Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
4.2
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3
PRODUCTION
4.6
SWAG
4
Formerly Zoom Quarry Lakes (Summer), the Firecracker Run 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 … MORE
Local Weather (Jun 29)
2019 2018 2017 2016 2015
 
H (°F) 80 85 75 74 82
L (°F) 54 57 56 56 59
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Recent reviews

    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '19

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zoom Firecracker Run is based in Fremont's Quarry Lakes Park, and three distances are run, half marathon, 10k (which I did), and 5K. … MORE

    Event & Course Description: Coastal Trail Runs’ Zoom Firecracker Run is based in Fremont’s Quarry Lakes Park, and three distances are run, half marathon, 10k (which I did), and 5K. The 5K did a circuit around the park. The 10K and half marathon did a partial circuit, exited to the Alameda Creek Trail and headed upstream (left) to a turn-around. The 10K reentered the park and completed their circuit of the park. The half marathon kept going downstream to where they crossed the creek and headed back upstream. They crossed another bridge, went to the park entry, and completed their circuit of the park.

    The surface for the 10K course was mostly or entirely packed dirt and fine gravel, and basically flat. I’d estimate the course is 80%-90% exposed. Late June weather can be warm and sunny, and it was sunny but not too warm. Inside Quarry Lakes Park one can hardly tell one is in the middle of a city. The Alameda Creek Trail, on the other hand almost always has houses or a mobile home park on one side, and the creek on the other (with a channel that has been modified to prevent flooding and bank erosion, more practical than pretty). It’s not my favorite trail course, but it’s still more pleasant than central San Jose or a tract home residential neighborhood.

    Organization & Production: Coastal does well organized races, as a whole. There were four aid stations on the overall course. 5K runners came to just one, at the point where 10K and half marathon runners reenter the park. 10K and half marathon runners came to their first aid station at the upstream turn-around. Both next came to the park reentry aid station. 10K runners turned into the park, did a short loop back to that aid station, and then on to the finish. Half marathon runners had two aid stations along their second out-and-back, one on each side of the creek. Then they went past the park reentry aid station and on to the finish.

    Coastal generally marks their courses well, and I had no problem. At least a couple of runners went off course and another almost did at a point where a chalk arrow had gotten trampled a bit. I did see it, but tired people can make mistakes.. The aid stations had a couple of snacks (that I can sort of remember), water, and electrolyte chews.

    Bib: Coastal’s bibs are color-coded by distance, but otherwise just have the bib number and Coastal’s slogan, “Have fun out there”.

    T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. My T-short was white, with a fireworks burst and the race information on the front, and sponsors’ logos on the back. It’s a very nice race T-shirt.

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal was the fireworks burst with the race information but no date. The ribbon is lavender colored, with “2019 Finisher” along it. It’s not quite a favorite, but it is very nice.

    Finish & Recovery Area: The recovery area had bottled water and sodas, that I saw. Coastal usually has beer, but I didn’t see it. There was a good variety of snacks like chips, pretzels, and candies. After resting for a while at one of the picnic benches – it was a covered group picnic area – I had a very tasty grilled sausage in a suitable roll.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: It’s important for summer pretty much anywhere to be careful about hydration and wearing sunscreen, and I was. But I got a frustrating reminder that I don’t do well with more or less constant full sun exposure. Ah, well, I’ll learn and hopefully do better.

    Looking over my medals from this year, Zoom Firecracker was my first Coastal event for 2019. That is a schedule thingy, not a reflection on Coastal Trail Runs. Coastal does excellent events and respects budgets without skimping. I know I’ll do more Coastal events this year, and already have one planned.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    apyang FIRST-TIMER '19

    The website says that this course is 64% crushed rock and 36% paved road. I think the portion of crushed rock is less than 50%, but I wasn't really paying … MORE

    The website says that this course is 64% crushed rock and 36% paved road. I think the portion of crushed rock is less than 50%, but I wasn’t really paying attention. In any case, the course is pretty easy, except for several underpasses.

    The aid stations were excellent, They don’t have paper cups, so you have to pour drinks into your own container. They were well stocked with water, electrolytes, soft drinks, and various snacks. None of the stations ran out of anything, even for slow runners like me.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    trainwithv REPEAT RUNNER '17

    really well organized and nice people put on these races. Small # of entries and great course and lots of free food, free pics. Really easy for a first time … MORE

    really well organized and nice people put on these races. Small # of entries and great course and lots of free food, free pics. Really easy for a first time trail runner, more of a dirt path

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    PeteSinCA Jul 02, 2017 at 8:24am

    I'm glad to see a Rave about a more recent running of QL. Coastal is doing 3 races at QL in 2017 (the one in December includes a marathon). QL… MORE

    I'm glad to see a Rave about a more recent running of QL. Coastal is doing 3 races at QL in 2017 (the one in December includes a marathon). QL 2014 was my second trail race. QL and Coyote Hills convinced me that the best race experiences are "out there"on the trails. Coastal, like another organizer I frequent, does trail races really, really well. LESS

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '14

    i'd participated in zoom running events in the past and generally enjoyed racing these events. the main reason i liked these events is b/c they are local, and smaller in … MORE

    i’d participated in zoom running events in the past and generally enjoyed racing these events. the main reason i liked these events is b/c they are local, and smaller in terms of number of participants.

    for this event, participants had 3 events to choose from:
    half marathon (13.1 miles)
    10k (6.2 miles) – i chose to run this distance
    5k (3.1 miles)

    the pros:
    +late race start so that folks who were up late celebrating the 4th of july watching fireworks or at a party could sleep in a bit! start times varied from 9:00-9:25am depending on which distance.
    +small, local event with only a few hundred participants, which meant no congestion at the start and finish (and shorter waits for the bathrooms!)
    +bib and packet pickup the morning of the event. there was no line when i arrived (about an hour before my distance started)
    +4 unisex bathrooms right at the registration tent, and another 4 bathrooms about 0.2 miles down the parking lot. all of these had working toilets, toilet paper, clean, running water and paper towels which was much appreciated. some had soap, others did not.
    +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 salty party mix, peanut butter filled pretzels, chocolate chip muffins, tortilla chips, potato chips, candy, trail mix, m&m’s, graham crackers, clif bars, and watermelon. 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, and $45 for the 5k, 10k, and half, 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
    -customized medals on yellow and blue ribbons awaiting runners at the finish line!
    -additional 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 second 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.
    -while quarry lakes is very pretty, there was not a lot of shade and tree cover. with a late start on a warm summer day, this made for difficult race day conditions regardless of which distance you ran.
    -the 10k course, in particular, was not marked as clearly as it should have been, as many of the lead runners for this distance were misguided and ran in the wrong direction for a while before they were instructed to turn around! unfortunately, these folks ended up placing lower than they should have. 🙁
    -i was not a fan of miles 4-6 in the 10k as these few miles had many sharp turns which resembled switchbacks on a mountain, and parts of the trail were very narrow with tall grass and weeds which made it difficult to maintain my current pace or speed up.

    although i ended up finishing 2nd in my age group, 2nd female, and 2nd overall finisher (male/female), i was left wondering if maybe i would have finished at a lower standing if the course was marked properly and those who were in front of me when the gun went off had taken the correct course and finished earlier. so the usual excitement of finishing near the top wasn’t present since i wasn’t sure (and still am not sure) if i was truly the 2nd place overall finisher.

    overall, just an ok event. i’ll likely sign up for another zoom running event in the future, but not sure if i’d run quarry lakes again in the summertime, and less likely to run the 10k if it’s the same course in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '14

    Course description: Zoom Quarry Lakes begins and finishes in – Surprise! – Quarry Lakes Park in Fremont, CA. The course is mostly flat, loops around the park, and the half … MORE

    Course description:
    Zoom Quarry Lakes begins and finishes in – Surprise! – Quarry Lakes Park in Fremont, CA. The course is mostly flat, loops around the park, and the half marathon has an out-and-back leg using both sides of the Alameda Creek Trail. Quarry Lakes Park is very pretty, and the Creek Trail is pleasant, going between residential neighborhoods. Of the trail races I’ve done, Zoom Quarry Lakes is one of the less beautiful – not the least. But compared to courses used by races in central San Jose, I’ll take Quarry Lakes park and the Alameda Creek Trail.

    Organization & Production:
    Coastal Trail Runs aims to do small bargain-priced trail races, very well. In my opinion they succeed in this, and are the best organizer in the SF Bay Area for their price range. Coastal does not skimp when it comes to pleasant or beautiful venues, marking courses properly, in number of aid stations, or quantity and variety available at aid stations.

    Registration is handled, smoothly, through Coastal’s online store. Check-in is race day, and is done very efficiently. There is ample parking and plenty of restrooms nearby. Coastal’s volunteers know what they are doing, and are pleasant and helpful helpful. The atmosphere with the volunteers and racers feels like a family picnic.

    I was the second to the last to finish the half marathon, so I can say that the aid stations were properly provisioned with water, sports drinks, and snacks. What Coastal does at their low registration fee is impressive; I know of another SF Bay Area organizer that does less, less well, at almost double the price.

    There were slightly fewer than 200 who did the half marathon, so there was no individualized time-tracking at the start. Since I mostly walk, I placed myself at the back of the starting group, and my actual time may have been 10 seconds shorter than my official time. That is not a big deal to me; those who do care about a few seconds can start at or near the front. The half marathon course was clearly marked with colored flags that I found very easy to follow. I did look over the course map from the website with some care before race day, and recommend doing this.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The T-shirt artwork is a bit basic, a red “tech” T-shirt with an abstract graphic of a creek or small lake. On the other hand, racers for all distances receive “tech” T-shirts for their registration fee, not a common “perk” for 10K and 5K runners in other organizers’ races. The finishers’ medals share the same artwork (see pics), and are of nice quality (I have less nice medals from other races, so “nice” isn’t a euphemism). Nicer artwork would be pleasant, but for a $45 registration fee, I almost hate mentioning it.

    The food in the finish area was plentiful, to the very end of the race, and while not as great as at some races, the variety was very good.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    While Zoom is not my favorite local race organizer, they are excellent. I have done one other Coastal race since, the 2014 Turkey Trot, and Coastal is consistent. I may participate in one or two of Coastal’s races in 2015, and may do some in 2016 – possibly one that uses this same park and course, possibly one or more of Coastal’s more challenging hill trail events.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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