Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
4.3
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.8
Race to the End of Summer is a family friendly event with a distance for everyone! This event features a 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and a free kids fun run! The event starts in front of the Silver Creek Sportsplex in South San Jose, and the 5K, 10K and Half … MORE
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Recent reviews

    jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Starting in Hellyer Park, San Jose, parking was easy. the start line area was spacious. the course was mostly flat with very gentle rolling bumps (not hills) along a tree … MORE

    Starting in Hellyer Park, San Jose, parking was easy. the start line area was spacious. the course was mostly flat with very gentle rolling bumps (not hills) along a tree lined creek. Even though the course is out and back, it seems like a new set of views opens up so it doesn’t feel repetitive. the mile markers were spot on, and as the 2:00 pacer, I appreciated that! the Medal was really nice, as was the race shirt. very good quality. post race there were bagels and a delicious blueberry coffee cake. the Vibe of the runners was very supportive. this seems like a great place to do your first half.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA Sep 06, 2018 at 1:24pm

    All things considered, I'm glad the start/finish for this is in Hellyer Park instead of on Embedded Way (as it was in 2015). It's nicer than the first and last… MORE

    All things considered, I'm glad the start/finish for this is in Hellyer Park instead of on Embedded Way (as it was in 2015). It's nicer than the first and last mile being on streets or using a narrow path from the start onto the trail, which is a bottleneck. Glad to hear JEMS is still doing this race well. LESS

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    Angela FIRST-TIMER '16

    I ran this race because I wanted to run a 10K and a half leading up CIM, and I especially liked the idea of running a short race early-on to … MORE

    I ran this race because I wanted to run a 10K and a half leading up CIM, and I especially liked the idea of running a short race early-on to get a sense of where my fitness is. I went with this one because a) it fell in the right time frame, b) it was (relatively) close, and c) it was pretty flat with few turns.

    There was a 5K, 10K, and half, with the start & finish for all three races was on Embedded Way, which dead ends right between NexTest & the Silver Creek Sports Complex. Most of the staging was set up towards the dead end. This was a pretty tiny local race (Half Marathon – 149 finishers, 10K – 131 finishers, 5K – 159 finishers), so staging consisted of the start/finish line, a handful of sponsor tents, & maybe half a dozen port-a-potties (which was plenty). You can still sign up or change distances at packet pickup (Friday or Saturday), but there is no race day registration (or packet pickup). You can run the 10K for $35-40 if you get in early; in the modern world of race fees, I count that as pretty reasonable. Note well, though–there was no race day bib/shirt pickup. You had to get it either in Sunnyvale on Friday or Saturday in San Jose.

    No gear check but parking is just a few minutes’ walk away so it wasn’t really needed. Speaking of parking, there was loads of it available at both NextTest and SnapOn, neither of which were very far from the start/finish. (I was also grateful that they had volunteers standing out in front of the driveway waving flags because I might have missed it otherwise.)

    All three courses began the same way–heading south on Hellyer, then right on Fontanoso (which kind of curves south and then east again), then another right to head west on Silver Creek Road, then jump onto Coyote Creek Trail just past the 1-mile mark. From there, the 5K & 10K were both out-and-backs along the trail/roads. The half course did something very windy & convoluted, going out & back on the trail for a while & then a whole bunch of other places (?) before heading back to Embedded Way.

    I can’t speak for the half course, but I thought this was a pretty decent 5K/10K course. The local roads we ran on were closed to cars, wide, very nearly flat, and very smoothly paved. There wasn’t much shade on that part, but it was only the 1st & last miles so I didn’t mind it much. Coyote Creek Trail is fairly narrow, but after a mile of running, people were pretty spread out so it was never an issue, even with people coming back in the other direction. There were a couple of little dips & short inclines, but I would still call this course pretty flat. The paving was smooth and, best of all, the trail was almost completely shaded, which makes SUCH a difference when it’s full sun. The only iffy part of the whole thing was the spot where you jump on to the trail head from Silver Creek Road; the ground was a bit chewed up & rocky there so I’m glad I knew about it ahead of time because you really do have to watch your feet if you’re moving quickly. (It was maybe 10 yards total.) I didn’t use them but there were aid stations maybe every 1.5 miles or so with photographers & cheering volunteers.

    Swag included a logo cotton blend T & pretty nice spinner medal. (The website said tech T, so not sure what happened there. Not that I care either way as I have an entire bag of old race shirts in my basement that are getting turned into rags or donated.) There were prizes for 1st, 2nd, & 3rd male & female at each distance (Coming in 2nd, I got a $25 gift certificate to Sports Basement, and I think the 1st place winners also got something extra, but no idea if the amounts were different.) Also I noticed while writing this that the website said 1st place winners in each age group were also supposed to get some kind of prize, but I didn’t know that at the race so whatever it was, I missed it. Oops.

    Things to Know:
    * It’s San Jose in the summer. The races start early enough & there’s enough shade on the course that it might be totally comfortable, but there is always the potential for a warmish race.
    * No race day packet pickup. This is a complete mystery to me given how tiny the race was, and if you live 50+ miles from the closest pickup site, it’s inconvenient.
    * They are serious about those start times! Don’t get carried away on your warm-up/pity party.

    You never know what you’re going to get with small local races, particularly charity races, but I thought this event was very well organized and well run, and the 5K/10K courses were quite nice (with the exception of the one little chewed-up rocky place). Probably not *the* fastest courses in the history of ever, but plenty reasonable for running a good, solid time, and reasonably priced considering what has happened to road race prices in the last 10 years. (And if you’re into medals, there is a really nice one for all three distances.) I had a great time and would certainly recommend this event to a local looking for either a fun run or a solid fitness gauge.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '15

    Course description: The Race to the End of Summer uses Embedded Way, by the Silver Creek Sportsplex, a southeast San Jose cul-de-sac street, for its start/finish area. The half marathon … MORE

    Course description:
    The Race to the End of Summer uses Embedded Way, by the Silver Creek Sportsplex, a southeast San Jose cul-de-sac street, for its start/finish area. The half marathon course is a double-legged out-and-back. From Embedded Way, all runners go out onto Hellyer Avenue, turn onto Fontanoso Way, onto Silver Creek Valley Road, and then to the Coyote Creek Trail. This is approximately 1 mile, and is also the final mile of all distances. All runners then turn right onto the asphalt paved Coyote Creek Trail, toward Hellyer Park. The 5K turn-around is in about half a mile, and the 10K turn-around is about a mile and a half beyond that, almost to Hellyer Park. The 5K and 10K are single-leg out-and-back. Runners doing the half go into Hellyer Park and circle the lake instead of a turn-around. The half then goes back, past the trail entry point, and proceeds on the second out-and-back leg, turning around close to Metcalf Road and going back to the trail entry point and Embedded Way.

    The Coyote Creek Trail is generally pleasant, though not as beautiful as many trail courses in parks farther from urban-suburban areas. On the other hand, I find it a lot more beautiful than the street courses of the several races run in San Jose. The trail isn’t flat, but there aren’t any “real” hills. Parts of the trail have trees, the creek, and hills on either side, some have the creek on one side and modern industrial buildings on the other. Parts of the course are near and even go under US Highway 101. Traffic noise can be quite noticeable, so I recommend music and ear buds for races on this trail. This year, 2015, has been a drought year. The lake in Hellyer Park was almost dry, with several large puddles (and a few wading egrets). I did a Turkey Trot that started/finished in Hellyer Park, and the lake is very pretty when it has water in it. I also saw along parts of the course a fair number of small trees that were dead. While not plentiful enough to spoil the appearance of those parts of the course, they were noticeable. Needless to say, JEMS Racing cannot control the weather. If Winter 2015-2016 is as wet as some hope, the lake may be full in 2016 (and, consequently, would be very pretty), and the course much greener.

    Organization & Production:
    Online registration was quite smooth, and pre-race instructions came by email early in the week of the race. There was no race-day packet pick-up, but there were three pick-up days pre-race: Thursday (which I did) and Friday pick-up at the M8trix Casino near where US Highway 101 and First Street cross, and Saturday at the Silver Creek Sportsplex. Access from and getting back onto freeways (I-880 is nearby) were easy. Pick-up was in a small banquet room, with separate tables for getting one’s bib, T-shirt, and swag bag. It was smooth and quick, maybe 20 minutes from riding the elevator up to the room to getting back into my car.

    On race day there was free parking at two nearby businesses. The walk from where I parked to the start/finish area was maybe a quarter mile. I arrived before the volunteers were out to direct traffic (they weren’t late, I was early), but there were signs in place indicating where to park.

    The start/finish area was simple and functional. There were 18 porta-cans at the end of the cul-de-sac (2 of them handicap accessible), plus two hand-washing stations. These were also easily accessible from the course, being passed twice by all runners. Between the 7AM start for the half marathon and my slow pace, I can’t say whether the 18 porta-cans were adequate at peak usage times. The start/finish area was bounded by barriers and tables for the timing station and various vendors.

    Besides sensing runners’ start and finish times, there were timed splits near the 10K turn-around and half-marathoners’ turn-around. There were a LOT of aid stations! They were basic – water and sports drink – for 10K and 5K runners; some stations along the half-marathon out-and-back leg also had GU gel packets. This is more basic than some SF Bay Area trail races, but is similar to aid stations at large street races. There were mile markers for every mile.

    I was among the last to finish. So most of the people in the finish area by then were volunteers, but they were very encouraging. After receiving the finisher’s medal another volunteer handed me a chilled bottle of water. As best I could tell, all (or almost all) the finish area goodies were still available, and the chiropractic people were still available.

    It seemed like volunteers were EVERYWHERE! The course was well marked, but there were volunteers along the course to cheer on runners and keep them on-course. Some were very cheery (especially two young ladies near Hellyer Park), some were possibly a bit out of their comfort zone. But all were helpful and encouraging, especially those at aid stations.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The T-shirt is attractive, if not spectacular. It’s cherry red, tech type, with the JEMS Racing logo and race name on the front. The back has the name of the race and the usual sponsors’ logos … but no date. According to the website, all runners received the same T-shirt; this is nice, as many races reserve tech-type T-shirts for half and full marathon runners. While the bibs are not personalized, the half marathon bibs were different from those of the 10K and 5K.

    Finishers of all distances received finishers’ medals. I didn’t see the medals received by 10K and 5K runners, but the half marathon finisher’s medal specifies the distance. The medal is a heavy polished rectangular bottle-opener type, with a spinner with the JEMS Racing logo. The name of the race is above the spinner, and the date and distance are below the spinner. Very impressive!

    As mentioned above, aid stations were basic – water and sports drink on the first out-and-back leg used by all distances, and GU gel at some aid stations on the second out-and-back leg (used only by half marathon runners). Finish area food was not as varied as many trail races, but was as or more so than some large road races. I noticed bananas and oranges, blueberry coffee cake, quinoa chips (a race sponsor), and bagels with cream cheese or peanut butter for spreads. Besides the water given at the finish line, there were also chocolate milk and a chocolate-flavored coconut water beverage. And as I mentioned, there was still plenty when the last finishers crossed.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    I had strained a calf muscle a week and a half before, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish. I started carefully, realized 3 or 4 miles in that I was doing fine, and settled into a brisk but not aggressive walk. I finished a little over 3:40, slower than my usual for that sort of course, but at the start I wondered if I could finish under 4 hours.

    All in all the Race to the End of Summer was a very pleasant, well-organized and run race. It’s family friendly (I saw an 8 or 10 year-old young lady doing the 10K) and “accessible” to runners new to races or who do races very occasionally. There are some very good race organizers in the SF Bay Area, and while the Race to the End of Summer is toward the upper end in registration fee, it is among the simpler in its aid stations, though a little more varied in finish area goodies. I should mention, however, that part of race proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

    What improvements might be done at low-moderate expense? Adding the race date to the T-shirt would be good (assuming the omission was not accidental). Offering GU gel (or a similar product) near the 10K turn-around would be good, and appropriate for the distance and (usually) warm weather. GU is not a sponsor, but Sports Basement is, so perhaps this could be arranged with them. Another pleasant addition that would not be too expensive might be to offer trail mix, chips, and some sort of candy (e.g. peanut M & Ms or Skittles) at half marathon aid stations (and maybe at the 10K turn-around). Having these in the finish area would be a not too expensive upgrade, perhaps with one or two varieties of cookie as well.

    One thing I think would be good to add to JEMS’ Race Info page for the Race to the End of Summer and to the pre-race instructions is a strongly emphasized request that racers not drop empty cups, gel packets, etc. along the course other than trash container near-misses. Trail runners are typically much more careful not to litter, but while not extreme, I saw more empty gel packets and cups along the course (and picked up several) than I’ve seen in other trail races. This could improve runners’ race experience as well as JEMS’ relationship with the parks organization that maintains the trail. Another thing JEMS could do is ask aid station volunteers to go, late in the race, 50-100 yards on either side of their station and pick up litter they see, even if it isn’t from their race.

    The bottom line question, would I do the Race to the End of Summer again? Yes. I would, and am considering doing it again next year. Most of the race organizers in the SF focus on challenging hill trail races, though two have a few races on flatter trails (including the Coyote Creek Trail). While hill trail races have more beautiful courses, they are challenging, not very “accessible” to new and occasional racers or to road/street runners. JEMS’ races – three races, currently – fit in a not very full niche. While their Mardi Gras Madness 5K has San Jose streets for its course, the other two use the Coyote Creek Trail (but are not identical), in the three common distances.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '14

    i had heard of this race the past several years, but was never able to run it due to scheduling conflicts. thankfully, i was in town and able to participate … MORE

    i had heard of this race the past several years, but was never able to run it due to scheduling conflicts. thankfully, i was in town and able to participate this year. my friend had clued me in on the 50% off one day special on august 1st, 2014 to boot!

    for this event, participants had 3 distances to choose from:
    half marathon (13.1 miles)
    10k (6.2 miles)
    5k (3.1 miles)

    i chose the 10k since i had been running a lot of haffies this summer and wanted to take a break from the longer distances.

    the pros:
    +MEDIUM-SIZED event with less than 900 total finishers between the 3 events
    +BIB AND PACKET pickup thurs, fri before the race at m8trix casino and sat at silvercreek sports plex, the latter of which was right by the race site.
    +FREE PARKING at nextest and snapon corporate parking areas which were just a few minutes walk from the start line.
    +CLEAR MILE MARKER signage at every mile, including which markers for which of the 3 distances so that we would not be confused. also clear signage for the 5k and 10k turnaround so that we would not run longer than the specified distance!
    +ACCURATE distance, at least for the 10k, since i got 6.2 miles on my garmin! it’s pretty rare for me to run a race with the exact distance so kudos to the organizers for getting it spot on!
    +VARIETY OF POST-RACE REFRESHMENTS, which included bagels, peanut butter, cream cheese, bananas, trail mix, KIND bars, coffee cake, chocolate milk, and pure protein bars.
    -LOTS OF FRIENDLY VOLUNTEERS assisting with bib pickup and registration pre-race, manning the aid stations on the course, directing traffic (especially on some potentially confusing turns) and handing out medals and bottled water at the finish line.
    -REGISTRATION FEE only $22.50 for 10k since i signed up on the 50% off special day!
    -UNIQUE FINISHER’S MEDAL for 10k and 5k finishers. haffie finishers received a very large medal which was really cool!
    -LOTS of SCHWAG at the race expo, including emergen-c packets, advil, lara bars, healthy tortilla chips, and honey stinger waffles. not to mention the blue draw string bag to hold your bib, race tshirt and other goodies!
    -DRI-FIT SHIRT with the “RTTEOS” logo

    the cons:
    -not enough porta potties at the start line. i counted exactly 16 in the 2 rows near the start, and while i was able to snag one right away about 30 min before my race began, i did see that about 5 min before, the line was extremely long, to the point that i think anyone waiting in line and running the 10k would not have made it to the start on time!
    -on site volunteers sitting near the start/finish were not helpful. i asked where exactly the start line was since it was not obvious to me, and 2 of the volunteers sitting at the “volunteer” tent had no clue! not good!
    -not really an ideal “pr” course since this course has many rolling hills. my pace definitely slowed down after the halfway point since i felt like i was running mostly uphill from miles 4 to the end.
    -course was not that interesting nor scenic despite being on the coyote creek trail

    overall, i think this was a well-organized local event and i enjoyed running a new trail in san jose that i’d never run before. i would definitely sign up for this race again next year and maybe try the half distance.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    4

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