Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
3.8
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4
SCENERY
4.5
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3
2019 EVENT CANCELED. Per event’s Facebook page, the race will be back in 2020. —– Race Thru the Redwoods is run entirely in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in Felton, California. The race starts in the Roaring Camp Railroads and runs one mile on paved roads followed by scenic trails … MORE
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Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Event & Course Description: The Race Thru the Redwoods 10K is a locally organized race to benefit community charities in the Felton, CA area. In 2018 the start and finish … MORE

    Event & Course Description: The Race Thru the Redwoods 10K is a locally organized race to benefit community charities in the Felton, CA area. In 2018 the start and finish were in Roaring Camp Railroad park. The course was basically out-and-back. The first mile was a paved loop around the maintenance area, nicer in appearance than in words. The facilities are sprinkled around what looks like a meadow with redwood trees around it. This loop was not repeated at the end. After that runners went up and into the redwoods on a paved access road. About midway in the course outbound runners turned onto about a mile of dirt trail through the trees, and then back to the road for another ~1/2 of a mile to the turn-around. With a few breaks, about 1 1/2-2 miles of the outbound course was fairly to somewhat steep uphill, including the mile on dirt trail. The return part of the course was entirely on the paved access road, with the downhill section that was not part of the outbound course being fairly steep. Most of the last ~2 1/2 miles was downhill.

    The course, even the loop around the maintenance area, was really beautiful, with lots of neck-achingly tall redwoods. There is an overlook about a tenth of a mile from the turn-around point that is amazing. I had anticipated a fairly warm day, but it was foggy and chilly when I arrived, and cool for much of my (slow) “run”. The course was about 75% shaded; I didn’t use sunscreen or a cap, and was OK. Compared to trail races organized by Brazen Racing or Coastal Trail Runs, 2018 RTTR was similarly challenging.

    Organization & Production: This was pretty frustrating for me, but first the good stuff. There were coffee and muffins in the check-in area before the race. I heard the coffee was not that great, though that may have been a matter of taste. The muffins were good – I enjoyed a half.

    The course was reasonably well marked, and there were course marshals at each turn. The aid station was water only, and positioned where the outbound course rejoined the road. Thus, runners went past the aid station twice, with about a mile between passings or pauses. The aid station was well staffed, and still had plenty of water for walkers like me (much appreciated!).

    Onward and downward …

    Check-in was backed up, with long lines for most of checkers in, and delaying the start of over 20 minutes. According to an email I received from the RD they had nearly double the number of runners as last year, many doing race day registration. They were overwhelmed, and the limited space in their check-in and registration area probably precluded throwing in more people. My shirt size was not available and would need to be mailed later. I’ll take blame for that, as I registered fairly late. But when I arrived, soon after check-in started, the volunteers took a while to realize I had no shirt and have me write my address on a check-in list.

    There were too few portacans – they had seven, but probably needed double that. The result was a really long line for those doing their pre-race ritual. This and the slow check-in delayed the start of the race. This also was affected by the much greater turn-out.

    Prior to the 10K there was a 1 mile race for young children, using the loop through the maintenance area. Very cool! But, 10K runners were allowed into the 10K start area when at least three children were still on-course. They passed through safely (and were cheered), but someone lost track of who was still on the 1 mile course.

    To me, in this Internet age of road and trail runs, a course map and (if not fairly flat) an elevation profile should be part of every race’s website. There was a map on RTTR’s website that looked like the same course as the 2016 course. But no elevation profile; something I confirmed in an email exchange. Having done RTTR in 2016, I decided to register for 2018, the 50th running. It was a different course than in 2016, and I’m pretty sure not the course on the website and on-site map. The actual course was more challenging than that of 2016, to the degree that had I seen an elevation profile of the actual course I probably would not have registered to do RTTR. I also paced myself too aggressively early on for my abilities and the actual course. My limitations are my responsibility, but a correct elevation profile is essential for planning.

    This is a minor thing, but the aid station volunteers were inexperienced. That is not unusual, but they had not been told how to set up their trash bag holders. I described it for them, and when I came through on my return leg they had done it.

    Near the finish, when I went through, there was a place with runner-vehicle cross traffic. Maybe it was different for the faster runners but late in the race vehicles going to and from a parking area crossed the course. One runner mentioned having to wait for several vehicles to cross in front of her. I doubt any of the slower runners cared about being slowed by several seconds (see below), but this was a safety faux pas.

    When I finished I could see the timing mats had been removed, and I know there were 5 or more runners on the course behind me. When I looked at the race results webpage, it listed people who finished later than I did, but I wasn’t the list . I emailed the organizer, hoping for elucidation. He was very helpful, and learned from the timing people that there had been a problem toward the end of the race with their automated finish time logging. They had recorded people’s finish times manually, and in transcribing people and times from ther manual log to their results page I had been missed. So what I originally thought was an issue with the race was a glitch transcribing results from the timer’s back-up timing system. And a good RD handling issues well!

    Soon after I received my finisher’s medal I heard the volunteers discussing that they had just two more medals, and that the box with extra medals had already been taken to be packed. Several of the participants coming after me would have to wait for their finisher’s medals to be mailed to them. Even the best organizer occasionally has an unexpectedly large number of late registrants or part of a shipment of medals gets delayed, but packing away the medals when people are (or should be) known to be out on the course?

    When I finished the expo/recovery area was already partly packed up, with trucks in the area. I can sort of understand this if I’m the VERY last finisher, with significant time between me and the previous finisher (been there, done that, got a couple of those T-shirts), but when there are 5-10 people still out on the course?

    Hopefully these growing pains and new course issues will be ironed out for 2019.

    Bib: The bib is REALLY nice. Across the top on a sky blue stripe is “50th Race Thru the Redwoods” in Orange, black, and green block letters. The bottom 2.3 is a picture of a meadow surrounded by redwood trees, with the bib number in white.

    T-Shirt: I registered late and my size is not one of the more popular, so my shirt was sent to me by mail. It’s light gray, cotton-polyester (90%-10%). The printing is entirely in black. The picture in front is of tall redwood trees with mountains in the background and ferns in the foreground. The redwood trees are wearing running shoes. Written in front of the trees is “50th Annual Race Thru the Redwoods”, and below the trees the location and date. At the to of the back is “50th Annual Race Thru …” again and below that sponsors’ logos. Light gray isn’t a favorite color, but it works well for the all black printing. It probably won’t be a favorite, but that’s a matter of taste rather than quality. I definitely like the humor of trees with running shoes.

    Finisher’s Medal: 2018 was the first year RTTR had a finisher’s medal. I don’t know if this was just for 2018, the 50th running, or if this is something they will continue (they are considering it, per the RD). The medallion is a roughly triangular woodalion. It has cut-outs to resemble mountain peaks, and peaks and evergreen trees are pressed into the wood. In the center is a ~1 1/2 inch diameter metal disc showing several runners in motion, with the name of the race and “50th” around the outer rim. The ribbon is green, with “Race Thru the Redwoods 50th Anniversary” on one side, and “Finisher” on the other. Very nice!

    Finish & Recovery Area: I did not look around, for the reason mentioned above.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was and am frustrated by the 2018 RTTR. It’s a very beautiful course. The bib and finisher’s medal are excellent. I know from 2016 that RTTR can be and has been well organized, but 2018 showed improvement was needed (and in my communication with the RD, they are working on it). What I listed above are significant to one’s over-all race experience.

    Despite the course being more challenging than expected I’m pretty happy with my finish time (and that I finished at all!). It showed me my capabilities are better than I thought, not at all bad news.

    As I mentioned a couple of times, the RD was responsive to my emails. He mentioned that they had ~75% more runners in 2018 than in 2017, many of them registering on race day. They were overwhelmed. They are looking at ways to improve over 2018. While the significant areas needing improvement are concerning, I will consider Race Thru the Redwoods in the future. The RD and my 2016 experience encourages hope that needed improvements are forthcoming.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    IRun2live FIRST-TIMER '16

    The race inexpensive, but i would rather pay $5 - $10 more to get a medal. There was no medal. That said, the race was fun and the course not MORE

    The race inexpensive, but i would rather pay $5 – $10 more to get a medal. There was no medal. That said, the race was fun and the course not too hard..

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '16

    Event & Course Description: Race Thru the Redwoods is a locally organized race that benefits the local high school track program and local charities. The course is an out-and-back that … MORE

    Event & Course Description:
    Race Thru the Redwoods is a locally organized race that benefits the local high school track program and local charities. The course is an out-and-back that starts and ends near the entrance of Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. The course takes runners into the stand of redwoods from which the park is named – sometimes splitting for the purpose of traffic control. The course is about 60% paved access roads, 40% hiking and horse trails. It is generally uphill outward bound and downhill inward bound, with a fairly steep .8 mile hill climb right around the midpoint of the 10 Km. Other than some of the first mile (which is not repeated at the finish), the course is almost entirely shaded.

    Organization & Production:
    RTTR is a really well done (2016 was the 48th annual, so they’ve had a bit of practice!) basic race to benefit local charities. Though a bit of updating is needed, the website information is complete, including a satellite view course map (nice for checking sun exposure and shade) with an elevation profile. Online Registration was easy, the confirmation & Receipt being sent by email (pretty normal nowadays). No pre-race email was sent, but the information on the website is sufficient to get some one to the race venue without trouble..

    Bib pick-up was race day only and very smooth. Park entry and parking were free, and the latter ample. The start/finish area is a picnic area, with lots of tables for organizational stuff and people to rest. There were snacks and water available before and after the race, including bananas and granola bars.

    There was one well stocked water-only aid station close to the half-way point of the 10K, which runners pass twice. I think I was the last to stop there, and they had enough water to refill my water bottle and to spare. T-shirt pick-up was after finishing, which made me nervous (I’m SLOW). But I received the last T-shirt in my size, with the finishers after me probably wanting other sizes.

    Swag & Goodies:
    Bib: Plain white, black bib number. The timing “chip” is attached to the back. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. And entirely adequate.

    T-Shirt: The race Tee-shirt is olive green (or light FOREST green) cotton, printed in black or dark brown. The front features runners coursing through a stand of redwood trees, with the name of the race, date, and location below them. The back has the name of the race, a logo of evergreen trees, and the date, with sponsors’ logos beneath. Very nice!

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    The course for the RTTR is fairly challenging, generally uphill for much of the outbound direction, with ~.8 mile being a really steep hill. All in all I’m pretty happy with my time of ~7 minutes under 2 hours.

    The organization was basic, low key, and very well done. It let runners focus on running their race and appreciating the beauty of a stunning redwood forest and a creek with a couple of wooden bridges. I would definitely do Race Thru the Redwoods again, and if I skip it in 2017, I definitely want to do it in 2018, its 50th running.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '15

    Tough 10k course through the beautiful redwoods in Felton, CA. T-shirts, water bottles, and a small breakfast at the end. 300 foot climb between miles 2.0 and 3.5. Watch for … MORE

    Tough 10k course through the beautiful redwoods in Felton, CA. T-shirts, water bottles, and a small breakfast at the end. 300 foot climb between miles 2.0 and 3.5. Watch for tree roots on course. Saw a couple people fall.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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