Overall Rating
Overall Rating (15 Reviews)
4.5
(15 Ratings)(15 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
3.9
PRODUCTION
4.5
SWAG
4
We have re-branded the Morgan Hill Marathon (Half Marathon) to the Morgan Hill Run & Bike Festival. With the success of the 2016 cycling event added into the runs, we have decided to change the name to something more appropriate and fun. Along with the name changes we have added … MORE
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Recent reviews

    IRunBike FIRST-TIMER '17

    I was one of the few people who did the Mushroom Challenge: a 40 mile bike tour on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday. I really enjoyed the … MORE

    I was one of the few people who did the Mushroom Challenge: a 40 mile bike tour on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday. I really enjoyed the events, however, I have to say that there were a few issues that could be worked out to make next year a better experience for the participants.

    The Bike tour seemed like an afterthought. We were supposed to get official times for the tour even though it wasn’t a race. Cool. This would be a great training effort so it seemed like a good notion to have an “official time” for both the bike and run to keep in the scrapbook and training log.

    The course seemed sparsely marked and a few people were confused at the 20/40 mile split. Luckily I had printed the route sheet and was familiar with the area, so I knew which way to go. If you weren’t familiar you could have gotten lost easily on the course, especially since there were so few people out there to follow. I biked a very long stretch completely solo.

    The actual bike course was really nice and I enjoyed the scenery. I bike in these areas often and was not disappointed. It wasn’t too hilly, either, so it made the half marathon on Sunday just challenging enough but not a complete sufferfest.

    A few of the 40 mile finishers came in at the same time the kids’ race was finishing up so the finish line was a bit chaotic. Were we supposed to walk through the finish line going the backwards direction? Finally I dismounted and tried to walk carefully through the line, trying not to disturb or frighten kids and parents. A couple of cyclists had already gotten off their bikes and were sitting in the grass before they realized that “oh they need to walk through the finish line to get an official time”. This could have been staged better if the bike tour had a different finish arch than the kids. They needed clear markings (like arrows or something) as to where the tour participants were supposed to go.

    Another small gripe is that I have yet to receive my bike jersey for participation in the tour. A few days prior to the tour we were informed by email that the race organizer was having “supplier” issues. Same thing with the promised “pint glass” swag. Yet to see that item either. Yes, some of us like to do events for the trinkets and swag!!! LOL.

    I thought the half marathon was well organized and enjoyed the course. I disagree with the previous person that it wasn’t challenging enough. I think the new course had enough rollers in the back half to present a challenge. The first out-and-back part was a bit tedious but it was nice seeing all of the full marathoners on the course with us.

    The race had a nice hometown feel. The finish festival was a friendly atmosphere with great volunteers and awesome muffins. The free photos for the running races were a great touch. It would have been nice to have photos of the cyclists on the bike tour as well.

    Finally, I have to give kudos to the marathon and half-marathon pacers who did a wonderful job at keeping people on track to reach their goals. Hopefully, these guys will come back to pace next year.

    Edited 11/24/2017 – I finally received the bike jersey and have to say it is very nice…

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    arandalynn REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This has been my favorite half marathon for the last couple years. I loved the challenging course and how well organized the event was. I am not sure what happen … MORE

    This has been my favorite half marathon for the last couple years. I loved the challenging course and how well organized the event was. I am not sure what happen this year though. The course changed a few times, and the final course was not as challenging as the past course, it was mostly flat, going through town. The part of the course that went out of town I did not feel safe running, not much for an area for runners with traffic still driving the course, which as many of runners know runners and cars on the same road are not always a good mix. The organization did not seem as on par as in the past either. There were not as many people out to help with course changes or at the water stops, and some of those that were not as attentive as in the past. I also has emailed the organization a couple times prior to the race with questions with no answer, still have not had a response. I hope that next year is better, that this was just an off year for them. This has always been such a great organization to run with.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    PeteSinCA Oct 25, 2017 at 1:34pm

    I wonder if there was a change in organizer this year or 2016. When I did it in 2014 and the following year it was organized by First Wave Events.… MORE

    I wonder if there was a change in organizer this year or 2016. When I did it in 2014 and the following year it was organized by First Wave Events. I don't see First Wave mention on the current Morgan Hill Run website. Do look into some of the South and East Bay and Peninsula trail races organized by Brazen, Coastal, and Inside Trail. They do really well done events (some not far from you). LESS

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    arandalynn Oct 25, 2017 at 1:38pm

    I know when registering it was with First Wave, but I suspect they had some organization changes this year, I hope they can get it worked out. Thanks for the… MORE

    I know when registering it was with First Wave, but I suspect they had some organization changes this year, I hope they can get it worked out. Thanks for the recommendation, I am always up for some new events! LESS

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    sprasanna199 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The course can be little challenging initially due to the climb to the hills, but after half a distance it will be downhill and gets easier. The event is well … MORE

    The course can be little challenging initially due to the climb to the hills, but after half a distance it will be downhill and gets easier. The event is well organized. Given that it’s during the summer end, the weather generally is cooler making it easy for runners.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    wpenrod FIRST-TIMER '16

    The race is very easy to access and the race participation is about the right size. I like the local participation from Morgan Hill residents, especially from the local running … MORE

    The race is very easy to access and the race participation is about the right size. I like the local participation from Morgan Hill residents, especially from the local running shop. The runners from the club showed great pride in representing their city.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    sjpuck REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This race is very scenic with mildly difficult but beautiful rolling hills. The route is well marked and wel staffed with course marshals and fueling stations. Love all the support … MORE

    This race is very scenic with mildly difficult but beautiful rolling hills. The route is well marked and wel staffed with course marshals and fueling stations. Love all the support on the course too. ๐Ÿ™‚

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
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    nielsen82 FIRST-TIMER '16

    AWESOME finisher shirts this year! Finally a race shirt I will wear over and over :) Medals were very nice, snacks were great...bonus of the free beer at the end! … MORE

    AWESOME finisher shirts this year! Finally a race shirt I will wear over and over ๐Ÿ™‚ Medals were very nice, snacks were great…bonus of the free beer at the end! The course itself was well done and the race was well executed! I would recommend this race to anyone that wants a few hills as a challenge! Only thing I would change is maybe some more excitement at the start, it is always fun to hear some music and get pumped up!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    arandalynn REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is one of my favorite races, the races takes you through the beautiful hills of Morgan Hill, which makes the course that much more enjoyable. The course is well … MORE

    This is one of my favorite races, the races takes you through the beautiful hills of Morgan Hill, which makes the course that much more enjoyable. The course is well marked, lots of water stations ( big plus for me) and very well organized. The volunteers are amazing. The first half has decent hills that can be brutal if you don’t train for hills, with training they aren’t to bad. Overall the race definitely challenges me, but it’s so worth it! Looking forward to future races.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    patvencool FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was a flat course in the back parts of beautiful Morgan Hill. There was one what people were calling 'the hill' on the course. Since I run other races … MORE

    This was a flat course in the back parts of beautiful Morgan Hill. There was one what people were calling ‘the hill’ on the course. Since I run other races with higher elevation I didn’t see this as a big hill but for new runners or others out for a casual 5K with family and friends it would probably be a ‘sweat breaker.’
    The course took us past some farm animals. I enjoyed hearing the roster cockadoodle doing along the way. The course was well marked with one water station at mile 2. The race swag was nice with great edible goodies. The information & timing booths were able to help me with a couple of things that turned out to be non issues. They had chairs setup for people waiting for the awards ceremony. I ran this race with my cousin. We had a blast!

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    joseph5858 FIRST-TIMER '16

    As a first-timers, I had a very good overall experience for this run. It may be better if the half marathon can start half or one hour later so it … MORE

    As a first-timers, I had a very good overall experience for this run. It may be better if the half marathon can start half or one hour later so it may not be that cold in the beginning.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    [email protected] REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is a small race. Many of the runners are local. Be sure to train on hills before the run. There are many water stops. The t-shirts are cute too! MORE

    This is a small race. Many of the runners are local. Be sure to train on hills before the run. There are many water stops. The t-shirts are cute too!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Nice slightly hilly course with aide stations spread out every 2 miles with both water and/or gatorade and gel at most as well. Cones all over the course to direct … MORE

    Nice slightly hilly course with aide stations spread out every 2 miles with both water and/or gatorade and gel at most as well. Cones all over the course to direct you where to go as well as to keep cars away and traffic cops at all intersections. Easily one of the best organized races I’ve done and was nice to have as my first half marathon. It was another added benefit to have pacers in 5 minute increments as well (ex to get to a 1 hour 30 min pace or a 1 hour 35 min pace etc…) so that you could run with someone who would keep a pace to get you to your goal.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    rafaelparedes89 FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was the first race I ran that had pace runners run the race. It helped to keep by pace my, just had to simply stay with one of them. … MORE

    This was the first race I ran that had pace runners run the race. It helped to keep by pace my, just had to simply stay with one of them. Thanks Race Radics.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    abundiz42 FIRST-TIMER '16

    I love the expo and the race was well organized. I will definetly recommend this race to my friends, I loved it!! Specially because it was so well organized.. HURRAY … MORE

    I love the expo and the race was well organized. I will definetly recommend this race to my friends, I loved it!! Specially because it was so well organized.. HURRAY TO THE DIRECTOR!!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    knazif FIRST-TIMER '16

    Great experience for children. Soft terrain, great atmosphere, and wonderful swag. Everyone gets a medal which they appreciate. Announcer was also energetic and I liked the start and finish line … MORE

    Great experience for children. Soft terrain, great atmosphere, and wonderful swag. Everyone gets a medal which they appreciate. Announcer was also energetic and I liked the start and finish line area

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '14

    Course description: The Morgan Hill Half Marathon is a loop course that starts and ends in the Morgan Hill, CA Centennial Center. The course takes the racer from city streets, … MORE

    Course description:
    The Morgan Hill Half Marathon is a loop course that starts and ends in the Morgan Hill, CA Centennial Center. The course takes the racer from city streets, through country roads, and back to city streets. The country roads go past horse corrals and vineyards, through scenic hills, and past a lake west of Morgan Hill. The Marathon course is a similar, but larger, loop. While not as challenging as many hill trail races, there are hills. And they are not trivial. An under-prepared racer could get their tail kicked by this race! I’d say the degree of challenge of this race is similar to or a little greater than that of the Jungle Run, (also organized by First Wave Events). All in all, while not spectacular, much of the country roads part of the course is beautiful. And the city streets are residential, visually more pleasant than business or industrial.

    Organization & Production:
    The organization of this race, from online registration through the finish area activities and goodies – and everything in between – was excellent. Particularly noticeable to me was the course management – the aid stations (basic, but well-stocked, and the volunteers were friendly and encouraging), course monitors, and availability of assistance. There was a hikers start โ€“ which I took advantage of โ€“ a half hour before the regular marathon and half marathon start. I did not see any of the shortcomings in this race that I had seen in the Jungle Run. Vendors were still all present and busy when I finished (there being a marathon, with many runners not yet finished, could have been part of the reason for this). Similarly, there was ample food in the finish area, but I didn’t stay long enough to see how things were for late finishers of the marathon. The race T-shirt was given out the day before, at packet pick-up, avoiding the potential problem handing out T-shirts at the finish creates for late finishers โ€“ running out of popular sizes before everyone who wants one has finished (see below). The 2014 Morgan Hill Half Marathon was an all-around well done race.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The race T-shirt is simple, but VERY nice, and the finishers’ medal is of excellent quality (see pics). 2014 was the 5th running of the Morgan Hill Marathon and Half Marathon, and the T-shirt and medal both commemorated this. Other than noticing that food was plentiful, I didn’t notice what was available. I do remember seeing bottles of water and sports drinks in tubs of ice water near the finish. I was a bit more focused on not throwing up (I know, charming).

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    Cutting to the chase (race?) … well, it’s not as simple as it was when I first wrote and posted this review. I was planning to do the Morgan Hill Half Marathon again in 2015, as part of the Bay Area Running Series (doing 3 of the 4 races in the series earns a special medal). On its own merits, this race is well done and very nice, worth doing again. Three factors have come together to change my plans for 2015 and the foreseeable future.

    The 3 races I planned to do in the series are the Jungle Run (in Los Gatos, which I did in 2014), the Santa Cruz Half Marathon, and the Morgan Hill Half Marathon. At the 2014 Jungle Run, I experienced the โ€œpotentialโ€ problem with handing out race T-shirts to runners as they finish. They were down to one T-shirt in my size, with probably another 10-15 runners yet to finish. I chose to receive the next size larger, of which they had several, which worked fine. At the SCHM they were out of my size; they were out of the next size larger; I took one of the next size smaller, which does not fit due to my shoulder breadth and torso length. After that I was still going to do the series races I had planned on, but then my last straw came.

    The 2015 Jungle Run โ€“ for which I was already registered โ€“ was canceled. The venue for the start/finish area fell through, and First Wave said they were unable to find another suitable venue. They sent the cancellation notice just 40 days before race day, after most alternatives (not a lot, in July) had already raised their registration fees above their early-registration prices. The 4th race in the series would work poorly for me โ€“ farther from my home than any race I’ve done to date (I’m writing this in late June, 2015), and a point-to-point course (making race day even longer in duration).

    I’m not going to go for the Series medal, not doing the 2015 MHHM. And, โ€œfairโ€ or not, I will not do First Wave Events-organized races for at least a couple of years. I’m sure First Wave could tighten up their organizing (assuming they recognize their issues and choose to improve), But there are many good organizers and well-run events in the SF Bay Area. I choose to reward their fine organization work by giving them my business.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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