Overall Rating
Overall Rating (4 Reviews)
4.5
(4 Ratings)(4 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.3
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.5
2020 EVENT WILL BE VIRTUAL ONLY. *** The Zoom Dynamite course travels through tranquil Pt. Pinole Regional Shoreline, the largest shoreline park in the entire Bay Area. The park has an explosive past as the former site of the nation’s largest dynamite factory. The trails go through deep forests and … MORE
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Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '19

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zoom Dynamite event was held at the park at Point Pinole. This is a really beautiful setting – once the site of an … MORE

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ Zoom Dynamite event was held at the park at Point Pinole. This is a really beautiful setting – once the site of an explosives manufacturer, hence the name of the race – with coast and bay views and fragrant eucalyptus groves. I’ve done events in this park on pretty much the same course 12 times now, and am not tired of the venue. The courses are mostly dirt fire roads with some double- and a little single-track trail.

    Zoom Dynamite featured 3 distances, 5K, 10K, and half marathon. The 5K course was a loop, also used by the other distances. It traveled the southern coast of the point along open trail, in and out of small eucalyptus groves, crossed the tip of the point, and then went through another eucalyptus grove and down the center ridge of the point back to the start/finish area. The 5K course is has a few brief, not at all steep, hills. Just before reaching the finish area, the 10K course turned to start a loop around the other part of the Peninsula. It crossed the base of the point, out to a marsh area. It then looped through and along the marsh, and then finished using the last mile and a half of the 5K course. Half marathon runners did the 10K course twice (you won’t get bored!). All runners go along at least some coast, through eucalyptus groves, and along an open elevated spine with panoramic views of San Pablo Bay. The courses aren’t flat, but the 2 longest uphill climbs (one of which 10K runners did twice) are about a quarter or half mile each, with about 50-70 feet of climb.

    There was 1 aid station. 5K runners came to it near their mile 2 and then finished. 10K runners came to it twice, the second time near their mile 4.7. Half marathon runners came to the aid station 4 times.

    Organization & Production: Coastal is one of the SF Bay Areas best race organizers. The course was well marked. Coastal’s aid stations always have plenty of water and electrolyte drink, and a selection of sweet and salty snacks (usually including fruit, though I didn’t notice at this event). There were only around 200 participants in this event, so unlike Coastal’s usual practice, all runners of all distances were started at the same time.

    Bib: Coastal’s bibs are fairly plain, except that the background color varies with distances. Yellow was 5K, Blue was 10K, and Orange was for the half marathon. Beyond that, the bibs have Coastal’s logo and motto, and the bib number.

    T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. My T-shirt is sort of a fluorescent chartreuse, though I also saw some that were sky blue. The front has the race name as a logo, with a cluster of dynamite at the upper left of the words, and a runner at the lower right. Below that was the race information, including the date, and on the back were the logos of the race sponsors.

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medallion is of a nice size and weight disc. It has a bundle of dynamite and the race information (except the date) on a black background as the bottom half, and alternating royal blue and silver rays for the top half. The ribbon is a light salmon pink with the race logo and information and the year. I also won third place in the old goats age group. It is a disc with a banner across the bottom, and is not race-specific.Around the top rim is Coastal’s slogan, “Have fun out there”. In the center is “3rd”, with a runner above it. The banner across the bottom has Coastal’s logo, and at the bottom of the disc the logo for Coastal’s Zoom Running Events, which are not hilly and are family-oriented.

    Finish & Recovery Area: I didn’t look around a lot, but Coastal’s recovery area normally has 5 gallon jugs of water and electrolyte drink, lots of salty and sweet snacks, and ice chests with bottled water, sodas, and beer. I didn’t notice or look for the latter. As I was leaving the RD was firing up the grill, though I didn’t see what he was going to cook (usually some sort of sausage). The recovery area was a good sized picnic area, with plenty of tables and shade.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: For me this was a best laid plans kind of deal. The original plan was that my wife would do the event with me, sort of capping off her recovery from foot surgery in the latter half of last year. Well, she had a problem with her other foot and was unable to do the event. One of the reasons we had chosen this event was the beautiful and varied scenery in this park. So at several points along the course we Facetimed. It was as close as we could come to her being with me and seeing what I was seeing. For that reason – going slower so my phone didn’t shake too much and stopping at several scenic points – I really wasn’t going for a great (for me) finish time. It was very enjoyable for both of us. Part of a great race experience is what you bring with you and how you “use” what you do and see.

    Summing up, Coastal Trail Runs is an excellent organizer, Point Pinole is a really beautiful venue, there was a special brief run for the really young kids, and the weather is usually very pleasant and occasionally warm near the half marathon cut-off time (12:30), getting there is easy and parking is plentiful. I really don’t understand why the turn-out was so small. Anyway, great organizer, great race, I’d do Zoom Dynamite again.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    running4fun REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great way to start the Labor Day Weekend. Warm day (I've experienced warmer races.) The course had plenty of dirt and shade! Anybody know the fate of the runner that … MORE

    Great way to start the Labor Day Weekend. Warm day (I’ve experienced warmer races.) The course had plenty of dirt and shade!

    Anybody know the fate of the runner that needed medical attention at the checkpoint?

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    frankhwu REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I ran this in record heat. I have run at this park before. They have various routes. They said this was the 10k twice, but my devices clocked 13.5 miles. … MORE

    I ran this in record heat. I have run at this park before. They have various routes. They said this was the 10k twice, but my devices clocked 13.5 miles. They used to test dynamite out here or some such thing.

    Usually I don’t like to repeat a loop — who does? But if you have to, it could be much worse. This is scenic with variation: water; woods; prairie; swamp; hills. So no complaints from me.

    The Coastal Zoom folks are very nice. They usually have a bit of BBQ: burgers and hot dogs.

    I would recommend this venue. Also the organizers. Weather will be a problem the rest of our lives unless we wake up to climate change.

    Oh, one problem not the fault of anybody. Bay Area traffic is awful now. No good way to get back to the city from this park. 90 minutes by either bridge. That would be 45 minutes in the morning when it is clear.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    PeteSinCA Sep 03, 2017 at 9:40am

    I haven't run Coastal's version of this, but have done races with almost the same course. The scenery is so beautiful and varied that it isn't like watching a rerun… MORE

    I haven't run Coastal's version of this, but have done races with almost the same course. The scenery is so beautiful and varied that it isn't like watching a rerun on TV. Point Pinole is one of my favorite venues (I think I've done 7 races there). Yesterday was VERY HOT! After race southbound traffic on I-80 and I-580 between Golden Gate Fields and the Bay Bridge can be pretty congested, though this was Labor Day weekend and traffic may have been worse. The start/finish area for this race has plenty of picnic tables and shade, and much of the course is shaded. There are several really good race organizers in the SF Bay Area, and Coastal is one of them. LESS

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    UKCathryn FIRST-TIMER '13

    I ran this race with friends back in 2013 and it was a good solid run. The race takes place at Point Pinole which sits on the bay. It's not … MORE

    I ran this race with friends back in 2013 and it was a good solid run. The race takes place at Point Pinole which sits on the bay. It’s not spectacularly beautiful but it is pretty and is also quite flat which makes this race very runnable. It’s a butterfly shaped course, with two loops making up the wings, and you run the whole thing twice – thus four loops in total. I usually don’t like loops but I found the break-up quite helpful for pacing myself. It’s more or less flat apart from a couple of hills, one of which is short but sharp, and the trails are wide and fairly smooth. However running on gravel is surprisingly hard so beware and pace yourself carefully.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    3
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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