Overall Rating
Overall Rating (15 Reviews)
4.6
(15 Ratings)(15 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.1
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.9
SWAG
4.6
All three courses are primarily fire trails through the park including sections of easy rolling hills and flats. The 10K and half marathon courses will include short sections on a paved walking/bike path. The entire course is included within the park and there is no street running or street crossing. … MORE
Local Weather (May 27)
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H (°F) 65 74 63 68 61
L (°F) 52 55 53 55 56
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Recent reviews

    After running mostly halfs, I found a new love for 5Ks. Brazen has quickly become my go-to for races. This trail run did not disappoint! I always get do bib … MORE

    After running mostly halfs, I found a new love for 5Ks. Brazen has quickly become my go-to for races. This trail run did not disappoint! I always get do bib pick up the morning of the race and never have any problems, it’s organized and well run.

    The weather was perfect (a little chilly before the race began) but you can’t beat the scenery of this one! Although be ready for the hills. I traditionally look for flat races but even though this one was a challenge, it was definitely do able. I will be back to do this one again!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Shanna Greer
    greeneyegirl9 REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This race is great for first time half marathoners. It usually starts off cool in the morning and can get hot. I would wear layers for this race for sure. … MORE

    This race is great for first time half marathoners. It usually starts off cool in the morning and can get hot. I would wear layers for this race for sure. Brazen is well known for their awesome fully stocked aid stations and there will be plenty on course. They know how to take care of their runners. If you worry about bathrooms they have portables as well a the park having several along the course. There are a few little hills on this course but all in all pretty flat. Usually you will find lots of the Brazen regulars at this race as it is their anniversary run so crazy shenanigans are happening before the race. Don’t let that scare you, lol. It will be a great time.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The Nitro Trail race is run at the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. Home of gunpowder and dynamite manufacturers for almost 100 years, Point Pinole became part of the East Bay … MORE

    The Nitro Trail race is run at the Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. Home of gunpowder and dynamite manufacturers for almost 100 years, Point Pinole became part of the East Bay Regional Park District in the 1970s. With panoramic views of the bay, wildflowers, over 100 species of bird and eucalyptus woodlands (originally planted to buffer potential explosions!), Point Pinole Regional Shoreline Park is truly the hidden gem of the East Bay. It really is a great place to run.
    This years was Brazen’s 9th annual Nitro Trail. It is my second time running this race. I chose the 5k. The course is mostly on gravel and dirt trails with a tiny section of pavement. There is one aid station for the 5k that is well stocked with sweet and sally snacks, Gu, water, Ultima sports drink, and fruit. Aid station volunteers are great and very helpful.
    5k/10k runners receive a cotton shirt and half marathoners receive a tech shirt. All finishers receive an awesome medal. This years, the medal was two-sided and as big as a drink coaster. Brazen medals do not disappoint.
    Finish line food is an expanded version of the aid stations with bagels, pastries, popcorn, more fruit, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches. YUM!
    Brazen also gives out age group medals in five year increment for male and female. I was lucky this year and won first in my age group.
    You can’t go wrong with running a Brazen race. This would be a great first race if you want to try trail running. The elevation is about 200 feet.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Miyuki Hasegawa
    miyukih77 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The start/finish area was very welcoming and had a good vibe with a lot of volunteers, spectators and vendors. We ran through Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The view of shoreline … MORE

    The start/finish area was very welcoming and had a good vibe with a lot of volunteers, spectators and vendors. We ran through Point Pinole Regional Shoreline. The view of shoreline and the trails through eucalyptus trees was amazing. You would forget that you were running the race and seize the beauty of the nature. The trails were not too technical and trail running beginner friendly. Two water stations were along the way and volunteers were very supportive and the stations were full of goodies. I highly recommend this race to everyone!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

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    Profile photo of Morgan McGuire
    roxy031 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The last time I attempted to run a trail half marathon was Feb. 2010, in NC. 5 miles into that race, I fell and broke my tibial plateau. (At the … MORE

    The last time I attempted to run a trail half marathon was Feb. 2010, in NC. 5 miles into that race, I fell and broke my tibial plateau. (At the last minute the venue was changed due to flooding, and the new trail wasn’t properly cleared, I tripped on a hidden tree root and the rest is injury history). I’ve run dozens of road races in the 7 years since then, but have stayed away from trail races for obvious reasons. When my best running buddy—my husband—decided he wanted to try a trail race, I decided I’d give it another shot. I have run several Brazen races and they always do a great job of putting on races and I like supporting them, so we chose the Nitro Trail Half.

    As per usual with Brazen, this race was great. Packet pickup was easy and fast. Parking at the race site was plentiful and stress-free. The course itself was marked well, and with the exception of a few hills, was relatively easy. The half marathon does 2 loops, plus a little extra, but if I had to retrace the course and explain it to someone, I doubt I could – I just ran and enjoyed the scenery and followed the ribbons and chalk/flour arrows to make sure I was going the right way. Before I knew it, 13.1 miles had gone by. There are several aid stations and they’re well-stocked with water, electrolyte drink, and snacks, plus first aid if you need it.

    There weren’t a ton of participants in the half, which I kind of liked, but at times it was a little lonely on the course. I don’t mind that at all, just mentioning it in case you’re the kind of runner who always wants people nearby. There’s also no people cheering on the sidelines, obviously, so be prepared for quiet and for cheering on your own self 🙂

    The post-race food spread looked amazing – I can never eat immediately after a long run so I didn’t try any of it, but the people who were partaking looked pleased! All in all this was a great race and a nice intro for anyone interested in trail running—gentle hills and well-marked and cleared trails, plus great scenery.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Anthony Pasqualini
    pasq77 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I picked up my bib and race packet the day before, with all Brazen races this is always an option. Race day pick up is also super easy when I … MORE

    I picked up my bib and race packet the day before, with all Brazen races this is always an option. Race day pick up is also super easy when I cannot make it to a pre-race pickup.

    I have a love/hate relationship with Point Pinole and this weekend’s Nitro scores on the positive side. The weather is always the decider for me and this Saturday we had cooler weather and some early fog that helped keep the trails from being too dusty. For me at least this course is one of the faster Brazen races its pretty flat. For the most part you run under the eucalyptus groves and in the shade with 360 degree views of San Pablo bay. I like the trails here they are not super technical and a there are a couple of sections of paved road.

    I ran this with my 29-year-old son and 22-year-old daughter our 2nd race all together so it was special and we all thoroughly enjoyed the race. I recommend this race to anyone who has never done a trail race before and is looking to try it out. As I said its fairly flat, the trail is easier then many of the Brazen races available and you get to experience the care and love that goes into ever Brazen race without some of the sweat and tears The Brazen medal and the t-shirt are always worth it!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '17

    Event & Course Description: If Brazen Racing could be said to have a “home park”, Point Pinole, the venue for Nitro Trail, would be it. Brazen’s first race was Nitro … MORE

    Event & Course Description:
    If Brazen Racing could be said to have a “home park”, Point Pinole, the venue for Nitro Trail, would be it. Brazen’s first race was Nitro Trail, and Brazen does 3 races there throughout the year: Nitro Trail, Dirty Dozen, and Quarry Turkey. Point Pinole is a really beautiful setting – once the site of an explosives manufacturer – with coast and bay views and fragrant eucalyptus groves. The courses are mostly dirt fire roads (with a few just visible patches of old asphalt, brick or cobble stone) and asphalt access roads, with some double- and a little single-track trail.

    Like most Brazen events, Nitro Trail features 3 distances, 5K, 10K, and half marathon. The 5K course, also used by the other distances, travels the southern coast of the point along open coastal trail and through some eucalyptus groves, crosses the tip of the point, and then goes down the center of the point back to the start/finish area. The 5K course is has a few brief, not at all steep, hills. Just short of the 5K finish, the 10K course turns to double back down the center of the point – by a different route – goes back close to the tip of the point, skirts a marsh on the north side of the point, goes briefly near the shore, and then crosses the base of the point back to the finish. The 10K course is a double-lobed loop. Mostly, the half marathon course is doing the 10K course twice (you won’t get bored!), with some added trail to make the half marathon distance, including ~3/4 of a mile on trails the 5K and 10K courses do not use. All runners go along at least some coast, through eucalyptus groves, and along an open elevated spine with panoramic views of San Pablo Bay. The courses aren’t flat, but the 2 longest uphill climbs are about a half mile long each, and 50-70 feet of climb.

    There were 2 aid stations. 5K runners came to an aid station near their mile 2 and then finished. 10K runners came to each aid station twice, because of how the two lobes of the loop are laid out, which means half marathon runners come to each aid station 4 times.

    Organization & Production:
    From checking out the race on Brazen’s website through leaving the parking lot after the race, runners’ “only” worries are getting there and doing their race. The website information is very complete – schedule, course maps, elevation profiles, FAQs, etc.. As with most (all?) Brazen races, bib pick-up could be done the two afternoons/evenings before race day at a local athletic store, or on race day. I usually do race day pick-up, and that is always efficient.

    Brazen always marks its courses thoroughly, with color-coded flags and chalk or flour arrows. Trail branchings that go off-course are also marked so runners don’t go there. Brazen aid stations are always well stocked with water, electrolyte drink, Coke, cut up fruit, candies, cookies, chips, and very encouraging volunteers. I was THE last half marathoner to go through the stations, and both made sure they had liquids and snacks for me.

    Swag & Goodies:
    Brazen’s finish area food is all but legendary – many of the same snacks the aid stations have, in greater variety, pie, cakes, and perhaps a half dozen flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwich. As late as I was in finishing, they still had a lot available. The pineapple was very tempting, as were mint or cappuccino It’s Its, but I was too exhausted, and was feeling full from all I had drunk and snacked on the trail. Brazen Racing is very meticulous and consistent about taking care of its runners (Brazen wants them to finish in one piece, leave happy, and come back for more!).

    Bib: Some races’ bibs are very plain, white, plus or minus a color stripe, a logo or two, and the bib number. And that’s fine. Bibs are not a large part of a race experience. Brazen racing goes all the way to the opposite extreme! Brazen’s bibs are practically works of art! The background of the bib is a picture from a 19th century advertisement for the explosives manufacturer whose factory facilities had been located at Point Pinole. The picture shows a strong giant shaking the hand of a miner at his claim. In the top right is the logo for the race, and just below that the distance done and the date. To the left of the distance is the distance-specific color-coded bib number, and below that a color-coded stripe, with the runner’s name. Brazen Racing’s logo is across the bottom.

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal is huge and heavy, usable as a coaster. It’s a ~4” diameter dull finish brass-colored disc with a relief of Alfred Nobel (inventor of dynamite; the company that had used Point Pinole was licensed by Nobel to produce dynamite), wearing sunglasses and a sweatband. To the right of Nobel is the race date in Roman numerals, and to the left the race name and distances. Engraved on the back – a first for Brazen – is a little of the history of Point Pinole and Brazen. There was still ample room for a runner’s name and finish time to be engraved.

    T-Shirt: The tech T-shirt is RED. On the front is the race name in yellow script, and in smaller white script are the distance, date, and location. On the back is the drawing of Alfred Nobel, described above and the logos of the sponsors and Brazen Racing. Did I mention that the Tee is RED?

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    I’ve done 4 Brazen races at Point Pinole, though this was the first time I had done Nitro Trail. Nitro was also sort of a grudge race for me. It was the third half marathon I had started in 2017, but the first two resulted in DNFs. In both cases, health stuff were the root of my not finishing, but it was still been very frustrating. So I was going to finish Nitro, if it took me more than 5 hours (or whatever Brazen allowed). My actual time was I’ll-take-it-grade, but it’s where I am, and it’s a FINISH time (Brazen typically has race finish times available online within 12-24 hours). That monkey is off my back and relaxing in the Point Pinole Monkey Sanctuary!

    Nitro Trail is not a flat course race. Nor is it a hilly “true” trail race. It’s kind of a hybrid, a pleasant introduction to trail racing. The views – coast, panoramas of the bay, marsh, and eucalyptus groves – are just short of spectacular. And Brazen Racing does Nitro Trail well!

    Speaking of which, this was Brazen’s 9th running of Nitro Trail, and 8th anniversary as a company. Taking a special annual picture of all who were there was part of the pre-race activities. Wearing red was the “rule” of the day (which the race Tee aided … did I mention it is RED?), so I wore a Tee from a previous Brazen race (2016 Brazen Goonies, very piratical) instead of my RaceRaves Tee.

    Would I do Nitro Trail again? Very likely. I’m doing Brazen’s Dirty Dozen at the same park in a few weeks, and plan to do Nitro Turkey again this year as well.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Amanda Sava
    amandasava REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This one is a perennial favorite - it's close and easy and pretty. There's a nice mix of trail and pavement as well as sun and shade, the hills are … MORE

    This one is a perennial favorite – it’s close and easy and pretty. There’s a nice mix of trail and pavement as well as sun and shade, the hills are all small and manageable – all of which makes for a pretty perfect course.

    This time I ran/walked it with a friend’s daughter, so it was fun but slow! We took full advantage of the jelly beans and gummy bears at the aide stations and the It’s-Its at the end.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of John Hanson
    jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '16

    The Medal this year was awesome, with Atlas holding the world. From the Logo of the Atlas Powder Company that used to be at the location. The course is mostly … MORE

    The Medal this year was awesome, with Atlas holding the world. From the Logo of the Atlas Powder Company that used to be at the location. The course is mostly flat, and has varied terrain, by the Bay and partly through shaded trees. It was hotter than previous years, but I was able to hold on for 2nd in age group and an “Ageless Wonder” time. (minutes under your age for a 10k.)

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '16

    Strictly speaking, I didn't do Nitro Trail, as I was a “remote” runner. One option with most Brazen races is to do the race “remote”, at one's own time and … MORE

    Strictly speaking, I didn’t do Nitro Trail, as I was a “remote” runner. One option with most Brazen races is to do the race “remote”, at one’s own time and place. Registration is as easy as with regular registration. The price is lower, and the race T-shirt, unless one upgrades, is the cotton T-shirt. In registering, one does not commit to a particular distance. About a week before race day Brazen sends remote registrants the T-shirt, Bib, finisher’s medal, and goodies bag.

    Bib: The bib has a brown background, and features the race logo – Atlas bearing the globe on his shoulders – at the top and right. A banner across the globe gives the race name and information. In green letters, from top to bottom, are “Remote Runner”, my bib number, and my name.

    T-Shirt: The race T-shirt is light gray 90% – 10% cotton-polyester. The front is the race logo (as described above) in red and yellow-orange. The back has a globe and banner in yellow, with “Nitro” in red on the banner. Around and above the globe in yellow is, “Point Pinole”. Around and below the globe in yellow is, “Trail Races”. Below this are the logos of the race organizer and sponsors.

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal is the race logo, a 3-D “sculpture” of Atlas with the globe on his shoulders, with the banner described above across the globe. It’s large, heavy, and copper-colored. As simple as that might sound, it is an AMAZING medal! The ribbon is medium brown, with a print pattern in darker brown.

    What and how did I do? In the two weeks before the race date my wife and I were on a trans-Atlantic cruise. The ship has a 1/3-mile promenade deck. On separate days I did “5K” (10 laps) twice, 10K (19 laps) twice, and a half marathon (40 laps) once; on a day when seas were rough I also did a third 5K on a treadmill. In spite of a crew drill during 5 or 6 laps during the middle of the half marathon, my “finish time” was 3:20, faster than I’ve done since June, 2014. I’m sure the very cool weather was helpful in getting that finish time.

    Because of when we left for our trip, I didn’t receive my race swag until we got home. It had been mailed (I received an email) as I mentioned above. Everything went well, organizationally, but I did miss the camaraderie that happens at Brazen races. I also missed the It’s It at the finish area, but the ship had a soft-serve ice cream machine and I had a yummy ice cream cone.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '16

    I ran the 5k course. Nice loop around Point Pinole with about 170ft of elevation. It is the same course that the Nitro Turkey and Dirty Dozen races. Point Pinole … MORE

    I ran the 5k course. Nice loop around Point Pinole with about 170ft of elevation. It is the same course that the Nitro Turkey and Dirty Dozen races. Point Pinole was the home of gunpowder and dynamite manufacturers for almost 100 years and this is where Brazen get the Nitro name from. The weather was very warm and beautiful. It tends to be somewhat chilly out there. Plenty of Aid stations stocked with sports drink, water, fruit, salty and sweet snacks. The finish line food consisted of bagels, fruit, sweet and salty snacks, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches. The medal and shirts are well done like usual. Brazen Racing is always top notch. If you’re looking for a great race and a great production check them out.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Chris Shuttlesworth
    cardinal91 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    I run at Point Pinole regularly, and the views are nice (bay views on the outer edges, running through woods in other spots). It's also fairly flat but still presents … MORE

    I run at Point Pinole regularly, and the views are nice (bay views on the outer edges, running through woods in other spots). It’s also fairly flat but still presents a bit of a challenge. Brazen races are the best, with fantastic medals, shirts and post-race spreads. The atmosphere is the most welcoming I’ve experienced at any races, too.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Tessa Silva-Mathews
    Tessa REPEAT RUNNER '14

    This is one of the few trail races that I can run without power hiking. It is also a great race to enjoy with friends and family. You have a … MORE

    This is one of the few trail races that I can run without power hiking. It is also a great race to enjoy with friends and family. You have a chance to see people running other distances during this race. Nice views, pretty trees, and good weather. It can be a bit windy at the start, but it is nice once you get moving.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Brittany Stroup
    brittanyjstroup FIRST-TIMER '14

    This is a fun course. Super scenic. There is a good bit of uphill in the beginning of the course. Well marked with good aid stations. Great recovery food and … MORE

    This is a fun course. Super scenic. There is a good bit of uphill in the beginning of the course. Well marked with good aid stations. Great recovery food and fun props for photos post race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Alejandro Arteaga
    aaarteaga11 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Small section after the first mile where the path narrows but other than that this course is mostly flat with a few tiny bumps both up and down. The finish … MORE

    Small section after the first mile where the path narrows but other than that this course is mostly flat with a few tiny bumps both up and down. The finish is great because you come out of a forest area into a clearing and can see it from afar while atop a hill.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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