Overall Rating
Overall Rating (3 Reviews)
4
(3 Ratings)(3 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
2.3
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.7
The ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes (Winter) course starts in the scenic Quarry Lakes Regional Recreation area and follows the popular Alameda Creek Trail up to the mouth of Niles Canyon. Fully-stocked aid stations every 2 miles. You can expect fresh fruit, salty snacks, assorted candy, water, and Clif Shot Electrolyte sports … MORE
Local Weather (Dec 15)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 61 61 60 55 55
L (°F) 51 41 52 41 50
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Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA VOLUNTEER '18

    My original plan was to do this race as I did last, walk the half marathon distance. A nagging calf injury changed that plan for me. My Rave from last … MORE

    My original plan was to do this race as I did last, walk the half marathon distance. A nagging calf injury changed that plan for me. My Rave from last year describes the courses for the several distances.

    Around the beginning of November I realized I should just do what races for which I was registered, conservatively, and otherwise let my calf recuperate. I also realized that I didn’t volunteer at a race in all of 2017 or 2018 up to that point, so I registered as a volunteer, my first time with Coastal Trail Runs.

    I frequently describe CTR as an excellent no-frills organizer. That’s an over-simplification, particularly in reference to aid station snacks and finish-recovery area snacks and food. I was at Aid Station 1, the first station 10K, half marathon, 30K, and marathon runners would encounter. We were located at the turn-around for the first out-and-back leg on the crossbar of the “T” course. The second aid station the longer distance runners would encounter was the one aid station through which 5K runners ran.

    My partner Gary and I were dispatched to the station with a tub with the various snacks and an ice chest loaded in our vehicle. When we arrived the station was partly staged, with 2 or 3 multi-gallon jugs of water, a 5-gallon jug filled with water, and tables. So setting up was pretty quick – set out the tables and position two jugs for runners.

    The tub of supplies had what we needed: pitchers, plates, bowls, and utensils; electrolyte drink mix; pretzels and potato chips; Oreo cookies; bananas and oranges; Coke and Sprite in the ice chest; Clif Bar gel packets. CTR’s aid stations commonly have trail mix and another snack item or two, but this was still much more than would be found at a large street/road race or some charity runs.

    So Gary set out the snacks and cut up the fruit. I set up the water jug and the 5-gallon jug for the electrolyte drink and mixed the drink. The race was supposed to be cupless, but was had some paper cups for those who didn’t understand that. We asked them to preserve their paper cups to use again at subsequent aid stations (several marathon runners had and used the paper cups they had gotten from us the first time they came to our station).

    We were well ready when the first runners showed up. From there we just served the runners what they needed (pitchers are faster than the spigots on water jugs), made sure the plates or bowls of snacks, fruit, and gel packets were replenished. And we chatted up the 30K and marathon runners the second time they came to our station to be sure they were “there”. We had, but did not need, a first aid kit, and we had the RD’s cell phone number in case we needed assistance.

    The guy who was to relieve us showed up more or less on time (I wasn’t watching my watch). He handled the slower marathoners and taking the aid station stuff back to the start/finish area. The finish-recovery area snacks and food were typical of a Coastal race, a larger variety of snacks than were at aid stations, water, electrolyte drink, and sodas and craft beers in an ice chest. The RD usually grills hot food for the longer distance runners, and this time it was hot link sausages.

    I did seven CTR races last year, and the finisher’s medals were all discs or rectangles – simple but elegant. I saw the finisher’s medal, and like the two medals I have from 2018, it was more complex. The medallion was fan-shaped, and the ribbon was a Christmassy green. The bibs were also distance color-coded rather than plain white.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '17

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zombie Runner Quarry Lakes (ZRQL) is one of three races Coastal does at Quarry Lakes Park and the nearby Alameda Creek Trail. In … MORE

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ Zombie Runner Quarry Lakes (ZRQL) is one of three races Coastal does at Quarry Lakes Park and the nearby Alameda Creek Trail. In 2018 the events will be in mid March, the end of June, and mid December. The first two feature 5K, 10K, and half Marathon distances. In the past the December race included a full Marathon distance; a 30K distance was added in 2017.

    Quarry Lakes Park has, as the name suggests, lakes that fill what were once quarry pits. The park and the trails in it are really beautiful. The Alameda Creek Trail follows the creek, usually with suburban houses and occasional parks on both sides. The creek is fairly wide, with lots of tules. It’s not my favorite trail run course, but it is much preferable in my mind to a race in central San Jose. Perhaps because of my moderate expectations I was a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed the course this time.

    The half Marathon (which I did) course can be described as a “T” with a short vertical stroke and a much longer horizontal stroke. Both strokes in this description have curves and the vertical stroke has a loop in it, so it doesn’t exactly look like the letter T. All runners did the mile and a half outbound side of the vertical stroke. When runners reached the Alameda Creek trail 5K runners turned right, ran along the trail for a little over 3/4 of a mile, and then back into the park for another 3/4 of a mile or so to the finish. Back where the 5K runners turned right the 10K and longer distance runners turned left onto the trail for the left side of the horizontal stroke. After about 2 miles runners reached an aid station where they also turned around. Runners then retraced their steps, and when they reached the point where 5K runners went back into the park – also the location of an aid station – 10K runners took a slightly longer route to the finish. Longer distance runners went out on the second side of the horizontal stroke, about 3.6 miles out and 3;6 back . The turn-around for this leg went up onto a sidewalk to cross to the paved bike path on other side of the creek for the return. There were two aid stations, one on each side of the creek and in sight of each other, for this leg. Runners went slightly past the park reentry, crossed a pedestrian bridge, and then returned to the park reentry and to the finish by the route 10K runners took. On reaching the finish, 30K runners turned around and did the 10K course again, while Marathon runners did the half Marathon course again.

    For 5K and 10K runners the course was entirely hard packed dirt and fine gravel. For longer distance runners it was 65%-75% dirt and gravel. The 5K course was mostly exposed, and the 10K course may have had 10%-20% shade. Because of trees on the creek path opposite the park side and the angle of the sun, half and full Marathon runners experienced 30%-40% shade. Except for a few street underpasses and some very gentle inclines, the courses for ZRQL are basically flat.

    Organization & Production: Coastal’s races usually flow from checking it out online to registering to finding necessary information on the website to getting to leaving after the race. The “only” hard work is running your race. Quarry Lakes Park is easily accessible and has plenty of parking. ZRQL had almost 430 finishers, and races with 2 or 3 times as many finishers have been accommodated by the park and trails. Runners do have to pay a $5 vehicle entry fee, but Coastal’s registration fees are pretty low.

    There were 3 separate start times – the long distances, the 10K, and the 5K. Coastal does gun start timing, so faster runners should position themselves toward the front of their starting pack for the most accurate finish time. The locations of aid stations, as with pretty much all trail races, are dictated by access to the trail. Aid stations for ZRQL were 2.1-2.7 miles apart. Coastal typically has a variety of sugary and salty snacks at aid stations, plus water, electrolyte drink, Coke, and Sprite, and ZRQL was no exception.

    Coastal doesn’t do mile markers, so knowing the aid station locations and distances helps one track one’s progress. The website has a chart with the aid station locations and distances between. Coastal DOES mark courses well, though the course for ZRQL is a bit simpler than some of Coastal’s races.

    The finish area (a covered group picnic area) food is mostly a super-set of what is at aid stations. However, just as the fastest 30K and Marathon runners the RD fired up a picnic area grill. I did not see what was about to be grilled, but in previous races I’ve seen hamburgers and bratwursts. For liquid recovery/refreshments there were bottled water, sodas, electrolyte drink, and beer (Anchor brand; I also have seen Sierra Nevada at another Coastal race).

    Swag & Goodies:

    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.

    T-Shirt: Coastal’s registration fee includes tech type race T-shirts for all distances. Some Tees were “Royal Blue”, some were “Chili Pepper Red” (I saw the boxes). I got red. The race logo on the front is an abstract view of Alameda Creek, looking through tules and across the water course. Across the top of the logo is the race name in green, with the race information (including date) and the Zombie Runner store logo in yellow-orange. The back has the sponsors’ and organizer’s logos. It may not become a favorite, but it’s pleasant and may grow on me. I do like the color,

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal is a disc with the logo and information from the T-shirt on it (except the date). The ribbon is green and (to my disappointment), unlike other Coastal medals I have from 2017, does not have the year.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: This has been a year of health problems that have affected my endurance and the distances I’ve done in races. There was also a month and a half I hiatus. Prior to Zombie Runner Quarry Lakes I had not done a half Marathon since the Dream Mile in June, then the second half I’d completed in 2017. So my “big” goal in doing Quarry Lakes was to finish a half Marathon. Enjoying the course and day and enjoying Coastal’s race experience were secondary. Maybe having my expectations “looking” elsewhere set me up for it, but I enjoyed all that too, as well as finishing with a time faster than the 7 1/2 hours allowed for the race. Quarry Lakes Park is beautiful, the Alameda Creek Trail is pleasant and occasionally beautiful, the day was cool and sunny, and Coastal consistently gives a great race experience (ZRQL was my seventh Coastal event in 2017). This isn’t my favorite course, but Coastal is a great organizer and those longer distances are calling me. December weather and the flattish courses mean that with training, who knows come December, 2018. My first 30K? My first Marathon?

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '13

    i planned to run a marathon near the end of the year, but wanted to stay local, so i chose this event since it's in fremont, just across the bridge … MORE

    i planned to run a marathon near the end of the year, but wanted to stay local, so i chose this event since it’s in fremont, just across the bridge from where i live. no long driving or staying in a hotel the night before, which meant that i could sleep in my own bed the eve of the race.

    the short summary of my race day is that i ran in ideal race day conditions, ran my best marathon time ever and even wound up finishing first in my age group! so this event was very memorable for me.

    now for the nitty-gritty details….

    for this event, participants had four events to choose from:
    full marathon (26.2 miles)
    half marathon (13.1 miles)
    10k (6.2 miles)
    5k (3.1 miles)

    the pros:
    +bib and packet pickup the morning of the event. there was no line when i arrived at 7.05am.
    +4 unisex bathrooms right at the registration tent, and another 4 bathrooms about a quarter mile down the parking lot. all of these had working toilets, toilet paper, clean, running water and paper towels which was much appreciated (even well after i finished my race).
    +ideal race day conditions for an endurance event, low-mid 30s at the start, upper 40s-low 50s at the end, under sunny skies. it was VERY COLD when the gun went off at 8am, but several miles into the race, i had warmed up and was feeling a good rhythm.
    +easy and plentiful parking in the lot adjacent to the registration pavilion which was also right next to the start/finish line and post-race refreshments area.
    +mostly flat course with some short rolling hills/underpasses that intersected with the alameda creek trail.
    +different coloured flags to mark each of the four race distances (hung on tree branches and/or lining the trail), also, blue flags to mark the wrong direction (i.e. if you’re running blue, you’re off course),
    +a wide array of refreshments after the race, which included peanut butter filled pretzels, chips, candy, trail mix, graham crackers, chocolate chip muffins, oranges, asian rice cracker mix, and even pumpkin pie! they also had water, soda, and electrolyte fluid available.
    -friendly volunteers assisting with bib pickup and registration pre-race, manning the aid stations on the course, and handing out medals at the finish line
    -fair registration fees of $35, $40, $45, and $60 for the 5k, 10k, half and full, respectively. you can also save $5 if you choose not to purchase an official race tshirt.
    -college student discount of 10% off the registration fee with valid student ID
    -colourful medals awaiting runners at the finish line!
    -medals for age group winners, 3 deep in each 10-year category, i.e. male 20-29, 30-39, female 20-29, 30-39, etc. since i was first in my age group, i walked away with 2 medals.

    the cons:
    -since quarry lakes regional park is an alameda county park, there is a $5 parking fee for each vehicle.
    -the first aid station was not ready for us by the time i (and a large group of runners) arrived. i had to grab a cup and wait while a volunteer poured water into my cup before i could continue running which wasted valuable seconds. these water cups should have been set up well before i arrived.
    -while quarry lakes is very pretty, the course itself was a bit boring, and the fact that the full marathoners had to run the course twice (double the half marathon route) made it very boring and quite tedious, especially without any audio or visual entertainment along the course.
    -most of the turnaround points/markers were well marked, but the turnaround/halfway point for the full marathon was not marked at all. in fact, i had to shout out and ask where do the full marathoners turn around since we do not go into the finisher’s chute with the half marathoners. also, the last turn on the full marathon, already more than 25 miles into the race, was not well marked, and i actually ran the wrong direction before someone shouted at me to go the other way.
    -since i went slightly wrong on a few turns, i ended up running 26.4 miles instead of 26.2, so theoretically, i could have shaved a few seconds off my time.

    overall, i had a pretty good experience at this race and i even got to meet the race director, wendell, who was very friendly, congratulated me on my performance, and thanked me for participating in this event.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    PeteSinCA Oct 21, 2017 at 12:43pm

    I'll be doing the half in this event if all goes as planned, so the refresher was helpful. Time to get out the long pants and long-sleeved Tee! Coastal has… MORE

    I'll be doing the half in this event if all goes as planned, so the refresher was helpful. Time to get out the long pants and long-sleeved Tee! Coastal has a frequent racer discount of 5% after the 3rd race. There's also a 10% senior discount, but I don't qualify yet (age 65+). I've done five Coastal races this year. They're a solid organization. LESS

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