Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
3.5
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
2.5
The Trailblazer Race 10K & 5K USATF certified races are scenic, fast and flat running courses. The 3-mile (5K) Trail Walk is scenic and mostly level for comfortable walking. Free children’s races follow on grass and sidewalk, along with inflatable games and face painting. The Trailblazer is a morning of … MORE
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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '19

    Event & Course Description:The Trailblazer Race was run in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA and benefits Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail. Two distances were run, 10K (which I … MORE

    Event & Course Description:The Trailblazer Race was run in Shoreline Park in Mountain View, CA and benefits Friends of the Stevens Creek Trail. Two distances were run, 10K (which I did) and 5K, with 530 finishers between the two distances.

    Looking at the course map for the 10K, it looks like two loops with a connector between and a short out-and-back tail on the second loop. In the event, 10K runners did ~3/4 of the first loop, ran the connector, did the second loop with tail, ran the connector again, and completed the first loop. The 5K course was the first loop plus the loop connector as an out-and-back tail.

    The start/finish area was a large open field designated for flying kites (being by the bay, it often is a breezy area). The course is flattish, mostly along and through the marshes along the shore, with the last mile or so alongside a golf course access path. When it comes to ocean scenery, I like rocks, cliffs, and breakers, but this course was very pleasant and serene. The surface was a mixture of crushed rock and sand and pavement (I didn’t pay attention to proportions) and was 90%-95% exposed (Hello? Jug of sunscreen?). Being early fall, weather can vary considerably, from very warm to somewhat chilly. This year was chilly (by SF Bay Area standards), in the low 50s F at start time.

    Organization & Production: While there is room for some improvement, basically this was a register-and-run race. Information was complete and the course was well marked with arrows and plenty of course marshals. Access was easy, parking ample. Pre-start announcements were done by bullhorn, and being toward the back of a 200+ person pack, they were basically inaudible to me. The course markings and marshaling were such that going off course would require trying, so not hearing the instructions didn’t matter in that respect. And then at the end the announcing of age group awards was kind of disorganized, but I doubt many who won awards had the energy to be impatient. There were two water-only aid stations, well placed, with plenty of water and encouraging volunteers.

    Bib: The 10K bib has a white background, with the organization and race names at the top, with the year and distance. In the middle is the bib number, and at the bottom are the logo of the organization and a sponsor. Bibs were mailed, so when I received mine I assumed all bibs were white. But when I checked in and hung out I found that 5K bibs were yellow background.

    T-Shirt: Since this was a charity race, my expectations as a whole were quite moderate (I don’t say that disrespectfully). The race T-shirt is a light tan cotton Hanes Beefy-T. The front has a very large abstract drawing of a rabbit running between hills and along a creek. My words don’t do it justice, but it’s an instant favorite for me.

    Finisher’s Medal: There were no finisher’s medals, which I’m fine with for a charity race (use the $$ for the important stuff!). However I caught a glimpse of an age group medal, and it looked like a VERY nice woodallion. Just to give an idea of the “crowd”, when they gave out age group medals for the 5K men over age 80, all three medals were given! Geezers rock!

    Finish & Recovery Area: By the time I finished, chatted some, and waddled over to the food table, “all” there was was plenty of water (which I needed!) and a goodly quantity of cereal and granola bars, also quite welcome. I saw boxes from bananas and heard rumors of trays of coffee cake. I’m not a banana person, but having some of the latter would have been nice. But as a whole I was not disappointed. Managing supplies of goodies for a group of uncertain size and appetite is no small task. I think they did rather well.

    The finish area is an open field, i.e. no picnic tables or places to sit down to rest. But that is balanced by the plenteous room for exhibitors (they had several) and tables for goodies, and plenteous parking.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: I was hoping for a bit better finish time, but was hindered some by some physical stuff. But I still had a decent, for me, finish time. I would not call this event spectacular, but it was very well done in just about every respect, and the trail scenery was very nice. I will definitely keep it in mind next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '17

    one of the leaders in my run club suggested that we do this race as a team to show our support for the friends of stevens creek trail since our … MORE

    one of the leaders in my run club suggested that we do this race as a team to show our support for the friends of stevens creek trail since our group runs this trail at least once a week. since it was a familiar trail and also a short drive from home, i didn’t hesitate to register.

    for this event, there was a choice of 2 distances:
    1. 10k (6.2 miles)
    2. 5k (3.1 miles)

    i chose the 10k since i hadn’t run this distance in almost half a year.

    the pros:
    -VERY REASONABLE race fees, $25 for either 5k or 10k (plus a couple more $$ for online fees).
    -takes place along stevens creek trail & shoreline park, where you have unobstructed VIEWS OF THE BAY. also convenient to 101 & shoreline blvd exit.
    -course is almost 100% FLAT, perfect for running a personal best.
    -fantastic RACE DAY WEATHER conditions, upper 40s at the start and low 50s at the end with little humidity, great for running a personal best!
    -MEDIUM-SIZED local race, which meant fewer crowds and shorter waiting lines for parking, restrooms, etc
    -CLEAR MILE MARKERS and signs for both the 5k and 10k, as well as volunteers at the turnaround point and other points along the course so you stay on track
    -ACCURATELY measured distances for both the 5k & 10k. i got exactly 6.21mi for the 10k in my Garmin device.
    -FRIENDLY VOLUNTEERS assisting at the registration/information booths, handing out water at aid stations along the course, and handing out snacks at the refreshments table post-race.
    -FREE and EASY PARKING right next to the start/finish area. since i arrived extra early, i ended up parking just steps from the registration area, and a stone’s throw from the finish line.
    -PORTA-POTTIES at the start/finish area, along with portable hand washing stations with soap, water and paper towels.
    -VERY FAMILY FRIENDLY, perfect for families, small children, and strollers.
    -tons of RAFFLE PRIZES given it post-race, thanks to local sponsors like century cinemas, peet’s coffee and Jamba Juice.

    what you get:
    *cotton FINISHER’S TSHIRT with trailblazer logo
    *several AID STATIONS with volunteers handing out cups of water
    *POST-RACE FOOD & DRINKS, including bananas, oranges, coffee cake (compliments of hobee’s restaurant), granola bars and water
    *official RESULTS available immediately on-site, via tv screens

    bonuses for top finishers:
    *customized trophies for the top male & female per age group for both distances
    *customized (larger) trophies for the overall male and female winners for each distance, as well as 1st place masters male & female finishers (age 50 and up)

    the cons:
    -there were no finisher medals for this event (most races nowadays have at least a customized finisher medal for every participant who crosses the finish line)
    -food ran out a bit early. one of my friends who finished near the top of the 5k finishers said that they were running out of bananas when he finished. when I walked over, they were starting to run low on granola bars and I was asked to take just one.

    despite these minor setbacks, i still very much enjoyed this event and would love to participate again next year.

    thank you, to friends of stevens creek trail for organizing this race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Feb 19, 2018 at 1:19pm

    Thanks! I've been considering this race over the past couple of years, just haven't yet. $25 for a 10K is amazingly inexpensive, and even for a 5K it's pretty low.… MORE

    Thanks! I've been considering this race over the past couple of years, just haven't yet. $25 for a 10K is amazingly inexpensive, and even for a 5K it's pretty low. Many local charity/benefit races (e.g. Down By the Bay 5K or Cambrian Schools 5K Run) do seem to not do finisher's medals. OTOH, Big Bunny Fun Run 5K does have a medal. LESS

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