Overall Rating
Overall Rating (12 Reviews)
4.7
(12 Ratings)(12 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
4.7
SCENERY
4.3
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.7
Put your ear to the ground and you can hear the distant rumbling. It’s Brazen Racing’s return to Sanborn Park and the San Andreas Trail! Make your running presence felt on the richter scale with the 5K, 10K or half marathon race. Half marathon and 10K runners will ascend to … MORE
Local Weather (Jun 03)
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H (°F) 76 93 69 73 74
L (°F) 48 60 54 55 54
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    Barbara REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Second time running this 5k. This race takes place at beautiful Sanborn Park in Saratoga. This course include a mix of fire roads, single track, and many switchbacks. There are … MORE

    Second time running this 5k. This race takes place at beautiful Sanborn Park in Saratoga. This course include a mix of fire roads, single track, and many switchbacks. There are also a lot of exposed roots and rocks. You definitely have to pay attention during this race. This race is one big uphill of 775′ to the turnaround at the one and only aid station for the 5k. It’s then downhill to the finish. The run is mostly under tree canopy with some exposed areas, but definitely scenic and enjoyable, if you like hills.
    The aid station had friendly volunteers and was well stocked with water, sports drink, gels, pretzels, candy, and fruit. The course was well marked.
    Brazen Racing’s shirts and medals are always first rate and these did not disappoint. The medals was large and the Slugzilla on the medal has a rubbery texture to it. It was nicely done.
    Finish line food consisted of the usual pretzels, candy, bagels, pastries, fruit, chips, Pirate’s Booty, and It’s It ice cream sandwiches.
    All runners received a cotton or tech shirt depending on which race they ran.
    I also scored a second place age group medal.
    Will certainly run this race again. Heck, I just might try the 10k next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Anthony REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The usual easy bib pickup you experience with Brazen races. Whether its early bib pickup or quickly getting your bib on race day. Sanborn Park is beautiful and for this … MORE

    The usual easy bib pickup you experience with Brazen races. Whether its early bib pickup or quickly getting your bib on race day. Sanborn Park is beautiful and for this race it was pretty cool whether as well. If you have never been to the park even if you’re not going to do any of the runs I would recommend checking it out. It one of those hidden places that if you never had a reason to go there you would not know about it.

    This is my 3rd race at Sanborn, it’s tough no matter which race you run. I did the 10k today and honestly this is one of the most challenging of the Brazen races for me. Some of the others feel worse because of hot temperatures but this one wins hands down (besides the Double Dipsea) for climb and technically challenging train run.

    You start out with a nice run into the redwoods it seems idyllic you meander to that first upward switch back I was thinking maybe it will be easier this time, ya know you have been training, running hills I feel good! Well at least for me by the ½ mile I was walking the uphill’s and running where I could. This continued for the first three miles. There is an aid station at around 1.4 I stopped got some water and continued alternating between a “fast” walk and slow jog. The trail is pretty there are redwoods and you’re in the forest for sure. You have to watch your footing plenty of rocks, tree limbs, roots and a few steps should ensure you focus on where you put your feet. I did see a couple of people being lead gingerly back to the start after twisting ankles.

    At the turn around pretty much spot on at 3.1 you begin your trek back down, again you have to watch your footing, you should try and let people know your coming as well. A lot of telling people “on your right” and “thank you” felt appropriate along with letting some of the faster down-hillers pass me by. The first mile and ½ down at least its only fellow 10K’ers you run into but after you hit the aid station your now running with some of the slower 5K runners/walkers (hikers really!). So, attention to the trail was most important for me.

    I finished in the top 3 in my age group so I am really pleased with my time, the refreshments were the usual high standard and the medals were awesome and slugworth! All said if your wanting a challenging and technical trail run that well done or you just want to have a great hike and a beautiful location I would highly recommend this race. Just be careful, let people know you’re coming and be respectful of your fellow hiker/walker/runners!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Barbara FIRST-TIMER '16

    First time running the Trailquake and I chose the 5k. This race is tough. It goes uphill for the first half and downhill for the last half. Total elevation gain … MORE

    First time running the Trailquake and I chose the 5k. This race is tough. It goes uphill for the first half and downhill for the last half. Total elevation gain is 775ft. The downhill is very technical with a lot of switchbacks. I wiped out on the way down. Not sure what i tripped over, but I was on the ground before I knew it. Got scraped up fairly well. I had about a mile to the finish and Brazen does have a medic at the finish to clean and bandage your wounds. The course is mostly single track through the forests in Saratoga. It’s very pretty, The mascot for this race is the slug. I did feel like I was slugging along at times. I did win 3rd in my age group for the 5k. Sweet! Speaking of sweet, the finisher’s medal was adorable, nice shirt, the aid station were plentifully stocked, and the food at the finish line had the usually salty and sweet treats. You get an It’s-It at the finish, too. My husband ran the 10k which has about 1900ft of elevation. He said it was the hardest 10k he had even done. Next year, I’m running the half, I think.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Michael Beckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is one of my favorite races. It's a doozy of a climb, but it's so cool! It starts and ends at Sanborn Park in Saratoga. The starting area is … MORE

    This is one of my favorite races. It’s a doozy of a climb, but it’s so cool! It starts and ends at Sanborn Park in Saratoga. The starting area is small which I really like. It’s a bit more intimate than others. This year I decided to do the 10k instead of the half marathon. It’s a pretty tough 10k, coming in with just below 2,000 feet of elevation gain (1,846′). It starts off on a nature trail before joining the Peterson Memorial Trail for a short bit. This then joins the Sanborn Trail and continues the climb up to Skyline trail. 10K runners turn around at this point (aid station #1), heading back down the Sanborn Trail, meeting with the San Andreas Trail. This year there was also a small loop added (the extra loop is fun, about .5 miles, and about 200 feet of gain in the first .2 miles of this). The first half of this race is all uphill basically, so it’s a ton of fun to run down the second half. 🙂 Be careful though. There is some technical trails, and there are roots and rocks. Also, there is a great deal of shade on this course (which is awesome!) but the bits of sun rays that come through the trees can cause issues with seeing some parts of the trail at times. Just take it easy. No need to wear sunglasses on this course (for me).
    The weather this year was warm, and felt a bit humid. Also, there were some mosquitos at the start, but of course Brazen took care of this by having Yoly walk around offering to spray folks with mosquito repellent.
    As always, Brazen is the best of the best. Great medal, shirt, course, everything. Thanks again Brazen.
    -Streaker #111

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    John Hanson REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I participated this year in the half marathon even though I had torn my glute muscles the previous week, with the plan to go slowly and just finish. I really … MORE

    I participated this year in the half marathon even though I had torn my glute muscles the previous week, with the plan to go slowly and just finish. I really enjoy the challenge of the initial climb, and the whole course is beautiful forest. I warn people to be careful because the the dappled light makes it hard to read the rocks, roots and twigs on the trail. Once you get to the top of the starting climb, there are some very runnable sections with some gentle down-hills on soft dirt where you can really fly. The last part is very steep, where the most caution is warranted, but can be quite fast as well. This year had the most mosquitoes of any place I have been. Repellent was provided at the start, but I will put more on next year! The weather was not as hot as predicted, so this was one of the most enjoyable treks I have had this year.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    Haley FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was a pretty standard Brazen race, in terms of production, swag, scenery, etc. It was also par for the course with regard to course difficulty. Slow and steady is … MORE

    This was a pretty standard Brazen race, in terms of production, swag, scenery, etc. It was also par for the course with regard to course difficulty. Slow and steady is pretty much the only way to get through the climbs, since you need to save your legs for the flat/downhill.

    I would venture to say it was maybe smaller than their usual events with regard to attendance, though that may just be because the 5Ks are less popular, and I just didn’t know.

    While the race was fun as ever, it was not for the faint of heart- I love that they warned people at the starting line that they may regret signing up for a trail run. Though said in jest, it was probably too true for some people. The race started with a pretty mean climb, which I’m guessing was a surprise for quite a few participants. However, Brazen being the thoughtful producers that they are, did put an aid station at the top, which was a total life/sanity saver. The volunteers were super encouraging, and it made the sprint back down the hill that much more doable.

    On a final note, it was a great race for people who want to explore a little more of the bay area. Saratoga isn’t a place that tops my list of towns to see on a weekend, but it was fun to visit since I was racing in the town anyway!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Andrea FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race was extremely tough. The first 2.5 miles or so are uphill and then the next 8 are up and down. Thankfully the last few are downhill! It's a … MORE

    This race was extremely tough. The first 2.5 miles or so are uphill and then the next 8 are up and down. Thankfully the last few are downhill! It’s a very covered course with all of the trees and so scenic which makes it worth it. The only portion of the course that’s really exposed is in the last mile. Very difficult though. Not a good race to do when you have plans that day!

    Like every other Brazen race, there’s a great shirt and of course an amazing medal. The aid stations have the best volunteers and there course is marked very well.

    Limited parking so get there early!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    Tessa #75 FIRST-TIMER '14

    It is hard for me to review this race because all I can really remember is being miserable because of blisters, and my DIL running me into the finish. I … MORE

    It is hard for me to review this race because all I can really remember is being miserable because of blisters, and my DIL running me into the finish. I think she might have been a bit worried about this old gal finishing 🙂 This is not an easy race, but it shares trails with another race I really love that Brazen does later in the year. The trails are pretty, but there are some steep climbs and the heat can be kind of tough in the more exposed areas. Loved the bling for this one!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    Watar REPEAT RUNNER '15

    very very tough course. so many steep hills and very narrow course. difficult to pass each other on the road and sometimes it can be dangerous. maybe it's not for … MORE

    very very tough course. so many steep hills and very narrow course. difficult to pass each other on the road and sometimes it can be dangerous. maybe it’s not for beginners.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Fitbrit FIRST-TIMER '15

    this race boasts a difficult and scenic course with banana slugs. As we are in a major drought my guess is that the critters were hiding somewhere else. You would … MORE

    this race boasts a difficult and scenic course with banana slugs. As we are in a major drought my guess is that the critters were hiding somewhere else. You would not be disappointed if you are looking for a challenging trail race. Brazen races are known for their obstacle course difficulties and scenery.
    This race is in the wooded hills in Saratoga off HWY 9.
    It is easy to find especially if you have ever been to the Mountain Winery which is literally down the road. Parking is limited try to carpool.
    We car pooled so we got VIP parking right next to the registration tables and Porto potties.
    The half marathoners go out first and take a less incline overall compared to the 10k.
    The shorter 10k race starts on a reasonable width trail but within 2 minutes the trail starts its long steep 2.4 mile incline. Overall you go up 1,840 ft in a very short distance
    Unless you are a super strong runner , my bet is that most of you will power walk up that narrow hill as I did.
    You will see plenty of redwoods along the way but not much in the way of views.
    I marched up most of the hill, took a wrong turn then had to go back . It took me exactly 1 hr to climb up and I was glad I had the foresight to take my camelbak with me.
    The first water stop is at the top of the mountain 3,000ft up.
    I was able to run the 4 miles back down the hill which for 2/3 of it goes off into a different trail. The way back has many switch backs narrow but less steep. There is another water stop halfway down.
    The trail is rugged so watch your feet.
    Brazen races are a joy , well organized and not too crowded.

    The medals are colorful and you have the option to buy a T.shirt or tech shirt for a nominal fee.
    As always breakfast is included which is bagels, chips, fruit, cookies and its it ice cream.

    I came in 1st in my age group so I got another medal for that.
    If you place in the top 3 of your age group (5 year ) you all get a winners medal.

    I would do this race again . A little hard for first timers

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '15

    Course description: This is a very demanding course (though not Brazen's toughest race)! The start/finish area is in the forests of beautiful Sanborn Park, above Saratoga, CA. The first ~2 … MORE

    Course description:
    This is a very demanding course (though not Brazen’s toughest race)! The start/finish area is in the forests of beautiful Sanborn Park, above Saratoga, CA. The first ~2 1/2 miles is a ~1600-foot more or less unbroken climb to the Skyline Trail. From there the course is two out-and-back legs along the that Trail. This trail parallels Skyline Blvd. (SR35), but racers don’t often hear, and less frequently see, cars on the highway. The course then descends back to Sanborn Park, but by a different trail. This latter trail has some fairly steep descents, with lots of switch-backs. It has many exposed rocks and tree roots, requiring runners and walkers to be VERY attentive to avoid ankle turns and falls (I fell, for my first time in any race, and I was far from alone, from what I’ve heard). I’m not whining, it’s just a demanding course. The course, as a whole, is gorgeous, forested , with a mix of tree types, including some coastal redwoods. That means that most of the course is shaded (I’d estimate 80%-90%), which is great, since June can get warm.

    Organization & Production:
    I’ve said in other reviews that I think Brazen is one of the best race organizers in the San Francisco Bay Area, and this race was no exception. Brazen is consistent! I did the packet pick-up two days before the race, as it was at a store close to me. It wasn’t a busy time, so the friendly volunteer had my bib and was finding my T-shirt by the time I checked in and signed the waiver.

    Course marking was excellent (signs, color-coded flags, and sandwich signs) with people at key points to direct traffic. Aid stations were suitably located, well-stocked to the very end, with goodies and friendly, helpful, and encouraging volunteers.

    This was the smallest Brazen race I’ve participated in to date, with 448 finishers for all distances. The start/finish area was suitably compact and well organized. Even though I was the very last halfer to finish (Sam and Jasmin’s son handed me my finisher’s medal, very cool!), there was no lack of goodies. Situated in a picnic area, there was also no lack of places to sit, rest, and wonder why you did this to yourself.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The half marathon race T-shirt is a nice bright blue tech type, with a logo situated where a pocket might be if it had a one. The logo features a rampant banana slug (a critter native to the area) in a toga-like gi and black belt (sort of a double visual pun), encircled by the race name, year, and the three distances in the race. The back has the race name, a nicely slimy jolly banana slug, the race distances in a slimy font, and “Brazen Racing”, all in yellow, plus the logos of the sponsors. The bib is personalized, and features the Ninja Slug, race name, date, and the “location”, “Slugatoga, USA”. The finisher’s medal and medal hanger are on par with some of Brazen’s best, featuring Ninja Slug and the pertinent information. I can’t say it’s my favorite, but it’s very far from my least favorite among the finisher’s medals I have. As a whole, Brazen’s finishers’ medals are done so well that “favorite” comes down to one’s personal taste and (sometimes) sense of humor.

    Brazen’s aid station and finish area goodies are pretty consistent from race to race, which means a lot of variety and a lot of everything. At the finish area there were candies, chips & pretzels, cookies and cakes, several flavors of It’s It ice cream sandwiches, and probably more than I can remember.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    I used the hour-early hiker’s start and my finish time was a little under 5 hours, 45 minutes. My time may be telling me things I don’t wish to hear, but I didn’t do anything stupid, and did what I am able to do. So I’m happy to have finished, with that finish time. It was only a year ago that I started toying with the idea of trying some of Brazen’s more challenging races, so I’ve come a way in the past year. I. Was. Tired. And my calves are mooing as I type this, from spasms late in the race (with so many who had turned ankles, I count myself lucky). All in all, this race is the measure of what I can do at this point in my life.

    For those who like tough trail courses and those who want to take on a challenge, I’d say, “Do this race!” For those accustomed to road races, I’d suggest trying one of Brazen’s slightly less challenging hilly races first, just to see where you are. After that, if you think you can, do TrailQuake (or its December “sibling”, Summit Rock). The scenery is very rewarding – sometimes very up close and personal. This course isn’t the bright center of the trail race universe, but it will not disappoint. And Brazen does races right.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    hugh FIRST-TIMER '14

    This was my first Brazen race. I ran four more last year. Brazen is awesome. The 5k is 2.5km of brutal uphill single track, and the same 2.5km back down … MORE

    This was my first Brazen race. I ran four more last year. Brazen is awesome.

    The 5k is 2.5km of brutal uphill single track, and the same 2.5km back down again. It hurts. If you run under 30 minutes, you’re humming. The scenery is beautiful — undulating trails, leafy trees, cool in the shade.

    The race production was perfect. Started on time. Collect your own medals at the end, leave when you want to – yes! Premium food (Peanut M&M’s — yum!). Cool tech tee. Best medals I’ve seen (yes, better than the RnR ones IMHO). Family all loved it.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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