Overall Rating
Overall Rating (5 Reviews)
4
(5 Ratings)(5 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
1.8
SCENERY
2.6
PRODUCTION
3.8
SWAG
3.6
The Zoom Turkey Trot runs in Hellyer County Park along the popular Coyote Creek trail Thanksgiving morning, and you could win a turkey!
Local Weather (Nov 28)
2018 2017 2016 2015 2014
 
H (°F) 61 61 57 56 66
L (°F) 57 41 47 33 42
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    PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Event & Course Description: The Zoom Turkey Trot (ZTT) has three distances, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. ZTT is the only Thanksgiving day race in the SF Bay Area I … MORE

    Event & Course Description: The Zoom Turkey Trot (ZTT) has three distances, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. ZTT is the only Thanksgiving day race in the SF Bay Area I know of that offers the half marathon distance. I did the 10K. The start/finish area is in Hellyer Park. All distances circle the park and then head south on the Coyote Creek Trail. There are different turn-around points for each distance. The course is almost all paved, and about 60% shaded (depending on distance and time of day; for more details, see my 2017 ZombieRunner Halloween Run Rave). Two weeks before the 2018 race there was a major fire whose smoke significantly affected SF Bay Area air quality. Fortunately the weather changed, and rain showers the day before the race blew and washed the crud out of the air. Race day was pleasantly cool – upper 50s to lower 60s, with blue skies and a few fluffies. ZTT is intended to be a fun family-friendly event – there is a 50 yard run for young children (with the same finisher’s medal as the adults received!) – and an easy-going introduction to trail running.

    Organization & Production: Coastal Trail Runs is a very consistent register-and-run organizer. All a runner need worry about is getting to the venue and running their race. Aid stations have a variety of snacks (fuel and electrolytes), and the recovery goodies are even more varied. The aid station used by all but 5K runners is at a trail entry point staging area that has restrooms. The ZTT course is so simple that it scarcely needs markings other than turn-around points, so I didn’t notice whether there were markings.

    Bib: Coastal Trail Runs bibs are usually plain white, with organizer logos across the top, their, “Have Fun Out There,” slogan across the bottom, and the bib number in the middle.This race was different. Not only were the numbers distance-coded, but the bibs were color coded for distance. 5K bibs were white, 10K bibs were yellow, and half marathon bibs were purple. I don’t know whether this was the first time with color-coded bibs, a new norm, or whether Coastal have done this at their Turkey Trot before (they didn’t in 2014).

    T-Shirt: Coastal’s race T-shirts are always tech type, regardless of distance. I saw multiple colors, but mine is lime green (I also saw sky blue and white). The front has the race logo, a spaced-out looking turkey and the race distance on a blue background, along with the race date. The back has the race sponsors’ logos in orange. Coastal has been using this race logo since at least 2014, but I’ve always liked Space Turkey.

    Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal is a spinner type. The center medallion is a disc, pretty much the same as the 2014 medal, with the race logo and distances. The outer rim is yellow, with the race name across the top and stars around the rest of the circle. The ribbon is orange, with the race logo and “2018 Finisher” running along it.

    Finish & Recovery Area: The finish area is a covered group picnic pavilion, with lots of tables and benches at which one can rest. Coastal’s recovery goodies are pretty consistent, a good variety of sweet and salty snacks, bottled water, and a cooler stocked with sodas and beer. They also have some grilled food, though I didn’t check that out. Coastal also does a drawing for 10-20 (I didn’t count or win) turkeys.

    My Results & Opinion of the Race: I had very moderate expectations, since I’m trying to recover from a calf muscle strain. I was able to sustain a pretty good pace and my time was better than I anticipated. Coastal is an excellent race organizer. The Zoom Turkey Trot is a nice small-medium event – much to my liking – and close to my home. So I will consider doing it again next year.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    sfgal78 REPEAT RUNNER '15

    keeping to my annual thanksgiving day tradition, i participated in a turkey trot this morning so that i could BURN some calories before CONSUMING lots of calories at this evening's … MORE

    keeping to my annual thanksgiving day tradition, i participated in a turkey trot this morning so that i could BURN some calories before CONSUMING lots of calories at this evening’s feast!

    participants had a choice of three events to either run, walk or “trot:”: 5k , 10k, or half marathon (13.1 miles). i chose the 10k so i could get in about an hour’s worth of vigorous exercise.

    the pros:
    -BIB AND TSHIRT PICKUP the morning of the event. there was practically no line when i arrived at 8.20am
    -IDEAL RACE DAY WEATHER, with low-mid 40s and sunny skies at the start. although it was very chilly when i first arrived, i warmed up quickly after the first mile or so.
    -PLENTIFUL PARKING in the lot adjacent to the start/finish line and post-race refreshments area.
    -several park BATHROOM STRUCTURES as well as five porta-potties available
    -mostly FLAT COURSE with gentle inclines along coyote creek trail in hellyer county park. the foliage was beautiful as the trail was surrounded by trees with gold, orange, and rust-coloured leaves!
    -different COLOURED FLAGS to mark each race distance (hung on tree branches and/or lining the trail), blue flags to mark “wrong direction”
    -a wide array of POST-RACE REFRESHMENTS, which included pretzels, chips, candy, m&m’s, graham crackers, mini clif bars, oranges, and even pumpkin pie! they even offered hamburgers and hot dogs, something you don’t normally see after a race!
    -FRIENDLY VOLUNTEERS assisting with directing parking, bib pickup and registration pre-race, and handing out medals and refreshments post-race. i loved that two of the volunteers were dressed up as a piece of pumpkin pie and a whipped cream bottle, very creative!
    -EARLY BIRD registration fees of $35, $40, and $45 for the 5k, 10k, and half distances, 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 finished 3rd in my age group, i took home two medals today. 🙂
    -CUSTOMISED TURKEY TROT COASTERS for the top 3 overall men and women finishers for each distance. since i was the 3rd female to cross the finish line for the 10k, i got to take home a coaster!
    -TURKEY RAFFLE for 20 or so random participants. i actually won a turkey in the random draw!

    the cons:
    -since hellyer county park is one of the many county parks in santa clara county, there is a parking fee for each vehicle, $6, payable in cash to the ranger at the main gate.
    -even though i arrived around 8.15, one hour before the start of the 10k, the line leading to the ranger’s gate was really long and i waited close to 10 minutes before getting to the front of the line. fortunately, i still had ample time to get ready and warmup for the race!
    -while it was a nice course, the turnaround points could have been more clearly marked. although the 5k and 10k turnaround points were clearly marked with a cone and paper sign, my friend who ran the half did not see such a turnaround sign nor was she advised by the volunteer at the exact turnaround point that it was time for her to turnaround. she ended up running 13.6 miles, instead of the prescribed 13.1 miles for the half marathon.

    for this event, i went home with 2 medals, a coaster, and a 10ish pound turkey! not bad for an hour’s worth of running!

    overall, a great family-friendly event to kick off thanksgiving! thank you to the organizers for putting on this event! i am looking forward to participating in this event again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    sfgal78 REPEAT RUNNER '14

    so i decided to give this event another try and brought several friends along with me. upping my overall rating to 4 stars since this year's event was definitely an … MORE

    so i decided to give this event another try and brought several friends along with me. upping my overall rating to 4 stars since this year’s event was definitely an improvement over last year’s event.

    what worked well/was fixed from last year:
    +bathrooms were open by the time we arrived (they were locked last year) and several porta-potties were available right next to the start area
    +course for each distance was well-marked with different coloured flags and turnaround signage on the trail was very clearly marked. i believe there was a volunteer/aid station at the 5k and 10k turnarounds so someone would stop you if you went too far! i can’t comment on the half course since i didn’t run that far.
    +later start = extra sleep time (last year’s event started at 8am, this year’s started at 9am)
    +hot dogs, hamburgers and beer at the finish line! i don’t remember seeing these last year. they still provided pumpkin pie which was befitting for a turkey day trot. unfortunately, i waited too long (i was cooling down, stretching, and socializing with friends after i finished) so i didn’t get to have any of this pumpkin goodness.

    what still needs to be worked on:
    +the 10k course was short of the official 6.2 miles. my gps read 5.99 miles at the finish line, and two other friends had 6.01 and 6.08 miles respectively. so even though my official finish time was a PR for me, my actual pace wasn’t actually faster since the course was short.
    +the website still lists the parking fee as $5 instead of the actual $6 that is collected by the park ranger (same mistake as last year). i hope the race organizer’s are reading this and make this change for next year.
    +since i ran this event last year, i noticed that the medal had the exact same design from last year (i compared the medals when i got home after the race). not a huge deal, but it would be nice to see a different design from year to year, or maybe the date/year imprinted on the medal so that repeat participants can distinguish one medal from another.

    overall, i really enjoyed this event this year, and the weather was again very ideal for race day, about 48 and sunny. i finished 3rd in my age group, so i got to take home an extra medal. a good day’s work for me, and now, it’s time to chow down on turkey, harvest veggies, and pumpkin pie!

    thank you, zoom/coastal trail runs for organizing another great event, especially on this huge national holiday. we runners really appreciate your efforts!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    1
    SWAG
    3

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    sfgal78 FIRST-TIMER '13

    keeping to my annual thanksgiving day tradition, i participated in a turkey trot this morning with a couple of friends so that we could BURN some calories before we CONSUME … MORE

    keeping to my annual thanksgiving day tradition, i participated in a turkey trot this morning with a couple of friends so that we could BURN some calories before we CONSUME lots of calories.

    i really wanted to avoid the larger races, i.e. the 20,000+ turkey trot in downtown sj, so when i found out about this event, i immediately signed up. the location was at hellyer county park along the coyote creek trail, a place where i had never run before, or visited for that matter, so i was quite excited about tackling a new course.

    participants had a choice of three events to either run, walk or “trot:”: 5k , 10k, or half marathon (13.1 miles). i chose the 5k since i hadn’t raced this distance in a while and i wanted to see if i could improve my time since the last time i ran this distance (maybe over a year ago?)

    the pros:
    -bib and packet pickup the morning of the event. no line when i arrived at 6.55am.
    -perfect race day conditions, mid 40s and overcast at the start, low-mid 50s with increasing sunshine at the end. although it felt very chilly when i first arrived, i warmed up quickly after the first mile or so.
    -easy and plentiful parking in the lot adjacent to the start/finish line and post-race refreshments area.
    -mostly flat course that touched coyote creek trail and some of the neighboring trails in hellyer county park. the foliage was beautiful as the trail was surrounded by many trees!
    -different coloured flags to mark each race distance (hung on tree branches and/or lining the trail)
    -a wide array of refreshments after the race, which included pretzels, chips, candy, m&m’s, graham crackers, brownie bites, clif bars, oranges, and even pumpkin pie! they also had water, soda, and electrolyte fluid available.
    -friendly volunteers assisting with bib pickup and registration pre-race, also handing out refreshments post-race
    -fair registration fees of $35, $40, and $45 for the 5k, 10k, and half distances, 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 finished 2nd in my age group, i took home two medals today. 🙂

    the cons:
    -since hellyer county park is one of the many county parks in santa clara county, there is a parking fee for each vehicle. while the race organizer’s website advertised a $5 parking fee, it was actually $6 when we arrived at the main gate. it would have been nice to know this in advance.
    -while it was a nice course, the turnaround points could have been more clearly marked. i ran the 5k and was expecting the turnaround point a bit sooner (based on what my garmin said), but instead, it was much later than anticipated. of course, i also spent some energy worrying and wondering whether i had missed the turnaround and would end up running more than 5k. a friend of mine who ran the 10k was completely misguided on where that turnaround was and ended up running the incorrect distance since the volunteer did not communicate properly.
    -the park bathrooms near the start line were not accessible (due to an electrical issue), and unfortunately, there were also no porta-potties available, so we runners had to find a bush or some other “natural” means of taking care of our business. about 1h 20min after the start of the race, a few porta-potties were being delivered, but by that time, many of the 5k and 10k participants were finished and on their way out (if not long gone). this was absolutely inexcusable, not having accessible restrooms for nearly 500 participants and their family members/spectators.

    overall, i didn’t have a bad experience, i mean, i did get my morning workout in, but i wouldn’t exactly call it a good experience either.

    my biggest recommendations for the race organizer’s, should they choose to hold this event next year, would be to ensure that there are restrooms/porta-potties readily available well before the start of the race and to ensure that volunteers are properly directing runners especially near the turnaround points.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    3

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    PeteSinCA FIRST-TIMER '14

    Course description: Coastal Trail Runs' Zoom Turkey Trot has an out-and-back course along the Coyote Creek Trail, starting and finishing in San Jose, CA's Hellyer Park. It's almost the same … MORE

    Course description:
    Coastal Trail Runs’ Zoom Turkey Trot has an out-and-back course along the Coyote Creek Trail, starting and finishing in San Jose, CA’s Hellyer Park. It’s almost the same course as the Vibha Dream Mile, which I’ve reviewed previously. The course follows Coyote Creek, is almost flat, mostly rural, well shaded, and very pleasant.

    Organization & Production:
    For a price that is easy on the budget, Coastal Trail Runs gives racers an excellent race experience: a beautiful, well marked course; an appropriate number of well stocked aid stations; good after race goodies; a tech T-shirt for racers of all distances. One could do two Coastal events for the price of one Rock ‘n’ Roll event, and while Coastal’s events have 1/5 – 1/10 the number of racers of a Rock ‘n’ Roll event, I don’t much like mooo-ving experiences in races. Smaller races tend to have a family picnic feel, which I like.

    Swag & Goodies:
    The finish line food was a pleasant and plentiful array of salty and sweet snacks, plus fruit. Neither variety nor quantity are skimped. It being Thanksgiving Day, I didn’t linger and graze, so I can’t do a very good list, but at Coastal’s registration price, the finish area food is pretty impressive.

    Coastal Trail Runs’ T-shirts and finishers’ medals artwork are a bit simpler that Rock ‘n’ Roll’s or Brazen Racing’s, but this is a comparison of very good to excellent. I especially like the humor of the Zoom Turkey Trot T-shirt and medal image, a spaced-out looking (from all the Zooming?) turkey (see the pic for the T-shirt and finishers’ medal … not the handsomest model, but …).

    My Results & Opinion of the Race:
    I’ve done the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 3 times, and it uses most of the same course as the 408K (also 3 times) and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose 1/2 Marathon (twice). 8 races sharing much the same course! I decided to do something different for Thanksgiving 2014, and I already knew Zoom is an excellent organizer – in my opinion, possibly the best in its price range in the SF Bay Area. The Zoom Turkey Trot did not disappoint. Because I was doing a half marathon two days later I wasn’t at all aggressive. I was happy with what I did in the two Thanksgiving weekend races. Coastal’s Zoom Turkey Trot is among the Thanksgiving weekend races I’m considering for 2016, and will be for years to come (if I’m still around).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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