Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
4.8
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.3
SCENERY
4.8
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
4.5
Ramble like a Rattlesnake at China Camp State Park in San Rafael! All participants receive epic views, awesome trails, adventure, a Rattlesnake Ramble technical tee, an awesome Rattlesnake Ramble medal, on course fuel/water/electrolye drink, post-run BEER from Standard Deviant Brewing Company, Hint Water, tons of post-race snacks, post-run massage from … MORE
Local Weather (Feb 24)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 54 55 54 69 65
L (°F) 43 37 37 49 46
Powered by Dark Sky

Recent reviews

    Solupia FIRST-TIMER '16

    This is my very first Sasquatch Racing series. There are 5 of them throughout the year, with each each held at different part of San Francisco Bay Area. It provides … MORE

    This is my very first Sasquatch Racing series. There are 5 of them throughout the year, with each each held at different part of San Francisco Bay Area. It provides a great opportunity for people to explore new trail to run on.

    Difficulty (3/5) :
    The half marathon course is a loop around the lake with some hills. Because of the nature of trail race and some elevation change, I give it an average rating for difficulty. Generally speaking, this course is fairly straightforward and a great one for beginners to ease into a hilly course. The trails are wide and have lots of room for maneuver make it fairly easy to race on.

    Scenery (4/5):
    Rattlesnake Ramble is held at Lake Chabot Regional Park in Castro Valley, which provides a beautiful setting for a fun trail run. Here we have oak woodland adjacent to a reservoir. The combination of land and water always gives viewer a sense of tranquility. It makes the run a lot more relaxing.

    Production (4/5):
    The race is well organized. The course is marked with ribbons and flour on the ground. There are volunteers on the course to point you the right direction. There’s course cheat sheet for everyone to run with. Do grab one, because you may get confused when you run past a minor trail that’s not marked. (What I really mean is that not every intersection is marked with ribbons, some minor diverging trails are ignored. As a runner’s perspective, I prefer no room for discrepancy. )

    Race Swag (4/5):
    For all finishers, you receive a T-shirt and finisher medallion. Half marathon finisher medal is also functional as a bottle opener. There’s post-race beer and raffle. The coolest of all about Sasquatch Racing is that you get to play treasure hunt throughout the course. There are hidden wooden medallions that can be exchanged for special prizes. I really like that, thought I failed to find any because I was too busy competing. The reason I didn’t give a full score for swag was because I registered late online and they ran out of small and medium size T-shirt. Beside that, if you are a competitive runner, do not expect any age-group or overall winner award. This is straightly family-fun treasure hunt trail racing. That was a bummer for me because I got second overall.

    Still, the experience is positive and I would highly recommend this race to anyone. Just bring a positive attitude and hope for a little luck to find some treasures to bring home with.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    brittanyjstroup FIRST-TIMER '16

    There and back course, we turned right after the bridge which is all uphill at a pretty steep grade. Definitely a tough course if you do not train on hills. … MORE

    There and back course, we turned right after the bridge which is all uphill at a pretty steep grade. Definitely a tough course if you do not train on hills. Very scenic. Only had one aid station at the top of the hill, I could have used one more aid stop. I went through more water than anticipated.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '16

    Course Description: Describing the Rattlesnake Ramble half marathon course is “easy”. Runners of the half started near the marina, circled Lake Chabot clockwise, and finished near the marina. The first … MORE

    Course Description:
    Describing the Rattlesnake Ramble half marathon course is “easy”. Runners of the half started near the marina, circled Lake Chabot clockwise, and finished near the marina. The first couple of miles were along the eastern shore of the lake, with some gently rolling hills. The course then crossed the dam, and started climbing into the hills west of the lake. There were two major hills, with lots of rolling before, in between, and after. And then, just when a runner thinks (s)he’s safe, there was a quarter-mile-long steep hill, just to remind runners to hate steep hills near the end of a race. The last mile (and a half?) was again along the lake, on the western side.

    About 4 miles of the course is paved, with the rest on dirt trails. The weather was sunny and warm in 2016, and had been dry for several days. So there were a good number of muddy areas, and quite a few stretches that were very rutted from rain run-off. There was one overlook about mid-course, with a view of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge and the San Francisco skyline behind. It’s a really beautiful course!

    The 5K and 10K courses use the latter part of the half marathon course, out-and-back, running up the western shore of the lake. The 5K is almost entirely paved, fairly flat. The 10K went up into the hills.

    Organization & Production:
    As I’m becoming familiar with various local organizers, I’m finding that they all have their own personality, and try to do/be different things. In my perception Sasquatch Racing tries to be – and succeeds – well organized but low key and relaxed.

    Between Sasquatch’s website and Facebook page their information for people interested in their race is pretty complete. Registration was easy. Pre-race communications and instructions were good and helpful.

    I’m nervous about being late to venues with which I’m not familiar. I don’t want a missed turn or full parking lot to cause time stress. On top of that, Superbowl 50 was in Santa Clara, so the possibility of traffic was an additional concern for me. Consequently, I got to the park a little after 6AM, probably the first to arrive for the race. I think Sasquatch people and volunteers started arriving after 6:30. With race day bib pick-up starting at 7:30, and the regular half marathon start being at 9:15, being able to arrive a little later was a convenience for all concerned. Check-in was easy and quick; I don’t think the parking lots were ever full. The park has several restroom facilities, adequate for the size of the race without portacans.

    In addition to the normal half marathon start there was a “hikers” start half an hour earlier. It was not timed electronically or by gun time, and finish times for the hikers were referenced to the regular start gun time. Due to small variations in the two start times, my official “finish” time was off, after correcting for the 30 minutes offset, by about a minute and a half. I normally time myself by my own watch – usually not as precise as the organizers’ timing system, obviously – so I know what my actual time was. The regular start times for the three distances were chip timed, start and finish. Preliminary results were posted online and notification emails sent to runners less than 24 hours after the last half marathoner finished.

    Generally, the course was well marked and runners received a “cheat sheet” turn by turn course description. There were a couple of points at which I went off course briefly. One was due to a confusing placement of a turn marker at a place on the 10K course, probably because of it being out-and-back. The other was an unmarked fork at a bridge, where the correct choice (the bridge) looked less likely. In both cases course monitors got me back on course quickly. Had I read that part of the “cheat sheet” I probably would have stayed on course – mea goofa. There were no mile markers. The first two aid stations on the half course were at about miles 4 and 8. Runners are advised of this in the pre-race instructions email, and are advised to carry water. The aid stations were well stocked even to the very end, as were the finish area goodies.

    One of the unique things Sasquatch Racing does is they have a sort of scavenger hunt along their courses. They place “woodalions” left over from previous races, painted bright green and marked with various prizes, along the course. I found one, and the prize was a free 10K or half marathon entry for a Sasquatch race. Nice!

    Swag & Goodies:
    All runners received a tech T-shirt. The lower left of the front features a large rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Diagonally across the top is the name of the race, and the distances and year just below. On the back and on the sleeves are logos of the organizer and sponsors. All the writing and graphics are in silver. I can remember two colors of men’s shirts (dark blue and gray), and two colors of women’s shirts (pink and blue). With the men’s shirts at least, the two colors represented two sizes. All in all, it’s a very nice race T-shirt.

    The bibs are not personalized, but are otherwise quite nice. With a variegated dark green background, the bib gives the name of the race, the distances, the coiled rattlesnake race logo, the bib number, and several sponsors’ logos. A colored Sharpie was used in the last digit to distinguish distances (e.g. red = half marathon).

    The finisher’s medal for the half marathon is a roughly oval bottle opener. It has a silver border, a black background, and a nicely detailed rattlesnake head in silver in the center. Across the top in black is “RAMBLED”; at the bottom left in raised silver is “13.1”. The ribbon is black, with snake heads near the medallion, the race name and date at the part of the loop opposite the medallion, and “Snake, Rattle, and Roll!” on one side, and “Don’t Tread On Me” on the other. Very! Nice!

    10K and 5K finishers received a circular “woodallion”, laser-scribed with the snake head, with the race name around the top, and the date at “4 O’clock” under the snake’s tongue. Instead of a ribbon the “woodallion” is hung on a braided cord. From the pictures I’ve seen it looks really nice.

    The aid stations offered water, sports drink, cut up bananas, sectioned oranges, and GU gel packets (that I can remember), and very encouraging, helpful volunteers. I didn’t graze around the finish area much, but with my finisher’s medal I was also given a Hint water and a paper lunch sack with a bag of barbecue flavored Kettle Chips and some M & Ms. There were also two kegs with beer from a local microbrewery (I’m unqualified to say whether the type of beer I had was good or not; it was very flavorful and reasonably refreshing).

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    Rattlesnake Ramble’s half marathon course was fairly challenging, and it was a warm day (in February!). All in all I was and am happy with my finish time.

    Sasquatch Racing (at this point at least) is focused on organizing small low key trail races in pleasant but challenging venues. It’s tempting to say they did some things simply, but, thinking on it, that would be incorrect. Everything they do is at least a bit nicer than I’ve seen done basically in various races. About the only things I’d have like to have seen would have been a chip timed hiker’s start, and mile markers. Stand-outs for me were the very nice T-shirt and finisher’s medal, the finish area goodies, and the very friendly and encouraging volunteers and staff (frankly, I’ll take nice staff and volunteers over nice swag and goodies every time; Sasquatch had both!).

    Would I do the Rattlesnake Ramble again? I’d certainly consider it. Would I do another Sasquatch race? I had already planned on doing the Sasquatch Scramble in a couple of months, and my experience confirmed that plan. The free entry is a pleasant bonus, not a decision maker.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5
    My Media

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
    susiehurrey FIRST-TIMER '16

    A very nice small race in a gorgeous spot! The 5k distance is mostly flat along the paved trail around part of the lake, with plenty of nice views. The … MORE

    A very nice small race in a gorgeous spot! The 5k distance is mostly flat along the paved trail around part of the lake, with plenty of nice views. The 10k and 1/2 get hiller though! I loved the later start time, giving us plenty of time to get up, eat, and get to the race. Each race started with a guided dynamic warm-up! As for SWAG, I was lucky to get on the massage list early, and had the most amazing experience as they took their time, but the list was long and I’m sure many people didn’t get theirs. The yogurt was a nice touch, and though it felt weird having a beer at 10:30am after having just gone for a run, having lots of other folks doing the same made it work (turns out a stout on an almost empty stomach goes a LONG way)! This was a kid friendly event, my 8 year old did great, but they don’t have kid size shirts. This is a very popular area, so there were a lot of other folks using the trails, and most were very considerate. Unfortunately, it will take at least a day to get my official time and there’s no info on what qualifies as winners or what they might get.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    Was this review helpful?

    Please login to reply to this review.

     
  1. Races
  2. Rattlesnake Ramble