Overall Rating
Overall Rating (7 Reviews)
4.3
(7 Ratings)(7 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.4
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.1
The course starts at the Marina and travels around the popular Lake Chabot reservoir and surrounding hills. Great course for first-time trail runners! (Distances are accurately measured using a Rolatape® surveyor’s measuring wheel.) Fully-stocked aid stations every 4-5 miles. You can expect fresh fruit, salty snacks, assorted candy, water, and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Non-technical, runnable, with some steep climbs, but overall "easy-ish" trail. Beautiful throughout. Most parts have hikers, dog walkers, and montain bikers, so it doesn't feel secluded. Another reason why it's … MORE

    Non-technical, runnable, with some steep climbs, but overall “easy-ish” trail. Beautiful throughout. Most parts have hikers, dog walkers, and montain bikers, so it doesn’t feel secluded. Another reason why it’s an ideal course for new trail runners. I felt perfectly fine running without a buddy. The race organization is the best! Volunteers awesome! Great food at finish. NOTE: this year’s event was moved to April. Check date for 2020

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    [email protected] Apr 24, 2019 at 5:59am

    Btw... it's not about swag when it comes to trail runs. You do get a race shirt and a beautiful finisher's medal. Difficulty level is more like a 1 for… MORE

    Btw... it's not about swag when it comes to trail runs. You do get a race shirt and a beautiful finisher's medal. Difficulty level is more like a 1 for an experienced trail runner. I am a flatlander with no hillwork training, so for me it was difficult. Very much worth the effort!!! LESS

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    Profile photo of Julia Croteau
    horseycentral FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was freaking tough. Ok my first 30k race and this was a tough trail run. Serious elevation gains of 2600 plus. Just when you think hill will end, it … MORE

    This was freaking tough. Ok my first 30k race and this was a tough trail run. Serious elevation gains of 2600 plus. Just when you think hill will end, it doesn’t. This is hard, I won’t lie. Scenery is beautiful and it was foggy at the start. Fantastic. I’m a runner, a mountain goat of sorts, I love trail running. Only a few things I’d change, you need medical personnel available, you are alone a lot on trail, something could happen and you are miles from a check point. The bling should be differentiated between race distance. More race marshalls should be there to just be aware of where racers are. Like I said, you are out there a lot alone. I did have fun and yes would do again

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '18

    Event & Course Description: SPASM Lake Chabot Trail Run (LCTR) is pretty much eponymous. It's a trail run at and around Lake Chabot, and the principal sponsor is South Bay … MORE

    Event & Course Description: SPASM Lake Chabot Trail Run (LCTR) is pretty much eponymous. It’s a trail run at and around Lake Chabot, and the principal sponsor is South Bay Pain And Sports Medicine (SPASM … a wryly humorous and accurate acronym), an acupuncture and chiropractic clinic. The race is run in five distances: 5 miles, half marathon, 30Km, marathon, and 50Km. I did the 5 mile distance.

    The 5 mile course looks like a balloon with a wavy string (or lollipop … pick your metaphor), and its entirety or almost all of the course is part of all the other distances’ courses. The “string” is paved trail, out (then do loop) and back, about 70% of the course. It’s lots of short rolling hills and mostly shaded, lots of trees with some lake views. The dirt trail “balloon” starts with a moderately steep, half mile uphill climb, followed by a shorter and steeper downhill, and then a rolling return to the “string”. It’s also mostly shaded with lots of trees. There’s a degree of beauty beyond which appreciation lies in the viewer’s preferences. This is a great course for folks who love lots of trees!

    Summer weather in the SF Bay Area can vary considerably. It can get pretty hot on occasion. More often it’s moderately warm or even somewhat cool. Thankfully, LCTR 2018 was fairly cool, and for the time I was on the course, overcast. I brought two water bottles, anticipating warm weather, but seeing the degree of overcast, I left one in my car.

    Organization & Production: Coastal Trail Runs marks its courses very thoroughly with color-coded flags every couple hundred yards. This was no exception. There was also a course marshal at a key junction to help runners of the various distances go the correct way. Aid stations – water, electrolyte drink, and salty & sweet snacks – were 4-5 miles apart. Because it is an out-and-back with a loop, there were no aid stations on the 5 mile course (this was the other reason I considered carrying two water bottles). Coastal does gun-time starts and timing mat finishes.

    Like other Coastal Trail Runs races LCTR is register-and-run. The website information is very complete, registration is easy, and race day organization is a smooth-running machine. Runner just need to “worry” about getting there and running their race.

    Bib: Coastal Trail Runs bibs are plain white, with organizer logos across the top, their, “Have Fun Out There,” slogan across the bottom, and the bib number in the middle. The numbers are distance-coded. For example, 1000 series numbers are for runners doing the 5 mile or 10K distance.

    T-Shirt: Coastal includes tech-type T-shirts in registration for all distances. My race T-shirt for the SPASM Lake Chabot Trail Run is fluorescent lime green (I also saw some that were red). The front features an abstract representation of the lake water, with the race name, distances, and date across the top, and the logo of the principal sponsor, South Bay Pain And Sports Medicine (SPASM), at the bottom. The back has the logos of the race sponsors.

    Finisher’s Medal: The medallion is rectangular, with the same abstract of the lake water used on the T-shirt. The dominant colors of the water ripples are black, purple, and silver, with some light yellow and white. Across the top with a purple background are the race name and distances. And across the bottom are the name and logo of the principal race sponsor. Molded into the back across the top in small raised characters is “Coastal Trail Runs”. The medallion is not dated. The ribbon is bright green, with “2018” on white in several places along it.

    Finish & Recovery Area: The finish “arch” was formed by two curved poles with Coastal logo banners. This may have been due to park sound level restrictions. Volunteers handed people their medals as they finished. The recovery area was right next to the finish, an area with picnic tables, about half of it shaded. There were large jugs with water and electrolyte drink, an ice chest with bottled water, sodas, and beer. For recovery snacks there were several varieties of fruit, chips, pretzels, cookies and candies. I didn’t hang around long enough, but there were charcoal grills in the picnic area, and Coastal did have a couple of bags of charcoal ready for use. Later in the day they were going to have grilled recovery food (Hamburgers? Hot dogs? Bratwursts?) for finishers of the longer distances.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: This was another, “Can I even do this?” race for me. That one mid-course hill had me pretty intimidated. That’s a reflection of where I am, not the crazy-steepness of the hill (which it isn’t). I had three target goals in mind, the first being to finish upright and under my own power; the other two were time targets. I took much of the race pretty conservatively, especially the part before the hill and the hill itself. After that, I kept the same “easy” pace of the group of ladies I was with until we arrived at the return leg of pavement. At that point, about 3.5-3.75 miles in, I realized I felt I had much too energy “in the tank” for that stage of the course. So I picked up my pace and finished with a time close to my my second, more “aggressive”, time goal. I probably could have achieved that goal, but I enjoyed the company and the park scenery. And I answered my big question with, “Yes! I can!”

    It feels too brief and simple, saying this, but Coastal is a consistently excellent race organizer. They literally pull into the park with a large cargo van at 5 or 6 AM on race day and unpack and set up their whole race (except for the trail marking flags and signs which are already in place). Race-in-a-Van! Coastal’s volunteers are usually experienced runners who know from the runner’s side of the aid station table what helps and encourages. My two wish list things with Coastal are that I wish they did mat-timed starts, and I wish they had race dates on their medallions. But Coastal’s races are some of the least expensive in the Bay Area – a great race experience-value – so these don’t bother me.

    While this was my first Coastal Trail Runs race of 2018, I did a half dozen last year. I plan to do several more this year, and would consider this race or their November Lake Chabot race in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    melissasims3 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I've always kind of avoided trail runs for the most part, because I've worried about uneven paths, tripping, rocks, etc., not to mention hills :-). I was pleasantly surprised with … MORE

    I’ve always kind of avoided trail runs for the most part, because I’ve worried about uneven paths, tripping, rocks, etc., not to mention hills :-). I was pleasantly surprised with this race which the organizers said was a good “first time” trail race on their website. The course had some hills, but only one that I needed to walk up. Based on the other runners around me, it seemed like it was totally acceptable to walk up the bigger hills. I also enjoyed the scenery, and experienced no knee or hip pain like I sometimes do after road races. Overall it was a great experience, and I will definitely start mixing in some trail races now that I see how much fun they can be.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Jul 18, 2018 at 4:51pm

    Glad you enjoyed the experience! Coastal is a great organizer and that was a really pretty course (I also did the 5-miler, much slower than you). Elevation profiles are a… MORE

    Glad you enjoyed the experience! Coastal is a great organizer and that was a really pretty course (I also did the 5-miler, much slower than you). Elevation profiles are a good tool for gauging the degree of challenge. Check out Raves here, too, as many Ravers comment on things like ruts, rocks, and roots. LESS

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    frankhwu REPEAT RUNNER '17

    These folks organize the Coastal and Zoom series, plus a few other races such as this. They are friendly and well organized. Lake Chabot is used by many. There are … MORE

    These folks organize the Coastal and Zoom series, plus a few other races such as this. They are friendly and well organized.

    Lake Chabot is used by many. There are multiple routes. For about a year, a dam has been under construction or repair of some sort, so they have changed the usual course. They are all hilly, with 1200 to 2100 feet of vertical gain.

    Mass start, a few hundred participants.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Aug 05, 2017 at 8:01am

    Coastal is an excellent organizer. I've done 4 of their 10Ks plus a 5-miler this year and had to DNS this 5-miler. There were probably points on the courses for… MORE

    Coastal is an excellent organizer. I've done 4 of their 10Ks plus a 5-miler this year and had to DNS this 5-miler. There were probably points on the courses for the longer distances where runners could see all the way to the SF Peninsula. LESS

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race is hosted by Coastal Trail Run. First time running with them and first time doing a 30k. The 30k course involved running the 1/2 marathon course and then … MORE

    This race is hosted by Coastal Trail Run. First time running with them and first time doing a 30k. The 30k course involved running the 1/2 marathon course and then heading out for the 5 mile course. Total elevation is 2180 ft and the course consisted of 14% single track, 48% dirt , and 38% pavement. I really enjoy the Lake Chabot area. Aid stations were stocked well with fruit, potatoes, sweet and salty snakes, water, and sports drink. Aid stations were 4 to 5 miles apart. All runners received a gender specific tech tee and a medal for finishing. I enjoyed the course and it’s a nice course for your first 30k. Total miles 17.9.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    mzcoonz FIRST-TIMER '15

    I originally chose this race for my first 50k because it had the lowest elevation gain compared to other 50ks in the Bay Area (think I registered around 2900 feet … MORE

    I originally chose this race for my first 50k because it had the lowest elevation gain compared to other 50ks in the Bay Area (think I registered around 2900 feet of gain on my watch). A good chunk (like 1/3) of the race is on pavement, and the terrain is not too technical, so I’d recommend road shoes over trail ones.

    The reason I took off a star is because the course is a little boring. You get nice scenery around Lake Chabot, but for the 50k, you do 2 full laps around the lake, and then a 5 mile out and back along the same course… which is both mentally boring and toys with your limits.

    As with other CTR races, you get their great food at the end, hot chili, and BBQ’ed hot dogs and burgers.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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