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Fitbrit REPEAT RUNNER '17

This is my 3rd Trail Hog race and my 3rd year Anniversary running with Brazen racing. I arrived early and could have switched to the first hiker start at 7:00am. … MORE

This is my 3rd Trail Hog race and my 3rd year Anniversary running with Brazen racing.
I arrived early and could have switched to the first hiker start at 7:00am. Instead I stuck with the 8:00am start and thought how hard can this be. Well by 8:00 am I’m sure it was already 80 degrees. The course itself is moderately difficult but if this was your first trail race , well you might think it was extremely hard.
You will find it’s rugged and dusty in parts and open fields of full sun. This year it was during a very hot heat wave and we recorded up to 104 -106 degrees by the end of the race.
The total incline was supposed to be around 1,800ft but there was a course change 2,100 ft of incline was probably more accurate.
There were 4 aid stations of enthusiastic and helpful volunteers.
There was a stretch between mile 9-11.5 that I really needed water and was out. All I could do was walk as my heart rate was very high at this point.
Now I look for animals and birds while racing as I don’t listen to music or run with someone.
So I will tell you I saw a Golden eagle , 6 wild hogs, quails, wild turkeys, woodpeckers and a really really large rattle snake crossed my path . So that is what I call scenery, it was fun to see during a very arduous run.
Although some people got heat stroke most of us took our time and ploughed through it.
This is a race I won’t ever forget .
Take a hydration pack just in case you take a wrong turn.
Overall a very memorable race.
An it’s it and food awaits you at the finish line and this year sponges to cool you off.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

This is the toughest race I've even done. Two years in a row. Tougher than any 50 miler. 50k with 8000' of elevation gain. Up to the summit, and north … MORE

This is the toughest race I’ve even done. Two years in a row. Tougher than any 50 miler. 50k with 8000′ of elevation gain. Up to the summit, and north peak. Awesome race. Awesome support, volunteers, swag, people, everything. Nothing beats a Brazen race. And a Brazen ultra? Even better. That’s all for now. My legs are hurting just writing this. 🙂

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

3 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas At this race, you know There's a half and a five and ten-k It's way up a hill they say With ribbons … MORE

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
At this race, you know
There’s a half and a five and ten-k
It’s way up a hill they say
With ribbons that tell you which way to go

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Runners are all in store
For the coolest sites to see
The views with all the trees
And the medal that you wore

A very great run and a lots of fun is the wish of Jasmin and Sam
Folks that will talk, and some that will walk, and everyone’s a friend
And lots of clapping all around as they cheer the runners in

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
At this race you know
There are volunteers to help
Some parking us as well
The awesome kind that doesn’t mind the cold

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Soon the race will start
Then you’ll finish and get your bling
It’ll make you want to sing
Owl dressed as Santa plays the part

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Now the race is done
This whole race was in the rain
I can’t wait to do it again
Brazen races are funnnnn

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

This is one of my favorite races. It's out at Lagoon Regional Park in Vacaville. It starts with a lap around the lake, then two loops. While it has just … MORE

This is one of my favorite races. It’s out at Lagoon Regional Park in Vacaville. It starts with a lap around the lake, then two loops. While it has just under 2,400 feet of elevation gain, I find this course easier than a couple others that have only 2,000. I think it’s a bit more spread out and runnable. I got my fastest Goonies time this year. This was undoubtedly because of the cool temps that lasted all morning. The sun never really came out until I was done. The views are great at this course. There are some tough small climbs. Some cool single track downhill, and some paved parts (especially mile #12) which you can get a really fast mile at (all downhill). Post race snacks, Volunteers, on course aid stations, Crew, Bling, everything was TOP NOTCH. As it always is at a Brazen Race!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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Profile photo of Barbara Rausch
noneleft FIRST-TIMER '16

This race takes place at Sanborn Park County in Saratoga. There is also the Trailquake Run at the same location at the beginning of June. Today, it rained and rained … MORE

This race takes place at Sanborn Park County in Saratoga. There is also the Trailquake Run at the same location at the beginning of June. Today, it rained and rained and rained. There was mud, puddles, a slick course, lots of leaves, tree roots, rocks, some stairs, single track, and plenty of opportunity to wipe out. I ran the 5k and the first half of it goes up and up to the aid station. You, then, turn around and come back down the way you came. The 5k has about a 700 ft climb. I wiped out on the same course at Trailquake in June, so I was quite nervous with the slick conditions that I would do the same. I paid close attention to all the roots, rocks, and mud and I stayed up right. Besides the hills, the course is quite nice. You run through beautiful redwood groves and under lovely tree canopies. It’s definitely a tough course, but if you are up for a challenge, it is well worth it.
Aid station and finish area were well stocked with tasty treats. There was coffee and hot water for apple cider and hot chocolate with whip cream and marshmallow. Awesome finishers medals and shirts for all. I placed first in my age group and scored a coveted age group medal. It was a great day despite the pouring rain.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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PeteSinCA REPEAT RUNNER '17

Event & Course Description: No, I wasn't describing the runners (Wink! Wink!). It was a HOT day. As in above 105F when many or most people finished their half marathon. … MORE

Event & Course Description: No, I wasn’t describing the runners (Wink! Wink!). It was a HOT day. As in above 105F when many or most people finished their half marathon. It was a record-breaking day, in temperatures, not finish times. Welcome to summer!

So, the easiest approach to describing the course I did, the 5K, would be to start with the half marathon course. This course was two oblong loops that shared a long section in the middle, with a short start and finish “stick”. As the course map on Brazen’s website is aligned, half and 10K runners did the loop on the left, and when they finished that loop 10K runners headed for the finish, while half marathon runners went out on their second loop. 5K runners did an abbreviated version of the second loop, using a mile or so of two trails not used by the other two distances. The courses are almost entirely dirt trails, with 80%-90 sun exposure (very little shade).

Organization & Production: Trail Hog is a Brazen race, so that means excellent organization from the information on their website all the way through returning to your car after finishing and recovering. Courses are always well marked with color-coded flags, and there were course marshals at key junctions to direct runners which way to go.

Brazen races normally feature separate start times for each distance. Brazen also normally has an early “Hiker’s Start” for slower half marathoners, usually a half or full hour before the regular half marathon start. At Trail Hog the scheduled Hiker’s Start was half an hour early. When it became clear how hot the day would be, Brazen also scheduled and set up for an extra early start, a full hour before the regular half marathon start. Both early starts were used by a good number of runners, and not just by half marathoners. Those who used the early starts were/are not eligible for age group medals.

Brazen aid stations normally feature lots of refuel snacks and liquids. For this race Brazen added frozen Otter Pops and buckets of ice water with sponges for dumping on runners’ whatever (trust me, it feels amazing on a hot day!). Pre-race announcements mentioned that all aid stations had been given a lot of extra water (and Brazen aid stations never run out, normally!). Aid stations also had walkie-talkies to be able to notify the race director of runners in distress so a vehicle could be sent to bring them to the start/finish area and EMT assistance.

Brazen’s finish area recovery food is pretty amazing, including the perennial favorite, It’s It ice cream sandwiches, in multiple ice cream flavors. When one enters the finish “chute” runners’ names are called out, the timing mats are crossed, a volunteer(s) takes pictures, another hands the runner their medal, and somebody gives a bottle of ice cold water or directs runners to the tubs (I was so exhausted and hot, I don’t remember which). And then it’s like entering RecoveryLand – food, water, electrolyte drink, and sodas, lots of picnic tables (many in the shade. Because of the heat there were several EMTs cruising among the recovering runners, giving out chill packs and checking how people are doing.

Swag & Goodies:
Bib: Brazen color-codes its bibs according to distance. There was a wide stripe at the top and a more narrow stripe at the bottom: orange for the half marathon; blue for the 10K; yellow for the 5K. In the upper colored stripe are the race name, distance, location, date, and a Rat Fink inspired hog dressed in colonial formal attire, bib # 2017, and with sweat pouring off him (ironically accurate!). In a broad white stripe in the center are the runner’s name and bib number. In the lower colored stripe are the organizer’s logo and a couple of hashtags.

T-Shirt: Brazen gives 5K and 10K runners poly-cotton race T-shirts with their registration fee, and half marathon runners receive a tech type T-shirt. 5K and 10K runners can upgrade to a tech Tee for $7 (in 2017); I did this. The tech type Tee is light blue. On the front are the race name, ”MOUNT HAM” (the race is run near Mt. Hamilton), and the sweating Hog Fink politician. On the back is the Hog Fink politician delivering a speech with a star background, and below the race name, distances, location, date, and sponsors’ logos.

Finisher’s Medal: The finisher’s medal has the speechifying Hog Fink, arm raised and index finger pointed. His podium is a box with the race name and information. The ribbon is brownish orange, with the race name in large Green letters, and the race name in black letters.

My Results & Opinion of the Race: I’ve seen the Facebook chatter of a number of people who did the half marathon distance, experienced ultra-marathon runners. Trail Hog 2017 was tough! The Trail Hog half marathon of itself is reasonably challenging, but what made the 2017 running really tough was the record-breaking heat. Brazen Racing did what they had to do and could do to inform runners and be prepared. Trail races are typically “Rain or shine,” with runners being responsible to know and act within their capabilities. More than a few did so by downgrading from half to 10K or 10K to 5K.

Speaking personally, 2017 Trail Hog was the toughest 5K I’ve ever done, and possibly the toughest race I’ve completed. While my endurance at this time was part of that, the heat was the biggest reason. I do not blame or complain against Brazen or Trail Hog, heat is a known possibility of trail races in summer.

2017 Trail Hog was also kind of weird. Along side the heat, the course is really beautiful. It’s set in the foothills east and above San Jose, with lots of dry grasses on rolling hills dotted with clumps of oak and other trees. The views definitely reward the work, and as far as I know, Trail Hog is the only trail race that is run in Joseph D. Grant Park.

Would I do it again? Well, the chances I’ll be running or volunteering in a Brazen Race again sometime this year are pretty high. They’re my favorite among the several excellent race organizers in the SF Bay Area. This was my second time running in Trail Hog, and last year I volunteered, so I will always consider doing Trail Hog as late summer comes around.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '16

This was my very first Brazen race in 2011. This year I did this race for my 4th time. I love this race. It's out at Mount Hamilton (however you … MORE

This was my very first Brazen race in 2011. This year I did this race for my 4th time. I love this race. It’s out at Mount Hamilton (however you don’t go up to the top). Mount Hamilton is the highest mountain in the bay area. The half marathon has about 1,700 feet of elevation gain, and there really isn’t any long climbs, just a lot (about 5 or so) nice climbs. A lot of people wear things to this race themed after pigs or hogs. This race is part of the Ultra Half Series, with Brazen, and I highly recommend it. Pay attention to how to get there, and don’t take Quimby road. It’s super winding (I always get confused when typing that word. I want to type “windy”). 🙂 Anyway, come out and get piggy with it. I’ll be there for sure.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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patvencool REPEAT RUNNER '16

w0W! Summit Rock trail race course is absolutely beautiful. Lush, green, tree canopy, twigs, rocks, climb climb climb, embedded/exposed tree roots. This course is everything a trail race is all … MORE

w0W! Summit Rock trail race course is absolutely beautiful. Lush, green, tree canopy, twigs, rocks, climb climb climb, embedded/exposed tree roots. This course is everything a trail race is all about. Uphill climb, downhill flyin.
WARNING: This is a course where many runners slip, trip & fall with so many embedded rocks and roots. So be careful on both the uphill and even more so on the downhill.
Well stocked aid station, well supplied end of race food table.
Beautiful race shirts, incredible finishers medal.
Plenty of port-a-potties
Plenty of parking. $6 to park

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

mikebeckwith REPEAT RUNNER '15

This is a very fun and challenging race. It's held at Sanborn County Park in Saratoga. It's the same course that another race is held at earlier in the year … MORE

This is a very fun and challenging race. It’s held at Sanborn County Park in Saratoga. It’s the same course that another race is held at earlier in the year (Trailquake). Summit Rock goes the opposite direction as Trailquake and has a slightly different course. It starts with a pretty tough almost 4 mile climb with just about 1500 feet of gain. The course is absolutely beautiful with lots of single track and some beautiful redwood trees. Thee are so many that I never wear my sunglasses at this race. 🙂 The last 4 miles on the half are down hill. But be careful as there are roots and rocks etc that can trip you up. The start and finish area is small and intimate which makes it fun as well. Parking can be a little walk and there is also a shuttle if there’s no parking available. This year we also did the cha cha slide before the start of the half (think flash mob). 🙂 This race is also part of Brazen’s ultra half series. As always, Brazen puts on the best races anywhere.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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