Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
3.7
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.3
The Race to the Flagpole is a community oriented race through beautiful wine country in Livermore, California. The event is organized by the Livermore Granada Boosters, a local organization that has been celebrating the excellence of scholar athletes in Livermore since 1949. This is the Livermore Granada Booster’s main fundraiser … MORE
Local Weather (Nov 10)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 73 64 73 57 72
L (°F) 43 52 53 44 50
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    mrl9117 FIRST-TIMER '17

    This race was very smooth and a lot of fun, and definitely a family affair for many. It was really scenic and bib pickup morning-of was very easy. I wasn't … MORE

    This race was very smooth and a lot of fun, and definitely a family affair for many. It was really scenic and bib pickup morning-of was very easy. I wasn’t the typical demographic of the race — I was the first (of only three) women 20-29 to finish at a time of almost 32 minutes.

    It seemed to be more of a social event for some of the older kids (early teens and on) who were there, and on a few occasions, groups were walking across the whole path, and there were perhaps more of those start-and-stop runners (as opposed to those who go at a steady pace) than most. This might’ve been exacerbated by slightly narrower paths in certain parts. That being said, it’s a fun community race and I plan on doing it again!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Aug 11, 2018 at 2:15pm

    I see they've discontinued the half marathon distance. I think the best part of that course was the 10K course, and if that's the same it's well worth doing. RTTF is definitely a low-key community race, though it was well done when I did it in 2015.

    Please login to reply to this review.

    mrl9117 Aug 11, 2018 at 10:44pm

    I didn't know there used to be a half-marathon! It definitely was a fun race, and I can imagine the 10K would be a good course -- it's pretty scenic out there. If I weren't doing another 10K less than a month before I'd consider doing it this year, but I'll probably stick to the 5 for 2018...since I have family out there it's an easy race to get to, so maybe I'll go for the 10 in 2019!!

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '15

    Course Description: The course for the Race to the Flagpole half marathon is about 45% an out-and-back, which only runners of the half did, and about 45% the 10K course. … MORE

    Course Description:
    The course for the Race to the Flagpole half marathon is about 45% an out-and-back, which only runners of the half did, and about 45% the 10K course. The start and finish areas are in Livermore’s Independence Park, and all runners do the same first and last 3/4 mile or so.

    On leaving Independence Park runners follow a trail that takes them to Sycamore Grove Park. 10K runners enter it for their run, while half marathon runners pass it by, taking trails paralleling various roads through hundreds of acres of vineyards, up into the hills east of Livermore. The trail is twofold – paved trail paralleled by packed dirt trail (used by horses, so watch for equine “landmines”). “Up into hills” means climbing. None are super steep, but it’s 2-3 miles of mostly uphill, with some short flat or downhill stretches between individual hills. And then back down again, turning into Sycamore Grove Park to do the 10K course.

    The 10K course is an elongated figure-8 using Sycamore Grove Park trails. These run past vineyards, through oak, eucalyptus, and (surprise!) sycamore groves, past an olive orchard, alongside and over a creek. For my taste, this part of the half marathon – the 10K course – was the more beautiful part of a generally beautiful course. Most of the trail was access road for park rangers, with perhaps 3/4 of a mile of paved trail (much of which had a packed dirt shoulder). The terrain is mostly gently rolling, with one short hill well worth calling a hill.

    Organization & Production:
    * Overall, race organization and production were very well done. There were aspects that could be improved, and aspects that were nicer than I expected from a small, local, charity race (two Livermore area high schools’ athletic programs).

    * Easy registration with no service fee tacked onto the registration price; this fee doesn’t bother me, as the registration site is providing a service and earns a reasonable fee, but it is nice for budget planning.

    * Speaking of budget, the $45 registration fee is really low!

    * This was the first race I’ve been in (more than 30) that did not send a race instructions email. Much of what is typically in such emails – parking, check-in – was on the mail-in registration form, but I registered online. I didn’t find it until the day before the race. Race instructions can be an email or a webpage, but if the latter, it should be easy to find.

    * The course maps are a bit klutzy, a map of the out-and-back section of half marathon, and a map for the 10K, with text showing where half runners go onto the 10K course. Not very user-friendly. There were no elevation profile charts.

    * Come race day … parking was free. The lot got pretty full half or a full hour before start time.

    * Packet pick-up was race day only, and getting bibs and T-shirts were separate steps. Both were quick for me, and I didn’t see a line for either.

    * There was a color guard from the local VFW post and a singer who led the “Star Spangled Banner”.

    * Both start and finish were chip-timed.

    * Course marking was OK. There were quite a few stationary course monitors, and quite a few, very helpful, monitors on bicycle. Going astray required being inattentive (which I was at one point; I was corrected within 20 yards by a nearby monitor). A few chalk markings or traffic cones to indicate, “Don’t go this way,” would be good in future runnings of this race.

    * Aid stations were water only, and there were quite a few. I probably passed water stations 8 times (some twice). I think I heard some sloshing sounds as I walked, somewhere around mile 10 or 11.

    * I was the last to finish the half, and when I did there were no food tables or food. On the other hand, well-laden food tables had been in the area before race start, and I had availed myself of some. Having food available to the very end would have been nice, but it was a small race, with only 54 doing the half marathon. So I have no problem with the lack of food tables at the very end.

    * By the time I finished they had also run out of finisher’s medals. The person in charge apologized profusely, explained, and got my bib number. I was told to expect a medal in the mail in 2-3 weeks. The reason they ran out was that they had received MANY more late and race day registrations than they had anticipated. I have no problem AT ALL with this consequence of a community supporting a charity race beyond the expectations of the race planners!

    Swag & Goodies:

    T-shirt: Light gray cotton T with the race logo (runners approaching a sycamore tree with an American flag in the background, very attractive), race name, year, and distances on the front, and sponsors’ logos on the back.

    Finisher’s medal: I looked at the finisher’s medal, briefly, before race start. It’s an off-the-shelf medallion with laurel leaves circling a center with a printed insert.

    Goodies: Before race start I saw coffee, bottled water, cut up bagels with cream cheese, muffins, fruit strips, cereal bars, cut up oranges, and uncut Fuji apples, that I can recall.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:

    Because there were no elevation profiles and I’m not familiar with the area I did not prepare for this race as I might have had I known it was fairly hilly. Just past mile 1 I saw far enough ahead to adjust how I was going to do the race. I throttled back a little and finished with a time that had me satisfied and appropriately tired.

    The 2015 Race to the Flagpole was mostly well-organized and had a beautiful course. My 4-shoe rating is well earned. For what it is, a smallish charity race, with better course maps, adding elevation profiles, and a little better course marking, I might rate it 5 shoes.

    I would consider doing the Race to the Flagpole again, and I would recommend it to friends. The 10K especially is a good intro to trail racing.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    42kCookie FIRST-TIMER '14

    Distance: Half Marathon + Easy sign up. + On the day packet pick up. + Low registration fees. + Medals for all finishers. + Beautiful course. + Multiple distances available. … MORE

    Distance: Half Marathon

    + Easy sign up.
    + On the day packet pick up.
    + Low registration fees.
    + Medals for all finishers.
    + Beautiful course.
    + Multiple distances available.

    – Not enough signage for the course.
    – No 1st, 2nd and 3rd in age group awards. (Not that I was Running for that but would have been nice).
    – Post Race refreshments kind of ”eh”. Dry Bagels, Apples and Oranges slices with Granola bars. NO BANANA!! 🙁

    I signed up for this last minute to pace with a friend that was Running for JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and really glad I did as the course was beautiful and a nice one to round off the season.
    I wasn’t Running for time but to prove to myself I can show restraint and not have to PR or place in my age group every time I run. Funny that even restraining myself from Running flat out ”balls to the wall” I still placed first in my age group and 3rd overall. Yahoo! This old shortie still has it.

    A great run that is fairly small in size, all of the volunteers were really nice and encouraging, especially the Ladies at around the 12 mile mark. A race I would consider doing again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
  1. Races
  2. Race to the Flagpole