Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
4
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.5
SCENERY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
3
2021 EVENT VIRTUAL ONLY. —– The Zoom Ayala Cove Run takes place on Angel Island – a hilly, grass- and forest-covered island that provides spectacular views of Marin County, San Francisco, and the Golden Gate. Trails and roads circle the entire island and climb Mount Livermore. Bring the whole family … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Lani FIRST-TIMER '17

    QUICK BITS Put on by Bay Area trail racing organization Coastal Trail Races, Ayala Cove was a charming little race on Angel Island that offered something for everyone, with the … MORE

    QUICK BITS

    Put on by Bay Area trail racing organization Coastal Trail Races, Ayala Cove was a charming little race on Angel Island that offered something for everyone, with the three distances of 5-miler, 10-miler, and 15-miler races, with all versions taking runners up to the summit of Mount Livermore.

    PRE-RACE DETAILS

    This is the second time I’ve run a race on Angel Island, and it really makes for a great experience. You have to catch the ferry to get there (and Coastal Trail Races hired a ferry run just for runners), and wait a bit for the race organizers to set up the start area before the race starts.

    Registration was very reasonable (5-miler: $35; 10-miler: $40; 15-miler: $50), which included a gender-specific tech tee and finisher’s medal for those who finished. The race was based on gun time and was not chip timed.

    The race fee did not include the cost of the ferry ride; that was an extra you could add on to your registration, or pay when you picked up your bib at the docks.

    Unfortunately, the weather was wet and bitterly cold right while we were waiting, but the weather turned nice as soon as we took off.

    THE COURSE

    The course was set up as three loops along different loops: The summit, middle, and perimeter loops. All distances got a chance to hit the summit; the 5-milers just did the summit loop. The 10-milers did the middle then summit loops, and the 15-milers ran the perimeter, then middle, then summit loops. The perimeter loop was the most boring because it’s essentially the paved perimeter road around the island, but fortunately the 15-milers got that one out of the way first.

    AID STATIONS

    The single aid station was located by the start area, so you were encouraged to be somewhat self-sufficient with your own water. The aid station was stocked with fruit, salty snacks, sports drink, and water.

    GOODIES/BLING

    Finisher’s medal: The small rectangular medal had the race logo on it, but the medal did not list the year. Instead, the date “2017” was printed on the pink ribbon. HOWEVER, I originally got a medal with a generic pink strap, with no year printed on it. Without the year, there was no way to know what year it was for, so I went back and asked the medal distribution volunteer if she still had any left with the year on it. She was kind enough to trade it for my blank one… and then she proceeded to give the blank one to the next finisher!

    I’m guessing Coastal Trail Races plans to reuse the same medal for next year’s race, and wanted to keep costs down. The pink design was cute, but the generic undated medal was a bit of a disappointment.

    Race shirt: Gender-specific tech shirts were available. It looked like the men had a choice in colors, while the women only had one. Either that, or they ran out of the second color for the women (if that’s the case, again maybe the race organizer was trying to keep costs down by minimizing extras/waste?). Since I ran the 15-miler they may have run out of the second color by the time I finished.

    The shirts were not available for pickup before the finish.

    POST-RACE INFO

    Post-race food was looking really sparse by the time I finished, and I was not the last finisher by any means. Some other race organizations make it a point not to put out all the post-race food right away, to make sure later finishers can enjoy the same food experience, but they seemed not to do that for this race. I think I was able to snag one orange slice at the end, but nothing else (the trash bags were very full and food trays were all empty). I had to go to the cafe near the boat dock and buy my own snacks to get some calories.

    TIPS

    I like that even the 5-milers get to go to the summit. In a lot of races with multiple distances, the shortest distances usually don’t get to go to the summit, so this was nice. If I run this in the future, I think I will just sign up for the 10-miler. I’ll feel like I got my money’s worth (a 5-miler is almost too short for me to go through the hassles of getting to Tiburon at the crack of dawn to catch the ferry). That way they won’t run out of shirts and post-race food when I finish.

    GENERAL THOUGHTS

    Charming but feels like a small-time operation. Not really looking for a really slick professional setup, but it felt like there wasn’t as much attention paid to small details as I’m used to with other local trail races. That said, the course is wonderful, and the view is breathtaking! It’s a fantastic run and a great excuse to visit Angel Island. If you can make it a day, go visit the museum and hang around to enjoy lunch at the cafe!

    BEST/MOST UNIQUE FEATURE?

    Spectacular views. Bring your camera!

    HOW WOULD YOU IMPROVE THE RACE?

    Please don’t give out undated generic races medals. Also, why not just give out the race shirts when you pick up your race bibs before you get on the ferry? That’s less stuff to carry on the boat, and people can wear it for the race (or take it back to their parked car in Tiburon).

    WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS RACE?

    Yes, but only the shorter distances unless you are very fast and can get to the finish before they run out of post-race food.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    2

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    UKCathryn FIRST-TIMER '14

    I loved this race. From the minute we runners got on the ferry to the island to the minute we got the ferry back, it was great. Very small indeed … MORE

    I loved this race. From the minute we runners got on the ferry to the island to the minute we got the ferry back, it was great. Very small indeed but well organized. Brutally cold at the start but fine once we got running.
    You can choose from 5 miles, 10 miles and 15 miles covering 1,2 or 3 loops of the island respectively. The 10 miler runs one loop half way up and around and one loop up to the top and around. You pass the start line at the half-way point and that’s where the one aid station is located. The views on both laps were fabulous. The trails were beautiful and well maintained. Just be careful of the steep, nerve-wracking steps on the way down. Got a great race t-shirt (one of my favorites) and a good medal and I even placed in my age-group which made my day. All in all, a fantastic race that I’d heartily recommend.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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