, making a good race even better. The course has lots of hills, which is tough for me, and it’s pretty dusty. The theme is fully embraced, with actual tarantulas you can hold after the race, and this year’s medal — another great Brazen medal — featured a fuzzy spider. They also had a free kids spider scramble (a short sprint race) against a costumed spider, which was adorable. Like all Brazen races, the shirts were nice and the post-race spread was unmatched.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft VOLUNTEER '15

    I volunteered at the aid station for the 10k and half marathon runners. Great time helping the runners. They are always so thankful. If you're not ready to run and … MORE

    I volunteered at the aid station for the 10k and half marathon runners. Great time helping the runners. They are always so thankful. If you’re not ready to run and you’re local to this race, come out and help. It’s a lot of fun.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Tessa REPEAT RUNNER '15

    This is still a great race, with beautiful trails, and views. The Kid's race is fantastic to watch, and the medal this year...OMG! It was actually fuzzy like an actual … MORE

    This is still a great race, with beautiful trails, and views. The Kid’s race is fantastic to watch, and the medal this year…OMG! It was actually fuzzy like an actual tarantula. They have real tarantula’s you can touch and hold at one of the tables. Let me know how that works out for you 🙂 The props, and costumes, thanks to the awesome volunteers, are so much fun and if you have kids that you want to introduce to participating in a race, this is one you should definitely put on your calendar for next year! The end of the course was just as tough for me this year, but I’m coming back for more!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Tessa FIRST-TIMER '14

    I'm so glad Brazen took this race over, I loved this race! The Kid's scramble was so cute, and the swag for this race was so much fun. This race … MORE

    I’m so glad Brazen took this race over, I loved this race! The Kid’s scramble was so cute, and the swag for this race was so much fun. This race is closer to home, so I’m kind of biased, but the Los Vaqueros views along with Mt. Diablo view, makes this a favorite. I gave this course a 4/5, not because of the elevation or it being technical, but because at one point you come so close to the finish of the race, only to find out that you still have a ways to go! I’d rather go further out on the course, than hear Sam calling out finishers when I’m still slugging along 🙂 Other than that, this is really one race I will look forward to every year from now on.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    brittanyjstroup REPEAT RUNNER '15

    This course is pretty and open. No tree cover so it can get HOT. BR had a great aid station for the 5K with fuel and water. There were a … MORE

    This course is pretty and open. No tree cover so it can get HOT. BR had a great aid station for the 5K with fuel and water. There were a couple of pretty big hills. For his race Brazen brought out real tarantulas for people to hold and admire which is so different and fun. As always, BR had their phenomenal post race food selection.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Stefanryser FIRST-TIMER '14

    The Tarantula race was this year newly added to the Brazen races. That was exciting. The course was interesting, quite an ascending part at the beginning, rewarded by a great … MORE

    The Tarantula race was this year newly added to the Brazen races. That was exciting. The course was interesting, quite an ascending part at the beginning, rewarded by a great view over the lake and at the end circling mile long loops around the finishing area. Blogger and regular Brazen runner Not-That-Lucas nicely described the race: http://notthatlucas.blogspot.com/2014/11/running-with-tarantulas.html

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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  1. Races
  2. Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K