Overall Rating
Overall Rating (21 Reviews)
4.4
(21 Ratings)(21 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.2
SCENERY
2.9
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.7
Used in the 1800s to transport gravel for the construction of the western section of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Western Pacific Trail now forms a part of this mostly-flat course where you can haul in a personal best! The marathon course is now USATF certified and can be used to … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Previously, I have run the 5k and 10k on this course. This year, I decided the Western Pacific would be a great first marathon for me. This course takes place … MORE

    Previously, I have run the 5k and 10k on this course. This year, I decided the Western Pacific would be a great first marathon for me. This course takes place at Quarry Lakes Regional Park in Fremont. It is run on the Alameda Creek Trail and is an out and back. The trail consists of gravel/fire roads and small section of pavement. total elevation over the 26.2 miles is about 200 ft, so bring on the speed, if you have it. There were ample aid stations spaced every two to three miles that were well stocked. Since, I was a “Back of the Packer” for this marathon, it was great to see that the aid stations still had food left and that the volunteers were still very happy and energetic after being out on course for hours and hours. Brazen has awesome volunteers.
    When I finished, my medal was handed to me. Surprisingly, I finished strong and felt pretty good.
    There was still finish line food left and I even heard some cheers from the remaining runners. It was a great day and I’m glad I ran it. I’m trying to decide which marathon to run in thee future. There WILL be another.
    Thank you Brazen for putting on such a nice and fully supported marathon

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Mike Sohaskey Aug 17, 2017 at 2:28am

    YAY, congrats on a fantastic race Barbara! Finishing that first marathon is such a special feeling, and doing it among friends makes it that much more special. Though you're one of the very few people I know who'd actually run more than 26.2 miles before their first marathon. So happy for you, and look forward to your marathon encore... Diablo and Way Too Cool are calling! ;)

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    Profile photo of Sabrina Cheng
    swcheng15 REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This was my second race with Brazen and again, it was well run as their other races. This was my first time on this type of trail (fire trail) so … MORE

    This was my second race with Brazen and again, it was well run as their other races. This was my first time on this type of trail (fire trail) so that was definitely different for me. There are just a few spots with shade, so if you have a warmer day (like we did this past year), it made it difficult. Even seasoned runners I’ve spoken to had a hard time with how hot it was (I’m a beginner). In any case, the medal, the food, and the shirt was great. I would do Brazen races again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Skye Callan
    skyebaby FIRST-TIMER '14

    I ran this as my first 10k, and first Brazen race, and was immediately hooked. I was quite nervous, but the super professional setup and fun atmosphere put me at … MORE

    I ran this as my first 10k, and first Brazen race, and was immediately hooked. I was quite nervous, but the super professional setup and fun atmosphere put me at ease. It’s not the prettiest race, or that difficult (perfect for me as a newbie), but it is a lot of fun, as are all of Brazen’s races – great swag, aid stations, medal, and food post-race!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    Profile photo of Stephen Mack
    zeigen FIRST-TIMER '17

    I turned the dreaded 5-0 in April, and instead of buying a sports car, I had decided to stave off midlife crisis angst by running my first marathon. (Previously I … MORE

    I turned the dreaded 5-0 in April, and instead of buying a sports car, I had decided to stave off midlife crisis angst by running my first marathon. (Previously I had never run further than 14 miles.) I picked the Western Pacific and signed up in January based on recommendations from friends and the fact it was scheduled in April close to my birthday and not far from where I live.

    Since this is my first marathon, I don’t have a ton of experience so please take my ratings with that in mind.

    Pros:
    * Scenic course, very flat, not too complicated a route
    * Excellent aid stations — well-stocked, and staffed with friendly and enthusiastic volunteers
    * Pacers really helped
    * Free photographs from the site after the race
    * Fewer than 200 runners, so plenty of room on the course
    * Excellent selection of food and drink and snacks at the end of the run

    Cons:
    * Not a ton of shade over most of the course, and it became a very hot day before too long
    * I’m not much of a morning person so I don’t mind a late start, but the 7:30am marathon start time meant that the heat of midday really was a factor

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
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    SCENERY
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    SWAG
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    My Media

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    Mike Sohaskey Jun 22, 2017 at 11:00am

    Congrats on conquering your first marathon, Stephen!! And with a previous long run of only 14 miles, wow – I'm guessing those last 6.2 miles weren't your favorite. It's tough to do better than Brazen, though; in the 12 races I've run with them, I've never had anything but a great experience (even the 2012 Mt. Diablo 50K, where the heat nearly killed me). And as you mentioned, their post-race spread is THE BEST. All they need is avocado toast and they can charge for brunch.

    Here's to a happy, healthy and affordable midlife crisis – just think how many marathons you can run for the price of a sports car! And then *you* can be the finely tuned machine. :)

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    Profile photo of Lani Teshima
    Lani FIRST-TIMER '17

    EVENT & COURSE INFO The race starts at Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area and takes you along Alameda Creek. The start/finish area is at the picnic area, with lots of … MORE

    EVENT & COURSE INFO

    The race starts at Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation Area and takes you along Alameda Creek. The start/finish area is at the picnic area, with lots of green space and lots of parking. This is a good race to bring your entire family out to; parts of the course are on unpaved dirt/gravel but there’s nothing difficult about this course other than fighting mental boredom.

    The course runs along Western Pacific Trail, which was part of the old Transcontinental Railroad. There are no trains or even train tracks to run alongside on this race, but the course is flat as a pancake and feels straight as an arrow, making it feel like YOU’re the locomotive chugging along. Truth be told, this isn’t the most scenic or exciting race from Brazen, but its marathon is USATF-certified if you want to try to use it to put in a fast finish to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

    For the full marathon, the course continues along Alameda Creek, past Coyote Hills Regional Park, and turns around right before the trail hits the water.

    There are occasional “elevation changes” on the course by way of underpasses. A lot of the course is also under shade, although there is still quite a bit out in the open. There are also several miles of paved path, but enough unpaved portions that if you’re used to wearing gaiters on trail runs to keep the pebbles out, you might want to wear some for this race as well.

    For the 2017 race, the weather was on the warm side. For those running the full marathon, it got awfully warm. The course started feeling pretty warm and lonely once you got out by the Coyote Hills area. By this point, you completely lose any tree cover. With all the rains this year, the grasses on the side of the path were really tall so you didn’t have much of a view at all. Plus, there were a whole lot of flying gnats buzzing around trying to land on your face.

    AID STATIONS

    Those of us who run Brazen races get pretty spoiled because the aid stations are so great. Most of them have pop-up tents, and folding tables laid out with a ton of options for refueling (everything from water and sports drink to cookies and candies).

    They had seven aid stations, and due to the way most of them were available for both out and back, full marathoners had access to 12 aid stations.

    GOODIES/BLING

    Finisher’s medal: Brazen always rewards every finisher with a beautiful finisher’s medal that is specific not just to the race, but to that year’s race. No generic race medals, or an undated version with the date just printed on the lanyard. This race was no exception. 5K, 10K, and half marathoners got a medal with a train on it. Full marathoners got a separate medal that was round… and was also a coaster.

    Age group medal: If you are fast enough to earn an age group medal (given to the top three finishers for both women and men, in 5-year increments), Brazen made a custom version specific to this race. If you find out you won an age group but didn’t get an AG medal, let them know so they can get it to you. For this race, age group winners got medals with an old locomotive train on it.

    Race shirt: Gender-specific shirts were available in male, female, and youth sizes, and you could choose between tech fabric and cotton versions. 5K and 10K participants get a cotton shirt and half marathoners get the tech, although 5K and 10K folks can pay extra to upgrade to a tech shirt.

    You can pick up your shirt before the start of the race so you can wear it for the race–or if you’re like me, change into it after the race so you have a clean shirt to wear when you go and have brunch after the race.

    POST-RACE INFO

    Brazen is known for generous post-race snacks. Lots of fruit, bagels, chips, cookies. They won’t replace a sit-down protein meal, but it’s perfect for a quick refueling after a race. As always, they offer It’s-It Ice Cream sandwiches (pro tip: Look for the white styrofoam coolers by the post-race food tables. There is usually a volunteer there who will hand you one; it’s free–just ask!).

    CAVEATS

    If you’re looking for a fast Boston qualifier, there are other faster races… but with minimal elevation changes and turns, this is faster than many others. The course can get pretty boring and hot, as well. But if you’re looking for a straightforward, low-stress course put on by a great professional organization and staffed with a lot of enthusiastic and supportive volunteers, give this one a try. If the full marathon seems a bit too daunting, consider one of the shorter races.

    TIPS

    If the weather is going to be sunny, make sure to wear sunscreen. I typically don’t wear earphones, but for this race it might actually work out for you. Keep the volume low enough that you can hear people–but there are no technical or single-track portions that require any tricky maneuvering.

    DIFFICULTY
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    PRODUCTION
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    SCENERY
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    SWAG
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    Profile photo of Deb Westergaard
    DebW FIRST-TIMER '17

    Western Pacific Marathon was a toot-toot tootally awesome time!! I ran the marathon portion this past weekend in Fremont and I will not lie, it was hot, damn hot, like … MORE

    Western Pacific Marathon was a toot-toot tootally awesome time!! I ran the marathon portion this past weekend in Fremont and I will not lie, it was hot, damn hot, like hawt-hawt… with the sweaty hawt. It was the hardest marathon I’ve ever done, but the most rewarding and the best managed event I’ve ever participated in. Everyone, and I mean everyone, from the racers to the support crew to the volunteers to the production team, was so incredibly nice, supportive and wonderful. Brazen Racing has a top-notch production staff that loves running and loves their runners. Every aid station was thoroughly stocked with liquids, GU, electrolytes and fabulous volunteers to dump sponge-fulls of water on top of your melting head. The course was definitely flat and mostly gravel. I can see where this race would be much more attractive when 20 degrees cooler but the sense of accomplishment I felt after finishing was none other. The medals are AWESOME with a big train; it’s my favorite medal I’ve ever earned. The food at the end of the race was like a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving: pretzels, Its-Its, Pirate Booty, Oreos, Red Vines, fruit, bagels… anything a hardworking runner could ever want. The atmosphere was so chill; not a huge production so it was easy to park, keep my gear in the car and packet pickup 45 minutes before the start. I would say if you’re not worried about your pace and you want to run a mello, friendly, well-run race with supportive, caring staff and participants, sign up for the Western Pacific. You’ll be glad you did and you’ll have an awesome time!

    DIFFICULTY
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    My Media

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    Mike Sohaskey May 15, 2017 at 12:20am

    Congrats on getting it done in the heat, Deb! This is true of pretty much all the Brazen medals, but the marathon medal for this race in particular looked AWESOME – very classic-looking and (though I haven't held it) looked to have good heft to it. And love the imagery of the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, ha ha. Mmm, It's-Its. :) Thanks for the helpful review!

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    Profile photo of Anthony Pasqualini
    pasq77 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Last year’s Western Pacific was my first 10k this year was my first Brazen ½ marathon. I was not thrilled with my performance, I am sure that will come with … MORE

    Last year’s Western Pacific was my first 10k this year was my first Brazen ½ marathon. I was not thrilled with my performance, I am sure that will come with time I started out fine and not unexpectedly fizzled out at the end. Need more training to finish how I would like but still overall thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

    I arrived around 6:55 packet pick up went fine and parking was a breeze. I watched the start of the full marathon which is a Boston Qualifier so there were a good number of people running it. Hopefully next year I will be running the full marathon. The race was pretty flat it went partially around the lake and then loops onto the Alameda creek trail for several miles and then we returned back to the lake trail and around to the finish.

    The weather was great and the race went smoothly for me. I have to say thank you to the all the aid station workers. The aid stations as usual were well stocked and had cool water to refill my water bottle as well as a good mix of sweet and salty snacks, Gu and sports drink. I honestly prefer hills and trails to flat runs but I had a great time.

    I recommend this race to anyone whether they are a road runner or a trail runner like all Brazen races its well done, well organized and a lot of fun.

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    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    Mike Sohaskey May 15, 2017 at 12:25am

    Congrats on your first Brazen 1/2, Tony! I'm guessing the heat (understandably) had a lot to do with your fizzling out at the end. And I'm guessing you weren't alone. But every race is an excellent learning experience, and the Brazen races (being low-key) are great for that. Luckily you'll have a quick shot at redemption – run strong and good luck at Surfer's Path!

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    PeteSinCA Apr 30, 2017 at 9:44am

    The subtlety that's easy to miss about WP is that it can be warm, and the course is mostly exposed. And it was warm yesterday. One thing the aid stations had that can help is buckets of ice cold water with sponges. You can squish the water over your head or dunk a hat into it. The Marathon has two out-and-back legs, the first, of which you did part, goes almost out to the bay, and then Marathoners run past the park on another out-and-back leg. Definitely do sunscreen, carry water, and get water bottle refills.

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    Profile photo of Amanda Sava
    amandasava REPEAT RUNNER '16

    I love Brazen and I love Brazen races, but uggg, I am not a fan of Quarry Lakes... It's a relatively un-scenic and easy course. Just not one of the … MORE

    I love Brazen and I love Brazen races, but uggg, I am not a fan of Quarry Lakes… It’s a relatively un-scenic and easy course. Just not one of the best Brazen races.

    Pluses – it’s Brazen’s only Marathon race (if you like that kind of think ;), it’s flat and easy, there’s always plenty of parking, and of course there’s the awesome food and swag that Brazen always delivers.

    Minuses – it’s flat and not very interesting, it’s usually of packed with strollers and walkers (don’t get me wrong, because I’m frequently a walker – I just get frustrated when I see walkers that don’t listen for runners trying to pass or walking 3 and 4 abreast so runners have difficulty getting past).

    DIFFICULTY
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    SCENERY
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    SWAG
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    Profile photo of Shanna Greer
    greeneyegirl9 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    This is a pretty much flat course that runs along a bike trail around Quarry Lakes. It has pavement and gravel. It can get hot out there as there isn't … MORE

    This is a pretty much flat course that runs along a bike trail around Quarry Lakes. It has pavement and gravel. It can get hot out there as there isn’t many trees on this course. Brazen always has puts on a great race. Great people, bling , food and shirts.

    DIFFICULTY
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    Profile photo of John Hanson
    jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '16

    This is a very good course to try for your first half marathon. The route is very flat, and has an out-and-back section, so you know that you are "on … MORE

    This is a very good course to try for your first half marathon. The route is very flat, and has an out-and-back section, so you know that you are “on your way home”. for first timers, the finish has one switchback, so take a look at it before you start, so you are ready for it at the end. This year the rains provided a beautiful green course, and the morning sun was beautiful. Brazen always does an excellent job of organizing, and I was happy to hear in advance that they would likely be taking down the finishing arch, due to wind. It is important to know what to expect at the finish!)

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft REPEAT RUNNER '16

    Second time running the 10k at Quarry Lakes and it did not disappoint. I set a PR by shaving four minutes off my time from last year. The weather was … MORE

    Second time running the 10k at Quarry Lakes and it did not disappoint. I set a PR by shaving four minutes off my time from last year. The weather was very nice. My husband and I ran the 10k and my son ran the 5k. My son finished 3rd overall and was very happy. My son makes a point to tell me to sign him up for the Brazen Races at Quarry Lakes because he likes it so much. The other race here is the Quarry Turkey in November. Aid station volunteers were there to hand out water and Ultima and other snacks. At the finish line, they had bottles of water and the usual yummy post race refreshments which includes an It’s It ice cream. The course is mostly packed gravel with a tiny section of grass, and small section of pavement. The 10k has an elevation change of 94 feet. All finishers get an awesome medal and a shirt. It’s a tech tee(half/marathon) or cotton(5k/10k) I ran the 10k and got the women’s cotton shirt. It’s peachy-orange in color and very soft. Nice shirt to wear. Will run again next year. First rate production.

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    SCENERY
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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA VOLUNTEER '16

    This is going to be a bit different from my more usual Raves. Like last year, I was a volunteer rather than a runner at Western Pacific Marathon. Specifically, I … MORE

    This is going to be a bit different from my more usual Raves. Like last year, I was a volunteer rather than a runner at Western Pacific Marathon. Specifically, I was an aid station volunteer. So other than seeing a map, seeing the area in which I was located, and past experiences on parts of the course, my experience was with the race organization rather than running in the race.

    With regard to the course it is important to note a significant change from last year. In 2015 (and probably in previous years) marathoners ran the half marathon course twice, which was like a loop with a single, long, out and back leg. 2016 West Pacific Marathon runners went from Quarry Lakes Park along the Alameda Creek Trail out to the Bay, back past the park, several miles upstream along Alameda Creek, and then back to finish in the park. The course was sort of like a “T”, but with a very short vertical base, and a very very long top cross. Probably half or more of the course is paved trail, but the course inside the park is not paved, nor is some of the upstream trail (the aid station I worked at was at the upstream turn-around, so I saw some of that part of the course). As in previous years, the Western Pacific Marathon course is USATF certified, and can be used to qualify for the Boston Marathon.

    Race organization … Brazen Racing is like a well-oiled machine. Every aid station’s food and beverage supplies are planned and ready to go, along with utensils, tables, 10 gallon insulated water dispenser jugs, cutting boards, a pavilion (for shade), cups, plates & bowls, buckets & sponges, and trash bags with holders. Brazen Racing aid stations are NOT Spartan!

    I was at an aid station that only saw marathoners, once, about 3 miles from their finish. So, what did we have? We had water (many gallon bottles!), electrolyte drink (mixed from powder), Coke, 7 Up, ginger ale, and Mountain Dew. We also had Otter Pops, frozen, and lots of ice to keep the water and sports drink cold. For food and snacks, we had bananas, oranges, Payday bars, Rice Krispie Treats – all cut up by us – trail mix, plain & Peanut M & Ms, Mike & Ikes, Jelly Belly jelly beans, gummy bears, and Oreo cookies. Besides offering drinks and stuff, we chatted up the runners to see how they were doing, offered Salt Stick salt tabs, and offered to squish water on their heads and down their backs to help them cool down a bit. It was a pretty warm day, and I worried a little toward the end whether we had enough water, but we ended up with 4 or 5 unopened gallons of water, plus dumping out what was left in our two 10 gallon jugs.

    Being located near the end of the marathon and staying on station till the very last runner (and the sweeper) came and went before packing up (we still had some of everything listed above) we arrived back at the start/finish area maybe 20 minutes before the last finisher. Brazen’s finish area food is quite varied, and besides the usual It’s It ice cream sandwiches, cookies, cakes, candies, and soda, they also had pizza. It’s possible they had run out of a few items, but the last finisher, who has run many Brazen races, wouldn’t have been disappointed.

    The race T-shirt I received as part of volunteering is a bright yellow tech type, with locomotives in blue in front and in color in back (much of the course is a former Western Pacific Railroad right-of-way, hence the name of the race). I have only seen the finisher’s medals in pictures. Both the regular finisher’s medal and the special marathon finisher’s medal feature a locomotive – VERY nice! Brazen does race-bling right!

    Usually my last paragraph has to do with how well I did, and whether I would run that race again. Well, I didn’t run it, but there is a distance I haven’t done yet that is calling me, and Western Pacific’s allotted time is pretty generous. Would I volunteer with Brazen again? This was my third time, including twice at Western Pacific. I would definitely volunteer with Brazen again. Speaking “from the other side of the aid station table”, volunteers are a very significant part of a runner’s race experience – encouragement, watching for some one who is struggling or in trouble. There are a couple of SF Bay Area organizers with whom I’d consider volunteering, and I encourage anyone reading this to consider volunteering for races near them.

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    Profile photo of Charles Eldred
    RunningPastor FIRST-TIMER '14

    This was a bucket list item: finish a full marathon before I turned 45. With just three years to spare (why cut it close?) I crossed this item off as … MORE

    This was a bucket list item: finish a full marathon before I turned 45. With just three years to spare (why cut it close?) I crossed this item off as I crossed the finish line. My brother got me into running again, and my finish time beat his PR – sibling rivalry at its greatest!
    The folks along the course are among the most helpful and encouraging of any you will meet. Many are also runners, so they understand what words you need to hear, as well as when to just tell you to “suck it up”!
    The folks at Brazen make their racers feel like family. Each race is like a family reunion. I will run this race again, and again, and again!

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    Profile photo of Liz Coxon
    lizcoxon REPEAT RUNNER '15

    I loved this marathon, not a ton of breathtaking scenery so I got to really focus on my pace. The course is mostly dirt/gravel, much easier on the joints than … MORE

    I loved this marathon, not a ton of breathtaking scenery so I got to really focus on my pace. The course is mostly dirt/gravel, much easier on the joints than a road race, and getting to see other runners on the out and back was awesome…there’s nothing like a Brazen Runner running a Brazen Race…it’s a super supportive, fun family. We’re all in it together to encourage and help each other out. PR’s are fantastic and I got one that day, but it wouldn’t have been nearly as awesome if I’d done some other Marathon. Brazenite For Life!!!!

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    Profile photo of Jessica Howland
    Gingerbat FIRST-TIMER '14

    I was in town for work, and decided to check out this race. I didn't really know anything about it prior to running, but I was seduced by the super … MORE

    I was in town for work, and decided to check out this race. I didn’t really know anything about it prior to running, but I was seduced by the super cool finisher medal. (Spoiler: It’s a TRAIN!!!) I figured I had enough time to run the 10k and then get to my work event later that afternoon, and it would be a fun way to spend the morning.

    I have to say, i really enjoy racing and find that it’s a great way to meet people and feel less alone when travelling by myself. I chatted with a couple of nice ladies at the start, one of whom was running her first 10k. Everyone was super friendly, the course was nice and had a great out-and-back section where I was able to cheer on my new friends as we passed each other.

    I felt pretty good at this race and only wished I’d had enough time to run the half marathon. Maybe next time!

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    Profile photo of Brittany Stroup
    brittanyjstroup FIRST-TIMER '14

    This course is pretty flat for quite a while but then has some uphill in the last mile. Good number of aid stations all well stocked. Great signature recovery food … MORE

    This course is pretty flat for quite a while but then has some uphill in the last mile. Good number of aid stations all well stocked. Great signature recovery food post race.

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    5

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    Profile photo of Sonja Nilsen
    Bonzer731 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    Brazen is fantastic with the support to runners and this race was no different!! The fact that there is the option to walk make it very inclusive. The trails and … MORE

    Brazen is fantastic with the support to runners and this race was no different!! The fact that there is the option to walk make it very inclusive. The trails and directions were very clearly marked. The medals and t-shirts and top-notch! The excitement that the support staff show for each runner and walker is amazing!

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    Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
    noneleft FIRST-TIMER '15

    Ran the 10k, but this race also offers the 5k, 1/2 marathon, and a marathon. Enjoyed the course. Pretty flat. As always, love the shirt, medal and post race food. … MORE

    Ran the 10k, but this race also offers the 5k, 1/2 marathon, and a marathon. Enjoyed the course. Pretty flat. As always, love the shirt, medal and post race food. Brazen does an awesome job at putting on these races.

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    Profile photo of Ellen Lee
    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '15

    i participated in my 8th brazen event yesterday which took place at quarry lakes in fremont. this race is titled the "western pacific" b/c the western pacific trail was used … MORE

    i participated in my 8th brazen event yesterday which took place at quarry lakes in fremont. this race is titled the “western pacific” b/c the western pacific trail was used to transport gravel for construction of the western section of the transcontinental railroad back in the 1800s when trains were frequently used to transport cargo for longer distances. although trains no longer run along this trail, we, runners, can now haul ass hoping to hit a personal record on these historic, yet very flat trails!

    for this particular event, there was a choice of 4 distances:
    1. full marathon (26.2 miles) 7.30am start
    2. half marathon (13.1 miles) 8am start
    3. 10k (6.2 miles) 8.30am start
    4. 5k (3.1 miles) 8.45am start

    i chose to run the half marathon since i’d been training hard and going long, and wanted to see if my hard work would pay off and result in personal record.

    the pros:
    -GREAT RACE DAY CONDITIONS at the start, around 55 degrees with overcast skies when the gun went off
    -MARATHON is a certified usa track and field course and can be used to qualify for other marathons such as the boston marathon which requires a time qualification on an officially certified course
    -STAGGERED START TIMES for each of the 4 events to avoid congestion at the start and along the course. despite some overlaps in some of the course routes, and some narrower sections along the course, i actually never got stuck behind someone or felt congested which was great!
    -PACERS for both the full and half marathon, holding coloured signs on a stick with estimated finish times and wearing fluorescent coloured shirts to make it easy to follow them
    -COLOURED FLAGS to mark each mile (a different colour for each race distance to avoid confusion)
    -FLAT and FAST course on crushed dirt/gravel, with a small portion on paved road
    -FRIENDLY VOLUNTEERS directing runners in the parking area, manning aid stations along the course, handing out medals at the finish line, and keeping the refreshments’ tables well stocked after the race
    -FREE and EASY PARKING inside the quarry lakes regional park dedicated lots which were right next to start/finish area (note that the free parking was only for those participating in the race, if you came for another event on this day, you still had to pay the $5 entrance fee)
    -LOTS of PORTA-POTTIES near the start/finish area as well as access to several park restroom structures (wait time was no more than a few minutes pre-race which was great!)
    -COMPLIMENTARY BAG CHECK near the start/finish line, with volunteers to guard your belongings until after the race. parking was so close to the start that most of us just left our belongings inside our trunks, but it was nice to know that there was another option available just in case.

    what you get:
    *choice of PACKET PICK-UP @ sports basement in sunnyvale the two days prior to the race or on site pick up the morning of
    *BLUE, DRI-FIT RACE TSHIRT with a logo of a steam locomotive to commemorate the western pacific trail (shirt is optional, so if you don’t want the shirt, you can save $5 off the registration fee)
    *FULLY STOCKED aid stations every 1-2 miles with water, electrolytes, gu gel packets, salty snacks…quite an impressive array of offerings for an aid station!
    *BIG MEDAL with a locomotive, displaying event name and date (option to engrave name and finisher time on back for an additional fee)
    *AGE GROUP FINISHER MEDAL if you were one of the top 3 finishers in your age group. despite a disappointing finish time, i still ended up placing 3rd in my age group and took home a “bronze” age group medal
    *TONS of POST-RACE FOOD & DRINK, including it’s it ice cream sandwiches, chocolate cake, red velvet cake, cheesecake, bagels, peanut butter, nutella, rugelach, goldfish crackers, pretzels, potato chips, trail mix, mini muffins, gummy bears, jelly bellies, cookies, coconut macaroons, water, and electrolyte drink. best part is that the food never ran out!
    *SPECIAL VENDOR on site sharing free samples….the muscle milk vans were parked near the finish area.

    the cons:
    -the half marathon course was slightly long, as my garmin read 13.22 miles for the haffie, which is a bit longer than the official distance of 13.1 miles
    -the 5k course was measured as a 3.2 mile course, which is slightly longer than the official distance of 3.1 miles (read: harder to pr on this 5k course)
    -most of the course was not shaded, and since it was sunny with temps in the low 60s by the time i finished, it made for a very hot run
    -the finishers’ chute leading up to the finish arch had a couple of sharp turns on an incline which made it very difficult to sprint to the finish, which many runners like to do

    although i did not do my best, and certainly did not finish anywhere near a personal best, i still enjoyed this event and thank sam, jasmin, the rest of the brazen staff and volunteers for organizing another fabulous race.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Pete Storz
    PeteSinCA VOLUNTEER '15

    Course description: Western Pacific starts and finishes by looping around Quarry Lakes Park in Fremont, with the middle of the course being a long out-and-back leg along the Alameda Creek … MORE

    Course description:
    Western Pacific starts and finishes by looping around Quarry Lakes Park in Fremont, with the middle of the course being a long out-and-back leg along the Alameda Creek Trail. Unlike most of Brazen’s races, Western Pacific includes a marathon distance as well as the usual half marathon, 10K, and 5K. The Half marathon follows this course once, and the full marathon does it twice. Brazen uses this venue and course for its Quarry Turkey event, and Coastal Trail Runs uses this venue and a similar course for its Quarry Lakes events. I have done both in 2014 and have reviewed both. The marathon course is USATF certified and can be used to qualify for major races such as the Boston Marathon. At Western Pacific 2015 I was a volunteer at an aid station, and did not run in the race. The course isn’t Brazen’s or Coastal’s most beautiful (though the start/finish area is truly beautiful, especially around sunrise), but it’s FAR nicer than the street courses I’ve done in central San Jose. This course and that of Brazen’s Coyote Hills event converted me to trail races. The course is pretty flat, good for a PR. Western Pacific is a good race to introduce a road racer to trail races.

    Organization & Production:
    I’ve said in other reviews of their races that I think Brazen is the best organizer of small-medium sized races at their price point in the SF Bay Area. From online registration through finish line goodies and activities, Brazen does it right! Unless a race is sold out, Brazen generally does registration up through race day. Besides a price break, Brazen gives race T-shirts along with the race bib at packet pick-up to racers who registered 3 weeks or more before race day. This is nice for early registrants who are slower than giving out race T-shirts at the finish, first-finished-first served. Quite a few racers and volunteers have run in multiple Brazen races and have become friends. Together with Brazen’s people they make for a friendly, family-picnic-like atmosphere.

    This was my second time volunteering in a Brazen event. Brazen’s organization is as impressive from that perspective as from a runner’s perspective. Volunteers range from noobs to people who have volunteered at dozens of races. Usually few or none have worked with each other before, and the number and mix isn’t clear until a week or two before race day. So organizing the parking monitors, packet pick-up tables, start/finish area, and aid stations is sort of like herding cats. Brazen has good cat-herds! One thing I appreciated as a noob is that both times I was teamed up with experienced people; aid station captains have always worked at many Brazen events. Good for learning the ropes, good for consistency for racers.

    This time all the necessaries for our station had been pre-positioned the night before. We met up in the start area around 6AM, got into cars, and drove to our station. Drinks, equipment, goodies, plates, bowls, cups, and knives were all there. We were ready long before any runners arrived.

    What is available for racers at an aid station? We had a nurse on our team (and there were nurses on bikes patrolling the course). Our main staples were water and sports drink, handed to runners along the edge of the course so they could take a cup as they ran past. There were also a lot of cups of both, pre-poured, on our table. We refilled water bottles on request (toward the end of the marathon I started looking at runners’ water bottles and asking them if they wanted a refill). We had a pretty full range of goodies available, normal for Brazen events. Several racers who seemed to have been in their first Brazen race said some version of, “Oh, wow!” when they approached our table. That I can remember, we had oranges, bananas, Payday bars and Rice Krispie Treats (all cut up for ease of eating), Oreos, Jelly Bellies, Mike and Ikes, Skittles, Gummy Bears, plain and peanut M & Ms, and trail mix. We also had Salt Stick caps, which have several electrolytes plus vitamin D3, and we had GU packets in at least 3 flavors. I think the only item we ran out of, toward the very end of the marathon, was the Rice Krispie Treats. Otherwise, we were well stocked and might have been able to serve another 50-100 runners (only runners doing the half and full marathons came to our station, twice and four times respectively, about 530 racers total) with an almost full range of goodies. And we had water, sports drink mix, and GU (some races’ aid stations have just those items) sufficient for even more. All in all, Brazen and its volunteers do their best to make their events as pleasant as possible and help runners do well.

    Swag & Goodies:
    Volunteers receive the same “tech” race T-shirts runners/walkers doing the half marathon and marathon distances received The T-shirt for Western Pacific 2015 is up to Brazen’s usual high standard, though I don’t think it will be among my favorite Brazen T-shirts. I caught a glimpse of the finisher’s medal, and it features a train in relief in a brushed metal finish. The T-shirt and medal are well into the range where personal taste prevails in picking favorites. This medal would probably have been among my favorites.

    The finish area had Brazen’s usual array of fruit, pastries and cookies, salty snacks and, of course, It’s It ice cream sandwiches in several flavors.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    As I said above, this was my second time volunteering in a Brazen event, and Brazen’s organization is impressive from that perspective. I currently plan to do Quarry Turkey again this year, probably the 10K distance, and may attempt the marathon distance at Western Pacific 2016. Western Pacific probably won’t be my last time volunteering at Brazen events, either. Brazen makes its races wonderful experiences.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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