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@Tessa

Antioch, CA Raving since 2014 Half Fanatics #10639 active 2 years ago

About Me

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My races

Organize, track & review your races and personal bests here.

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Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon San Pablo, CA May 31, 2014 2:14:19
10K Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2016 1:20:45
5K Saratoga, CA Dec 12, 2015 45:03

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (53)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2017
10K Fremont, CA Dec 31, 2016
5K San Jose, CA Dec 18, 2016
Half Marathon Saratoga, CA Dec 10, 2016
5K San Ramon, CA Dec 3, 2016
Marathon Arlington, VA Oct 30, 2016
Marathon Saratoga Gap, CA Oct 8, 2016
12K San Francisco, CA Oct 2, 2016
75 Miler Rodeo Beach, CA Sep 10, 2016
30K Gilroy, CA Aug 20, 2016
50K Castro Valley, CA Aug 7, 2016
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jul 23, 2016 2:46:26
6 hr San Pablo, CA Jul 9, 2016
13.7 Miler Stinson Beach, CA Jun 18, 2016
50K Fish Camp, CA Jun 11, 2016
5K Fremont, CA May 22, 2016
Pixie Dust Challenge (19.3 Miles) Anaheim, CA May 6, 2016
Dark Side Challenge (19.3 Miles) Lake Buena Vista, FL Apr 15, 2016
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 23, 2016 2:55:15
10K Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2016 1:20:45
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Dec 27, 2015 3:30:51
5K Saratoga, CA Dec 12, 2015 45:03
Half Marathon Livermore, CA Oct 17, 2015 2:49:32
Half Marathon San Ramon, CA Oct 3, 2015
Half Marathon Antioch, CA Sep 19, 2015
50 Miler Rodeo Beach, CA Sep 12, 2015
50 Miler Enumclaw, WA Jul 25, 2015
50K Fish Camp, CA Jun 6, 2015
Marathon Weott, CA May 3, 2015
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 24, 2015 2:25:44
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2015
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Dec 27, 2014
Half Marathon Saratoga, CA Dec 13, 2014 2:56:50
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Nov 29, 2014 2:22:18
Half Marathon Walnut Creek, CA Nov 2, 2014 3:01:55
10K Berkeley, CA Oct 25, 2014
Half Marathon San Ramon, CA Oct 4, 2014
Half Marathon Antioch, CA Sep 20, 2014 3:02:31
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Sep 6, 2014 2:52:53
Half Marathon Martinez, CA Aug 16, 2014 3:13:40
Half Marathon San Leandro, CA Aug 2, 2014 2:20:23
6 Miler Santa Cruz, CA Jul 27, 2014
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jul 26, 2014 2:46:26
13.7 Miler Stinson Beach, CA Jun 21, 2014 3:47:50
Half Marathon Saratoga, CA Jun 14, 2014 3:17:59
Half Marathon San Pablo, CA May 31, 2014 2:14:19
Half Marathon El Sobrante, CA May 10, 2014 2:44:05
50K Brentwood, CA Apr 19, 2014
Half Marathon Fremont, CA Jan 25, 2014
Half Marathon Livermore, CA 2014 2:49:32
Half Marathon Castro Valley, CA Jan 1, 2014
Half Marathon Walnut Creek, CA Nov 3, 2013 2:45:55
Half Marathon Antioch, CA Sep 21, 2013 3:02:31

My Raves

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This is always a favorite for me. I don't think I've ever had a bad experience bringing in the New Year with this Brazen race. This year was exceptional. The … MORE

This is always a favorite for me. I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad experience bringing in the New Year with this Brazen race. This year was exceptional. The weather was pretty darn perfect. Because there is work being done at the Lake Chabot Dam, there is a change of the “normal” course. I like this course though, so no complaints from me. I actually like that they changed it up this year and had the NYE and NYD races at two different locations. The distance is a little bit further than a half marathon, but this race counts towards the Ultra Series event.

The shirts and medals are always great and if you do the NYE and NYD races, you get a mega-medal. They ran out of the middle connector piece, but they always follow through and send you the medal in the mail.

Great course, great food, great race organization! Happy New Year!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

This year the course was moved to the Fremont Quarry location and I was fine with the change. This is one of two races you can do with Brazen to … MORE

This year the course was moved to the Fremont Quarry location and I was fine with the change. This is one of two races you can do with Brazen to get their cool mega-medal. I love Chabot but I was glad to run at a different location this year. This is a race I look forward to every year, I get to end the year with friends and fellow Brazen Racing Streakers. It is kind of a cult, and really fun wearing our streaker shirts. We wear them with pride and congratulate the new streakers we see on the trails. To see more about what a streaker is just visit the Brazen Racing website.

Great food (as always), nice shirt and medal. This course is pretty flat, there is nice scenery along the route. I only did the 10k this year because of the location, typically I do the back to back half marathons. I’m looking forward to next year already.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Santa Run Silicon Valley 5K

Santa Run Silicon Valley 5K

This was a fun run. There are lots of costumes, families, and friends. I liked that this race started in the afternoon. It was really chilly, so dress warm. They … MORE

This was a fun run. There are lots of costumes, families, and friends. I liked that this race started in the afternoon. It was really chilly, so dress warm. They have fun for the kids after the race, this would be a great race to take my grandchildren to. They had a costume competition that was fun to see at the finish. There were vendors at the end with cookies and milk too 🙂

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
1
SWAG
3

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Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Well, my first year doing this tough half marathon, I finished with an age group win. This year, I was dead last. It rained almost non-stop for the last 2 … MORE

Well, my first year doing this tough half marathon, I finished with an age group win. This year, I was dead last. It rained almost non-stop for the last 2 hours of the race, and normally I don’t struggle too much with slippery mud but this year I just kept slipping and falling. It was a tough one for me, but I enjoy this race so much. It is so pretty! The terrain is not easy. It doesn’t matter if it is raining or not, but I will always do this race for as long as I can. There is a really tough climb, it seems like it goes on forever. Coming back down the switchbacks (when it isn’t raining) is so much fun.

The swag for this race never disappoints. The snow owl is one of my favorite shirts and medals that we get from Brazen Racing. The medal glows in the dark, it’s really cute!

Brazen Racing is such a nice organization. They stayed out there for me as the last finisher and they even kept the arch up for me. Not all organizations do this, and I’m not going to lie, I got emotional when I saw that they had not taken it down when I came around the corner for my race finish. After 4.5 hours of fighting through the rain, mud, slipping and falling…it meant so much to me.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Bah Humbug!

Bah Humbug!

This is a fun run, great for families or group run with friends. There are some fast, competitive runners out there too, but if you are looking for a fun … MORE

This is a fun run, great for families or group run with friends. There are some fast, competitive runners out there too, but if you are looking for a fun run around the holidays this is a good one!

They have hot coffee in the morning, it is chilly out there. Vendor participation is good, post race.

There is great spectator participation for this race in San Ramon.

The swag is fun. They give you a medal that is really an ornament. Super cute (Grinch) and they also gave out a nice tech long-sleeve shirt.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

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Marine Corps Marathon

Marine Corps Marathon

This race was a bucket list race for me. We have one son in the Navy and another in the Marines. I enjoyed the patriotic aspect of the race, and … MORE

This race was a bucket list race for me. We have one son in the Navy and another in the Marines. I enjoyed the patriotic aspect of the race, and had a great time visiting friends and exploring a new state (Virginia), but this is a one and done race for me. The Blue Mile is amazing, and seeing the families at the end of the mile holding the American Flag is so worth it. The downside for me for this race was seeing someone fall and hurt himself (head injury) and a lot of people collapsing from the heat. I brought a handheld bottle with me and made sure I kept it filled at every aid station, but they ran out of cups around mile 20 and it was really hot out there for those that were back of the pack runners and didn’t bring their own bottle or hydration vest. People were trying to drink water out of gallon jugs. The military volunteers/service men and women were awesome, but there was a lack of planning when it came to having enough cups out there. By the time I got to mile 24, two more people collapsed from the heat, and at mile 26 (no joke) 2 more men collapsed. I just don’t enjoy seeing people struggle like that, especially since I was running with a hamstring strain and struggling myself. The views are pretty. If you do this race, make sure you stop at the monuments. I didn’t do this, and I wished I had taken the time. Exploring all of the history in that area is a must. I spent a lot of time driving down the Skyline and went to a few (new to me) museums. Since I had already done a trip years ago and explored most of the museums that are tourists traps, it was nice being able to just drive around and explore. Best part of this trip was being able to run on the ECT! I rented a car and drove to the Shenandoah Park and ran on the ECT.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

PCTR Skyline to the Sea

PCTR Skyline to the Sea

First of all I love PCTR, they have been great race organizers. I've done a lot of races with them, and one of my favorite races is one of the … MORE

First of all I love PCTR, they have been great race organizers. I’ve done a lot of races with them, and one of my favorite races is one of the races they put on. However, we all know that sometimes things just don’t go as smoothly as we all hope. I had missed this race in 2015, so as soon as registration opened, I made sure I signed up. The issues I had with this race was mostly confusion for the shuttle buses, and confusion about the cutoffs. We were told (on race day) that there would be 2 cutoffs, not one, as advertised. In my opinion the cutoffs were pretty strict. I had never before not finished a 50k under the time limit, so this was a first for me. I signed up for the 50k, and missed the first cutoff less than 5 minutes. The problem is, some people came in right after me and they were allowed to continue on, so there was no consistency at that particular AS. The second cutoff was just as bad from what I understand. Some people were not allowed to continue on and others were. It really should be consistent. As far as the Aid Stations themselves, they were really good. Actually, the were great. They had fresh watermelon at every station, as well as ice. It got pretty warm out there, so this was really nice. The volunteers were amazing. The scenery is so nice, and the course is technical, but beautiful. You really get to see a lot of different terrain during this race. There is a lot of volunteer support along the way too, which always helps give me a boost when I out there running. The shuttle back to our cars was really comfortable. (School buses are used to take you to the start in the morning).

I didn’t take all of the swag because I dropped down from the 50k to the marathon distance, but I really enjoyed the buff they gave out at the finish. They also give out really nice coasters, and they offer upgraded shirts and jackets. Definitely doing this race again. I will just work on trying to ensure that I am well ahead of the cutoffs.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Bridge to Bridge Run

Bridge to Bridge Run

This is really a fun run, and well organized event. I ran this with 2 friends, we stayed together, and had a blast. There was about a dozen of us … MORE

This is really a fun run, and well organized event. I ran this with 2 friends, we stayed together, and had a blast. There was about a dozen of us that started together, and met up again after the race. I enjoyed the scenery, and there is a lot of great energy at this race. The 12k went by really fast. We took a lot of fun photos and just enjoyed the day. At the end of the race, there are a lot of vendors out there and really a great way to end a race with music and food! They give out a nice medal, I don’t believe we received a shirt. This is a race I used to do years ago and they used to have us run literally bridge to bridge, so I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t actually run on the bridges, but I understand that with security and all, it isn’t as easy as it used to be. Overall, a great race. I’m definitely doing this one again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Headlands Marathon, 50, 75 & 100

Headlands Marathon, 50, 75 & 100

I finished the Headlands 50 mile in 2015, and after careful consideration, I decided on the 75 mile distance this year because I did not think I was physically able … MORE

I finished the Headlands 50 mile in 2015, and after careful consideration, I decided on the 75 mile distance this year because I did not think I was physically able to do the 100 mile distance. The downside to doing the 75 mile distance over the 100 mile, is that you are not allowed a pacer. However, they do have a night marathon and that allows you to be out on the trails with other runners at night. The course is a 25 mile loop, washing machine style. So, in my race, I did this loop 3 times. There is a lot of elevation, about 5,000 ft, per loop. The views are spectacular though, and when you get to Pirates Cove, the views of the ocean are breathtaking. You also get nice views when there isn’t fog of the Golden Gate Bridge, and Muir Beach. This is one of my favorite races. You actually run under the Golden Gate Bridge.

This year the weather was overcast, we did not have to worry about the weather being too warm. However, the fog bank that rolled in pretty much stayed all day, and unfortunately for the Night Sweats Marathon folks, into the night. My goal was to get back to the 50 mile mark around the time the marathon started. Well, I had issues with my sciatica (or) hamstring in the first loop, and the fog meant that I used my headlamp a lot earlier than I had expected. This slowed me down, and my pace was slower than I had expected. (I’m really glad I had the foresight to grab at least one headlamp before it even got close to dark because the fog created a situation where I used it a lot earlier than I did last year). By the time I got back to mile 46, I realized that the people I was hoping to run with during the Night Sweats, their marathon was cancelled because of the fog, and hazard conditions. Here is where I really lucked out. They allowed the people I was hoping to meet up with at night, to head out with me on my 3rd loop since there is safety in numbers. I felt really great at night, not issues at all. Other than I was done, really done, with the fog. Running in fog all day is one thing. Running all night in fog is…special. (insert sarcasm here)

Another really nice thing about this race is the washing machine loops. This creates a situation where you get to see runners over and over out there. You feel such a camaraderie of sorts, seeing the same people out there suffering, I mean enjoying, the trails with you.

The aid stations are well placed, and I had everything I needed between my drop bags, crew and aid stations. The marking of the course was just as good, if not better, as last year. They really do a great job for marking this course considering the fog was so thick you couldn’t see more than a few feet in front of you.

I was hoping for a faster time, but I’m happy with my finish. I received a nice coaster – 3rd place female in the 75 mile distance. They have nice options for upgrading shirts and they also gave us a nice beer glass at the finish. I’ll definitely do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

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Mt. Madonna Challenge

Mt. Madonna Challenge

Friends co-directed this race, so I will do my best to give an unbiased report. I signed up for this race to support a good cause (youth) and friends that … MORE

Friends co-directed this race, so I will do my best to give an unbiased report.
I signed up for this race to support a good cause (youth) and friends that were organizing this event, and to get in a long training run.

I didn’t have any issues finding the race start even though it is in a remote area. The parking was easy and bib pickup was too. They had colored bibs for the different distances, and the t-shirt is pretty cool too. There were 2 portable potties and someone had placed some antibacterial wipes out for our use which I thought was nice 🙂

The race has several distances, I signed up for the 30k. We did one small loop, and 2 large loops for the 30k.

Pros – The course was very well marked with flags and signs. There is one section that had a lollipop and there was no problem figuring it out the first time (we saw the lollipop 3 times for the 30k). Aid stations were really top notch. I’m a big fan of watermelon and ice cold water at aid stations. Although I didn’t need water, I carried enough of my own, they had delicious watermelon at every aid station. They had lots of other food items, more than enough and more options than a lot of races for sure. The volunteers were incredible. They were very friendly and accommodating. At the end of the race they offered pizza and they had ice cold cola. I don’t usually drink coca-cola, but it tastes so good during and after a race.

The course was really nice! I had never run those particular trails, or not that I remember. The redwoods were beautiful and the views when you get to top of the climbs were lovely, photos were definitely taken during this race. Another really nice thing about this race is that when you are in an exposed area of the trail/course, you always know you have some shade coming up. I never felt overheated. There was little to no traffic on the trails and although there were technical parts of the trail, there were also sections that were soft and very easy to run on. There is some serious climbing though, so be prepared for that.

Cons – We found out when we got to the start that elevation that was on the website was off, so my taper run was a bit more than I had expected. The distance was longer too, I figured it out after we got done with the 1 & 2nd loops. No biggie for me, and I think they have corrected this on the website. I just think it is important to have the correct information so people that might not be trained for more elevation are prepared.

I ran this with my daughter-in-law, we both had a lot of fun. We are both looking forward to this race next year!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
My Media

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Skyline 50K Endurance Run

Skyline 50K Endurance Run

This was my first time running the Skyline 50k. Friends had talked about it and ran it last year, and I needed a 50k for my training schedule, it worked … MORE

This was my first time running the Skyline 50k. Friends had talked about it and ran it last year, and I needed a 50k for my training schedule, it worked out perfectly on my calendar. I had only participated in one other Scena Performance race, the Calistoga Scramble in 2015 (had a great time too) so I was looking forward to this race. Bryan Wyatt is such a nice man, very easy going, and I think SP races take on that vibe. If you are looking for a lot of fanfare, this race does not come with a lot of hoopla. You don’t get a medal at the finish, but you do get a tech shirt, and they give you a nice cloth bag (handy for carrying stuff in after the race). Best of all, you get to enjoy a nice BBQ at the end of the race! I rated the swag in the middle, but in reality some people could care less about the swag, and would rather share a nice hot meal after a race. I find it very enjoyable hanging out with friends, eating BBQ, drinking, and sharing race stories.

The course was changed because of the park construction, and I REALLY enjoyed the changes. I do a lot of Brazen races out in that area, so the change was nice, especially at the end of a 50k. I very much enjoyed the Columbine trail section and seeing the lake from a different view was so nice. I really liked the course changes and I hope they keep it for next year. You get to see some beautiful redwood trees on the French Trail, and again, the lake views are very pretty. I saw some wildlife out there as well. I will say that the course was a bit more difficult than I had expected. My watch showed over 5,000 ft of elevation and there are some very technical sections. I think the course change might have added a bit more elevation. Regardless, you should know ahead of time that there are technical sections rocks/roots. It can also get very warm in the later sections of the race if you are a back of the pack runner like myself.

Aid Stations – Phenomenal. Every aid station, course monitors, and volunteers along the way were great. I was out on the course a lot by myself and I didn’t have any issues with the markings. There were 2 areas I had to really stop and pay attention to look for footsteps, but overall, really great course markings. I also liked that they had watermelon at the aid stations and unlike a lot of other races, they never ran out! That is one of my favorite go to options at a race, and they had it available all day long. It’s the little things…that make me happy 🙂 First rate aid stations.

I had an overall great race. I ran the first 25 miles for pace training, and finished the last section of the race with a friend. I’m hoping to do this one again next year!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3

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Bad Bass Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Bad Bass Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This is a race that I really enjoy and I was sad that I missed it last year because of a calendar conflict. The time of year is really perfect … MORE

This is a race that I really enjoy and I was sad that I missed it last year because of a calendar conflict. The time of year is really perfect for this race. They changed the course a bit because of the park construction, so we missed the steepest climb in the beginning, but the course was made a bit longer to make up for the difficulty. This is one of the races that is part of the Brazen Racing Ultra Series. Lake Chabot is really pretty and you get to see (and smell) some really nice eucalyptus trees. Partly technical, with a bit of pavement. Overall, I really enjoy this race and hope to do it year, after year. Again, the weather is just perfect, and hanging out with friends after the race is so enjoyable. Brazen always has such a nice variety of food options post race, and the swag…amazing. I love, love, love the shirt this year!

Aid Stations – Brazen Racing volunteers are always great, and over a period of time you get to know people, so it is always fun to see familiar faces when you come into the AS. They always have a variety of food options, coca-cola, and ice bucket if it gets too hot out there! Photo credit – Jason Lehrbaum

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

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Dirty Dozen & Half Dozen Endurance Runs

Dirty Dozen & Half Dozen Endurance Runs

I really look forward to this race every year. What I like most about this race is that you can do anywhere from a 5k to ??? For folks just … MORE

I really look forward to this race every year. What I like most about this race is that you can do anywhere from a 5k to ??? For folks just getting into trail running, this course is on the easier side, and you get some nice views mixed in there too. There are morning and afternoon 5k/10k races, relays and individual races in the mix. I run the 6 hour relay, and then spend the next 6 hours cheering, crewing and harassing my friends 🙂 I bring a canopy, chairs, ice chest and make it a fun day. This year the BBQ was really good, and the Aid Stations are always top notch. The end of the 12 hour race is very exciting to watch too.

If you are contemplating running your first ultra distance race, I would highly suggest this race for your first.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Walt Stack DSE Double Dipsea

Walt Stack DSE Double Dipsea

I just looked at my past review and it was probably a good thing that I skipped a year. This race is like having a baby. I needed time in … MORE

I just looked at my past review and it was probably a good thing that I skipped a year. This race is like having a baby. I needed time in between to forget the pain before going back for more!

All joking aside, this race is awesome. This year I went up in my AG, so I started pretty early. My goal was to just finish this year. I had just run SOTG 50k the week before, so I wasn’t expecting a great time, but I was sure hoping my legs would get me through the ups and downs.

I will concentrate on the things that were different from my previous rating. First of all, the weather was PHENOMENAL. It really was perfect in all ways. Last year I volunteered at Insult, ran it the year before that, so I’ve had experience this race as a volunteer and participant. This year it “felt” like it was even better organized (if that is possible) than the past 2 years. The Aid Stations were so great! I think one of the AS ran out of some food items but for the most part, I had what I needed, when I needed it. I don’t have much more to add. This race is not easy, but when you cross that finish line, you know you have just finish a very special race.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Shadow of the Giants

Shadow of the Giants

Baz has finished his last year as Race Director of SOTG. I wasn't really sure if I should do this race, coming off of a surgery, but I didn't want … MORE

Baz has finished his last year as Race Director of SOTG. I wasn’t really sure if I should do this race, coming off of a surgery, but I didn’t want to miss Baz and his shenanigans, and last hurrah!

SOTG starts at Fish Camp, 5,000 ft of elevation. It is close to Yosemite and the scenery is gorgeous. This year I decided to get the full experience and stay at the dorms instead of a hotel. The dorm was $20 a night, and very comfortable. The roommates in my dorm had some issues. Anger issues to be exact. It was kind of crazy, but we all ended up starting and finishing the race. I don’t think this is the norm, but if figures my dorm would have the issue. I would probably stay in the dorms again, but there is something to be said for having your own privacy at a hotel. There were a few people who camped out or car camped. So, that is an option too. The ladies bathroom and showers are not close to the dorms, so it is important to bring a headlamp or flashlight with you. Mosquitoes were really bad this year, so be prepared for that too! Friday night dinner is always nice. I think it is worth the money, and not having to worry about where to eat the night before the race, is a plus. I like getting up there the night before, but I did have a friend show up the morning of! Pre-race instructions are given the night before. Baz is a riot, and you never know what is going to come out of his mouth next. I have no idea what the new RD will be like, but Nathan was there, and Baz has high hopes for his taking over the race next year.

Okay, about the race. It is VERY low-key. If you are expecting a lot of fanfare and extravagance, this is not going to be the race for you. You do get a shirt and bib (I was lucky to get mine autographed by Baz) no medals. The post race awards, they give out glasses and prizes. They also have a 20k “fun run”, no bibs were given, as they were not timed. I opted for the early start because I really wasn’t sure what to expect with my time this year. There were quite a few of us this year, starting early at 6am. Last year it was a lot warmer out. This year was perfect weather. The only downside to the cooler weather is that the mosquitoes were bad. Really bad. I am so glad I thought to bring repellent with me this year. The race course is a variation of fire road, gravel, pavement, lovely single-track, river crossing, and technical/rocky terrain. You also get amazing views and the course runs through the Shadow of the Giants. 3,000 year old, gorgeous Sequoias! Baz is known for changing up the course a bit every year, but you always go through SOTG.

The Aid Stations are spread out nicely, there is one area that is a bit of a stretch, but Baz warns you about that in the pre-race information so you are prepared for that. We did have a surprise this year. There was an “unofficial” AS located about mile 20. They had everything out there for us, I mean everything. :0) I didn’t partake in some of the more popular drinks, but the music and energy from that AS was fantastic. It was fun.

One thing I really like about this course is the last couple of miles are single-track with really nice, soft trails. You can hear the people at the finish, and it just has such a nice gradual descent to the finish area, that it makes it an easy finish (for me). There is always one or two trees you have to climb over before the finish and that makes for some funny photos if you can catch someone trying to get over the trees on tired legs.

I like using this race as training run, it is the perfect elevation to help kick start my ultra season. If you have not done this race, you should at least try it once. I don’t think there is another race out there like it, or at least that I am aware of. I am planning on going next year, mainly to see what the changes will be with the regime change. I sure hope Baz is there, he really is a legend.

I ended up finish about 20 minutes slower than last year. I was happy with a finish, and will maybe try for a PR next year!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
2
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Tesla Family Day and Fun Run

Tesla Family Day and Fun Run

This race takes place at and around the Tesla Factory. It also goes around the Tesla track. You get to walk through part of the factory as part of the … MORE

This race takes place at and around the Tesla Factory. It also goes around the Tesla track. You get to walk through part of the factory as part of the race. This race supports the military so they have all branches of the military represented. There are helicopters, a boat and vehicles that the kids can get into and take photos. There were a few food trucks at the end of the race and one of the booths had a live penguin 🙂 This is just a fun run, so no medals are given out but it was really a lot of fun and it would be a nice way to get kids involved in a race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

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Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend

One of the few road races I do, and look forward to every year. This year was no exception. I usually end up going to this race by myself, but … MORE

One of the few road races I do, and look forward to every year. This year was no exception. I usually end up going to this race by myself, but there is so much going on, and groups to meet up with, it isn’t a problem traveling alone. The weather was amazing this year!

The 10k course is great, it runs mostly through the parks. The HM course does take you outside of the parks, but it is still so much fun because the Red Hat Society Ladies had over 700 women out there lined up on the streets of Anaheim this year. There are also a lot of people out there cheering because it is Mother’s Day Weekend. The AS were awesome this year, the kids do a great job at volunteering. High School Bands, are out there as well. There are not as many props or photo opps I take advantage of at this race, as compared to the Star Wars races.

Great swag, the shirts and medals are always awesome.

Only negative I can think of is that they changed this race to Mother’s Day Weekend, and it isn’t the best weekend for a race! My kids are grown, but if I had small children, it might be difficult. Some people complain about the course being crowded, but fortunately I am in the earlier corrals, so I don’t notice it as much?

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5
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Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

Star Wars Rival Run Weekend

Disclaimer: I am a Star Wars fanatic, a Nerd I signed up for the challenge for several reasons: 1. I'm a total nerd and I wanted my Kessel and C2C … MORE

Disclaimer: I am a Star Wars fanatic, a Nerd
I signed up for the challenge for several reasons:
1. I’m a total nerd and I wanted my Kessel and C2C medals.
2. My nerdy son in SC and family wanted to run their first Disney race together.
3. My granddaughters would be doing their first Kids race, and I cannot get enough of being around them.

This is so hard not to compare to the Light Side in CA, but I will do my best! Negatives: The Expo is really difficult, as far as picking up bibs and merchandise. If you have family that is doing different race distances, you have to go back and forth, out and then back, into long lines to get your bibs. For myself, I had one bib for the challenge, but my granddaughter was doing the 5k and Kids Dash, and my DIL was doing the 5k and 10k. Well, the 10k bib pickup was in a totally different area and they made us leave the Expo (yes, you read that correctly) then stand in another long line in the heat to get her other bib. Race merchandise area was a madhouse. People were pushing and shoving and reaching over to get items. Kind of crazy. One last thing, if you are planning on getting back to your hotel after the race, the line for the shuttles was VERY long. I also had little to no cell reception outside of the park (Verizon), so getting a call made to friends/family or Uber was tough. I’d say that was all the negative stuff that I experienced.

Positives: Loved the courses! I ran the 10k with my son, and it was awesome. It got a bit backed up at points with people walking, but I really enjoyed being with him out there. Being able to stay in the parks was so cool. We had a lot of photo stops, and Disney allowed the Cosplayer groups access for photo ops. They did not have a lot of characters during the race. It only took us about 20 minutes to get a photo with Chewy. AFTER the race though, they had a lot of characters available for photo ops. It was fun.
– HM course was awesome. Or, at least I thought so. I read a lot of complaints about it, but I loved it. I ran alone, and enjoyed the areas that opened up around Animal Kingdom. I basically ran from photo op to photo op, or mile marker to mile marker and tried to have as much fun as possible with being out there alone. I really enjoyed it. They had a lot more available for photo props on the HM course than the 10k.
– Kids’ races – OhEmGee, so much fun to watch! It was well organized, and I enjoyed watching all of them out there. What a great way to introduce kids to running!
The bling is off the hook! Kessel medal, C2C medal and the Challenge…I could go on and on about it and the shirts too. Well, I did say I was a nerd at the beginning.

One final thing. Uber can be your friend if you are travelling Coast to Coast. I used it, and it worked perfectly for me to get to the race start and back to the hotel.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I like this race because of the views! When I'm in shape, this race can be one of my better performances (because this is one of the easier half marathons … MORE

I like this race because of the views! When I’m in shape, this race can be one of my better performances (because this is one of the easier half marathons Brazen puts on). The shirt and medal were awesome this year! I’d recommend this race for anyone who wants to get introduced into trail running, or to get a PR. I had a lot of fun running with a friend, enjoying the views. I’m definitely doing this race year after year, for as long as I can 🙂

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This was the first time I've done the 10k distance for this race, and the first time running a race with my youngest son. As usual, the awesome volunteers were … MORE

This was the first time I’ve done the 10k distance for this race, and the first time running a race with my youngest son. As usual, the awesome volunteers were helpful, and made it easy for me to change distance so I could run with my son. I really enjoyed the course, I’ve only done the HM in the past. This 10k is tough enough to make it a challenge, but easy enough for family to enjoy together. Aid Stations are really setup nicely, I did not need to carry anything with me. Course markings are great, as usual. I feel the Chabot races are very family friendly. It is always a nice way to bring in the New Year!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
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Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

Chabot is one of the easier Brazen half marathons for me, and it has always been a fun race for me. This was my first time doing the early start, … MORE

Chabot is one of the easier Brazen half marathons for me, and it has always been a fun race for me. This was my first time doing the early start, as I was trying to get back into the swing of things after a period off of running. Course markings were perfect for the early hiker start. Aid Stations are setup perfectly for this race, and the medals (mega-medal) is always a nice surprise. I also love being there to see the Brazen Streakers get their special numbers, and recognition. It is usually very cold getting there early to see the presentations, but worth braving the weather to participate in the festivities. This is one race I’ve also had family join me because the 5k is an easy one and the 10k not to bad either.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I had just come back from a surgery, so I did the 5k this year instead of the HM. I wasn't sure what to expect for the 5k course, and … MORE

I had just come back from a surgery, so I did the 5k this year instead of the HM. I wasn’t sure what to expect for the 5k course, and I was pleasantly surprised. It isn’t an easy 5k, but the trails are so pretty! This is a very technical course. It rained before the race this year, so it was a bit slippery out there, but I had a blast. The swag was so great this year, I don’t know how they are going to top it next year. I’ll be back to find out though 🙂

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This is still a great race, with beautiful trails, and views. The Kid's race is fantastic to watch, and the medal this year...OMG! It was actually fuzzy like an actual … MORE

This is still a great race, with beautiful trails, and views. The Kid’s race is fantastic to watch, and the medal this year…OMG! It was actually fuzzy like an actual tarantula. They have real tarantula’s you can touch and hold at one of the tables. Let me know how that works out for you 🙂 The props, and costumes, thanks to the awesome volunteers, are so much fun and if you have kids that you want to introduce to participating in a race, this is one you should definitely put on your calendar for next year! The end of the course was just as tough for me this year, but I’m coming back for more!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Brazen Rocky Ridge Half Marathon Championship, 10K & 5K

Brazen Rocky Ridge Half Marathon Championship, 10K & 5K

This is such a tough race, but when you cross that finish line, you feel like the beast that is on the medal! This race is part of a series … MORE

This is such a tough race, but when you cross that finish line, you feel like the beast that is on the medal! This race is part of a series that Brazen puts on every year (it can also be run without participating in the series), but you should look at the Ultra Series information on their website. It is a challenge, but if you finish the series, you get a coaster. This year the coaster was over the top! Very well done this year, and I loved all of the swag. Again, this is one rugged race, but the volunteers take great care of you at the AS. Be prepared for some tough climbs, technical trails, and HOT weather. There must be something special going on with this race, because some of us keep going back for more torture, I mean fun!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I still think this race is one of the toughest Brazen Racing has on their calendar. Since Double Dipsea was added, maybe top 3 or 4 toughest? I have gotten … MORE

I still think this race is one of the toughest Brazen Racing has on their calendar. Since Double Dipsea was added, maybe top 3 or 4 toughest? I have gotten slower over the past few years, but my love for these trails hasn’t diminished. This race covers a wide variety of landscape, terrain, and wildlife. If you ever want to get some quality hiking in, these trails will not disappoint. The heat and tough climbs is what makes this race a doozy. The AS are setup in really great locations, and the course is well marked! There are a lot of turns on this course, but they do a great job of keeping us all on track. The medal this year was so beautiful! It is one of my all time favorites. The views you see on the HM course…well, you just need to come out for the 2016 race and see for yourself. Oh, and It’s It Ice Cream tastes like heaven at the end of this one!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Headlands Marathon, 50, 75 & 100

Headlands Marathon, 50, 75 & 100

Having been a runner for over 2 decades, this race will always stick out in my mind as one of the best races I've experienced. Maybe it was because I … MORE

Having been a runner for over 2 decades, this race will always stick out in my mind as one of the best races I’ve experienced. Maybe it was because I had an amazing race (for me), or because I really wanted to prove something, but I loved this race and will do it again, for sure. The views are amazing, simply breathtaking. There is a lot of climbing, and I would say that this is what I would consider a technical race. There can be high winds, and fog as well. However, you get to a point in the race where you come back around the second loop, and the views looking back towards the Golden Gate Bridge, leave you breathless. You see just how far you have run, and it feels like such an accomplishment. There are not a lot of races that you can see from that kind of “vantage” point. The aid stations are perfectly spread out, and they offer everything you need. The volunteers were so kind and gracious. I’m a slow runner, so by the time I got to the last part of my 50 mile finish, the night marathon was starting. It was so much fun seeing all the headlamps coming up the first climb as I was descending to the finish. The trails are well marked. This was my first race in the dark, and there was only one turn that I felt could of, or maybe should of, been marked better. Otherwise, I had no issues navigating in the dark. When I got to the finish, there was plenty of warm soup, volunteers were right there ready to help (as well as my awesome friends and Crew). They gave us really nice swag, and you have options for upgrading your shirt. Very well organized, and again, I cannot say enough about the views. (The photo I attached I took of the viewpoint coming back around the 2nd loop).

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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White River 50 Mile Endurance Run

White River 50 Mile Endurance Run

...and Mt. Rainier was a no show! I tend to pick more difficult trail races for my first attempts! I had family in WA, and the photos I had seen … MORE

…and Mt. Rainier was a no show! I tend to pick more difficult trail races for my first attempts! I had family in WA, and the photos I had seen of the race from previous years, had me convinced this was going to be one beautiful race. The race of my life, I thought. I chose the WR50 mile race, because this was the year I was turning the big Five-Oh. 50 miler for 50 years sounded so logical at the time. My Aunt was an ultra runner, so she and my Uncle were my Crew, and they were AWESOME. I had friends that were there as well! The day before the race we went to the pre-race dinner, and the weather was looking pretty bad. Rain was predicted. I could not believe my luck, but Mt. Rainier decided to hide behind rain clouds. All we could do was hope that we would at least get a glimpse at some point. Uh, not so much. The day was rainy, and it pretty much rained non-stop for the first 6 hours, and then off and on until the finish. We never saw the mountain! The AS at mile 27 is where I lost sight of my friend that I had started the race with. I was fighting cutoffs from mile 27, once I realized my friend had continued on, until I got to the finish. The AS were really great, and my Crew was the best of the best, but I was sad that I was not able to stay with the friend I started the race with. Needless to say, I ran the last 2 legs of the race on my own. There is so much to say about this race that was positive for me personally, but it really was a tough race. I’m not going to sugarcoat this one. I’ve never fought for a finish like I did the WR50. The race organization was really great, with the exception, there were people who were being told they could continue on at Sun Top, and people who were supposedly told they could not. I even saw a few people taking a shortcut, which was a bummer because some people were held back and couldn’t continue on. I’m not sure if it was the volunteers fault, but there was some confusion at one of the final AS. I was given good information, I’m just going by what I was told. I was lucky enough to get to the final cutoff with about 5 minutes to spare. The last 6 miles of this race are really tough, tougher than it looks on a map or elevation chart. They tell you this ahead of time, how technical it is, but you really need to experience it for yourself 🙂 Even with the tough conditions, I am so glad that I did this race. I’d like to go back one day and get a better time, but a finish is a finish. I was pretty out of it by the time 14 hours had passed, so I don’t remember a lot about the finish area, but the volunteers were really good to me, and I was able to spend time with family I had not seen in a long time. Honestly, anytime I can have family and friends with me at a race, it is all good! I don’t know that I would recommend this race as a first try for a 50 miler, but most of us are a bit nuts, and you will probably ignore this bit of advice anyway! Maybe the next time I give a review for WR50, it will be with photos of a mountain, that I am pretty sure is really out there somewhere!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4
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Shadow of the Giants

Shadow of the Giants

I signed up for this race as a training run for my first 50 miler. I live 4+ hours away, so I had to take Friday off in order to … MORE

I signed up for this race as a training run for my first 50 miler. I live 4+ hours away, so I had to take Friday off in order to make the pre-race spaghetti feed. It was well worth the drive, but this year I am planning on staying in the dorms to prevent having to drive back and forth from a hotel. The race organizer is a TRIP. Truly Ridiculous In Person, and much loved. He is an icon, and people go back year after year, just to experience Baz! He mentioned that he was not organizing the race after 2015, so I’m not sure what role, if at all, he is playing this year. I sure hope he remains a part of the race. Again, this race is very low key. They offer an early start, which I took full advantage of because I was worried about cutoffs (as I usually am). The course markings were good, “interesting” markings, as shown in photos, but we had plenty of light at the start. I spent a lot of time by myself during this race. This is not uncommon once the front runners pass me up. The views when you get to Nelder Grove is breathtaking, I wish I had taken more photos. There was one river crossing that was pretty fun too! There are plenty of trees to jump/climp/crawl over/under, and parts that are very technical. This was my 2nd time to…yes, I kissed the trail. It happened pretty early in the race between miles 13-14. I’m really surprised I didn’t knock myself out, I definitely saw stars. There wasn’t anybody around, so I had to scrape myself off of the trail and trudge on. I knew I had about 6 miles to the next AS, so I decided I would make a decision once I got there, if I should continue on. I saw one runner during this time and she just looked at my face, winced, and kept running. Later, she came up to me and apologized for not realizing how badly I was hurt. Well, I did eventually get to the AS. They took great care of me, and I decided that although it hurt to run (bouncing hurt), I could power-hike and shuffle without too many grunts and groans. I ended up finishing the race, and made the cutoffs. So, I would say that they have very generous cutoffs (especially using the early start). The AS are very remote, I would suggest carrying what you can as far as items you like to eat. They had plenty to eat, just not a lot of variety. I tend to carry a lot on my own, so this wasn’t an issue for me. The food post-race is really good though 🙂 As you get close to the final stretch of the race, they warn you about the fallen trees, and how hard it is to climb them when your legs are tired. No joke! I swear I needed a ladder for the last one (photo attached). I enjoyed seeing people come in after I finished. The way the race is setup, they have benches aligned with the finish area, so you can sit and watch people come in. At the same time, they are announcing the winners. The atmosphere at the finish is like a party/picnic. I’m looking forward to this race in 2016! Oh, one last thing. I ended up taking a trip into Yosemite after the race on Sunday. This gave me an opportunity to shake out my legs. So, if you have friends or family with you, you can do the race on Saturday, and enjoy a fun day of hiking on Sunday. Perfect weekend, even though I was solo for this race.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
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Avenue of the Giants Marathon & Half Marathon

Avenue of the Giants Marathon & Half Marathon

I did this marathon about 25 years ago, my 1st marathon. To say the least, it has changed. Back then, we had water and oranges at the AS, no medal, … MORE

I did this marathon about 25 years ago, my 1st marathon. To say the least, it has changed. Back then, we had water and oranges at the AS, no medal, shirt only (that I still own)! Now, not only did we receive a nice shirt, but all marathoners received a bag, bandana, and medal – score! My DIL was looking for a race for her 1st marathon, and I mentioned this one to her, and we decided to do it together. IMHO, this is a bucket list race, because of the Giant Redwoods. Well, I should say we started together, she is much faster than this old gal. The scenery is just as gorgeous as it was years ago, but the course is ever better. They have added half marathon distance, they used to only have the marathon. That allows more people out on the course, but the way they have mapped the course, is very nice. The marathoners spend part of the race, the first 13.1 miles, going out and back on mostly paved road. The course arrangement; you are only with the other marathoners until you loop back around to finish the next 13.1 miles. They split the half and full participants up, but then, you are able to still see friends and family that are running the half marathon, or finishing up their full (depending on their pace) as you make your way along the 2nd part of the course. The old redwoods are so pretty; majestic. I think they do the best they can to bring all distances through the prettiest part of the course. The AS are well stocked. Especially in comparison to the oranges and water eons ago-LOL! Unless I missed something, Gu was only given out at the 13.1 mark, they actually have volunteers standing there handing out one gel packet, per marathoner. The AS had plenty of food, but if you eat gels, just be aware of this. The volunteers at the 20 mile mark…amazing! I stopped to take video of them, with their instruments. I wish I could find that video it was so much fun. I pulled my calf muscle when I stopped abruptly at mile 20 to take said fun video, but it could have also been because I had just finished the Diablo 50k the week before. Regardless, even though I ended up having to walk part of the last 6 miles, I still really enjoyed the race. How can you not, when you have the beauty of the redwoods distracting you, right? I think the only negative feedback, is that by the time some of us slower folks got to the finish area, the food was pretty pathetic looking. They did have food available when I got there at 5 hours. I think it was tortilla wraps with PB&J, and bananas, but it had been sitting out for a long time, and did not look very appetizing. Another thing that happened (It didn’t bother me personally), but I know friends were disappointed that they took down the finish arch early. So, they were a bit confused coming through the finish area because the arch was already taken down. For folks coming in later, (around the 6 hour range), they didn’t have food available. The course is gently rolling hills, mostly paved, and although there is tree coverage, it can get very warm out there. The mornings typically start out cool, maybe even foggy, but the fog burns off and it can get downright hot. I think I get so spoiled with Brazen Racing that I sometimes forget that not all race organizations spoil their race participants. That is the only reason I think my rating isn’t as high as some of my other reviews. Scenery makes it totally worth it. Considering the price of some of the races these days, this is a deal, and I am signed up again for 2016!

Photos: My 1st AOTG finish (with my sons in the 80’s), 2015 finish with my beautiful and speedy DIL, photo of some of the redwoods coming into the final stretch, and the swag.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
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Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I had done a race out in this area with a different RO a few months prior, and I enjoyed the Brazen race so much more. I was not sure … MORE

I had done a race out in this area with a different RO a few months prior, and I enjoyed the Brazen race so much more. I was not sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised with the course choice (route), and Brazen puts on such a great race, there is no comparison. I ran this with my daughter, and enjoyed it tremendously. Nice, easy course, with views that are amazing!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This race can be a bit cold, so dress accordingly. Brazen puts on a great race, and if you are new to trail running, or racing, this is a good … MORE

This race can be a bit cold, so dress accordingly. Brazen puts on a great race, and if you are new to trail running, or racing, this is a good one to start with. It isn’t too technical, but you know you are on a trail 🙂 Some climbs, and it can be slippery in areas, but most of the hills are runnable.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

Brazen New Year’s Eve Half Marathon/10K/5K

This is a great race to start if you are just getting into trail racing. Not too technical, but you definitely know you are trail running! Best part of this … MORE

This is a great race to start if you are just getting into trail racing. Not too technical, but you definitely know you are trail running! Best part of this race is the view of the lake, and Brazen always puts on a great race. This race is part of a mega-medal, you come back for more on NYD to complete it. Lots of fun!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Summit Rock Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

My first Summit Rock experience was interesting. I took a face plant at mile 8, and needed help at the next AS. The runners were so helpful and the AS … MORE

My first Summit Rock experience was interesting. I took a face plant at mile 8, and needed help at the next AS. The runners were so helpful and the AS volunteers took great care of me. This is a tough course, but so beautiful. You have to watch out for roots and rocks, but the trail is soft (when your face isn’t hitting it). This was my first AG medal with Brazen, so this will always be a special race for me. Cannot wait to do this one again!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Quarry Turkey Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & Little Turkeys Race

Quarry Turkey Half Marathon, 10K, 5K & Little Turkeys Race

I really enjoyed the Kids' race, and the overall fun atmosphere. The course is fairly easy, and the AS are plentiful. This is one race where you get to see … MORE

I really enjoyed the Kids’ race, and the overall fun atmosphere. The course is fairly easy, and the AS are plentiful. This is one race where you get to see the other distance runners along the course. There is always so many little things Brazen Racing does to make their races enjoyable! The races that include the kids give me such a great feeling, as I love family participation. The fun props to take photos with family and friends are a nice touch. I also like the mega-medal!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Diablo Summit Stomp! (fka Brazen Diablo Trail Adventure)

Diablo Summit Stomp! (fka Brazen Diablo Trail Adventure)

My second time running this race, and it was just as enjoyable the second time. I love the views on this course, but you do have to do a bit … MORE

My second time running this race, and it was just as enjoyable the second time. I love the views on this course, but you do have to do a bit of climbing 🙂 River crossing may or may not have water, but the trails are technical enough to make this a challenge (as the name suggests) and the fact that there is a portion that goes to saving Mt. Diablo makes this race a winner! The AS and volunteers are amazing, as usual. Brazen Racing is top notch when it comes to making sure their races have everything you could need, and more.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4

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The East Bay 510K (fka Let’s Go 510K)

The East Bay 510K (fka Let’s Go 510K)

I did enjoy the views and it was fun coming into the race track for the finish line. I prefer more technical trails, but if you enjoy doing races that … MORE

I did enjoy the views and it was fun coming into the race track for the finish line. I prefer more technical trails, but if you enjoy doing races that are faster, and can help get you a nice PR, this is a great choice.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

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Brazen Rocky Ridge Half Marathon Championship, 10K & 5K

Brazen Rocky Ridge Half Marathon Championship, 10K & 5K

I volunteered last year, and by the time I got to mile 9, I was wondering why I didn't volunteer this year! This is one tough race. The heat is … MORE

I volunteered last year, and by the time I got to mile 9, I was wondering why I didn’t volunteer this year! This is one tough race. The heat is very intense out there, although the AS did have ice that helped! The AS volunteers are saints to be out there in that heat for us! I did this race as part of the Ultra Series, and when you finish, you get a really cool coaster. There is information on their website regarding the Ultra Series. Tough climbs, nice views, and if you finish this race, you deserve to wear the Beast on shirt/medal! If you want a challenge, this is your race!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

It was just as tough as the first time! Well, maybe even a bit tougher because of the weather. Previous year, it rained towards the end of the race. This … MORE

It was just as tough as the first time! Well, maybe even a bit tougher because of the weather. Previous year, it rained towards the end of the race. This year, the sun was out for us 🙂 I love these trails, they are in my backyard. The Brazen family has become so much a part of my life, they are truly like family. Doing this race a year later, and looking back the past year, their races just keep getting better. I cannot express how wonderful the views are, and you get to see so many different type of terrain. Sandstone, fire trail, stairs, gravel, sometimes mud. You really get to experience a lot in 13+ miles. I’d rate this race as one of their top 3 toughest courses.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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Trail Hog Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Trail Hog Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Yes, there really are wild pigs sighted! This race was tough for me because I suffered from blisters, and it was kind of dusty too. Other than that, I really … MORE

Yes, there really are wild pigs sighted! This race was tough for me because I suffered from blisters, and it was kind of dusty too. Other than that, I really did enjoy this race. It is not the toughest race I’ve done with Brazen, but it was a nice challenge for me. Great volunteers (as usual), great food, great swag and although the weather is hot that time of year, there are some shady areas out on the course. This is a must do, at least once!!!

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Bear Creek Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Bear Creek Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I had a great time with friends and family at this race. It was a tough race for me because of issues I was having out on the course. This … MORE

I had a great time with friends and family at this race. It was a tough race for me because of issues I was having out on the course. This race had a nice variety in terrain, and I enjoy when there is change in terrain. I did enjoy the views, as well as the shaded areas and single track. There is some climbing in this one, but more of a slow increase in elevation. I did like the start/finish area as well. It was a nice place to hang out and relax with friends after the race. I will do this one again.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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Brazen Summer Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen Summer Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Plenty of AS along the way (5), and if you are looking for an easy trail race, this is it. It runs along the shoreline, and the weather was nice. … MORE

Plenty of AS along the way (5), and if you are looking for an easy trail race, this is it. It runs along the shoreline, and the weather was nice. I prefer trails with more variation and climbs, but I did enjoy having a faster HM pace in comparison to the other Brazen races. I like that this course is out and back too, so you can see your friends and give them a high-five along the way 🙂

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Wharf to Wharf Race

Wharf to Wharf Race

I used to run this race every year back in the 90's, and up until about 2006, or so? I looked forward to this race every year. So, after my … MORE

I used to run this race every year back in the 90’s, and up until about 2006, or so? I looked forward to this race every year. So, after my DIL started running in 2013, I talked her into doing this race with me, as well as a few friends. I had such a great experience for so many years in a row, I wasn’t expecting the race to be anything else but fantastic even though it had been awhile since I had run W2W. It makes me sad to have a negative report for this race.

First of all, the race has become a circus. I don’t mind races selling out fast, I do runDisney races after all, but 15,000 starting in such a narrow area was madness. They ran out of water at the second AS, and although I don’t normally worry too much about water for a 6 miler, it happened to be very hot this year. So, by the time we got to the next station, so many people were trying to get water, it was chaos. I felt sorry for the people at the aid stations, it was a mob of people coming at them. You had to stop and wait, my watch showed 2 minutes, to get water.

I also didn’t think there were as many interesting bands and/or groups to see running through the neighborhoods. Whereas, in previous years, it was a blast. If I’m going to run a road race, and run through neighborhoods, it needs to be interesting or at least distracting me from the fact that I could be running on a beautiful trail someplace else. I hope this was just an “off” year.

Full Disclaimer: I also don’t do Bay to Breakers anymore. Maybe old age is just setting in, or crowds are just not my thing? I did wear a tutu for fun in this race, because you are never too old to tutu!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
4
SWAG
3
My Media

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Bad Bass Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Bad Bass Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Chabot is a very popular place to have trail races. It is not too difficult, and you get to see some really pretty views. This is a good time of … MORE

Chabot is a very popular place to have trail races. It is not too difficult, and you get to see some really pretty views. This is a good time of year for this race, as it usually isn’t as hot as some of the other races going on in the month of July. Eucalyptus trees are one of my favorite, and there is plenty to enjoy during this race. AS are located perfectly for this course, and if you go to Brazen Racing’s website, you will see how awesome the swag is!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Walt Stack DSE Double Dipsea

Walt Stack DSE Double Dipsea

I left this race saying I would never do it again, but I probably will. I must be a glutton for punishment. Lots of stairs. Did I say stairs? I … MORE

I left this race saying I would never do it again, but I probably will. I must be a glutton for punishment. Lots of stairs. Did I say stairs?
I enjoyed the handicapped format…for the most part. This really is not a race for everyone, but I feel very proud of myself that I finished it. I’m pretty sure the people in the next town over heard my sigh of relief when I crossed the finish line. It does have very pretty trails to enjoy, but this race is definitely not for beginners. Brazen Racing does such a great job at organization, and I think they did a fantastic job, this being the first year they worked with DSE.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
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Trailquake Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Trailquake Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

It is hard for me to review this race because all I can really remember is being miserable because of blisters, and my DIL running me into the finish. I … MORE

It is hard for me to review this race because all I can really remember is being miserable because of blisters, and my DIL running me into the finish. I think she might have been a bit worried about this old gal finishing 🙂 This is not an easy race, but it shares trails with another race I really love that Brazen does later in the year. The trails are pretty, but there are some steep climbs and the heat can be kind of tough in the more exposed areas. Loved the bling for this one!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Nitro Trail Half Marathon/10K/5K

Nitro Trail Half Marathon/10K/5K

This is one of the few trail races that I can run without power hiking. It is also a great race to enjoy with friends and family. You have a … MORE

This is one of the few trail races that I can run without power hiking. It is also a great race to enjoy with friends and family. You have a chance to see people running other distances during this race. Nice views, pretty trees, and good weather. It can be a bit windy at the start, but it is nice once you get moving.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Wildcat Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Wildcat Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This is another favorite, and I had a blast with my daughter out on this course. There are some tough climbs, but there are enough rolling hills that it felt … MORE

This is another favorite, and I had a blast with my daughter out on this course. There are some tough climbs, but there are enough rolling hills that it felt “easier” than I thought it was going to be. The weather was perfect, and I truly enjoyed the beautiful views. I LOVED the shirt/medal. This is just an overall great race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge

Brazen Diablo Trails Challenge

When it comes to Aid Stations, Brazen is top notch. The food is abundant, and they have never run out of anything at the tables, and I had finished all … MORE

When it comes to Aid Stations, Brazen is top notch. The food is abundant, and they have never run out of anything at the tables, and I had finished all of their races. I ran my 1st 50k at this race and I loved it. It has a lot of elevation, and it can be warm in the exposed sections (some years, not when I ran it), but there is a nice downhill section towards the end of the race. The coaster is awesome. The BBQ was pretty much done by the time I finished and they ran out of some items, but what I had was good. I didn’t feel much like eating at that point, so it wasn’t a big deal for me. There is a nice lawn area that makes it nice for family/friends to hang out while waiting for you to finish.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

This was the first time running this course with Brazen, second time overall. I think this is one of the easier races Brazen puts on. I really enjoyed running over … MORE

This was the first time running this course with Brazen, second time overall. I think this is one of the easier races Brazen puts on. I really enjoyed running over the bridge, and it has some nice views. If I remember correctly, it can get a bit congested on a small part of the trail when all of the runners are out there. I would say this is an overall nice race.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
3
SWAG
4

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Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

There are 2 races at the same location, the NYE and NYD races. On this race, I happen to like the direction of the course a lot better in the … MORE

There are 2 races at the same location, the NYE and NYD races. On this race, I happen to like the direction of the course a lot better in the beginning of the race. When you come down the hill and see the lake view, it is wonderful! It can be very chilly this time of year.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

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Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Los Vaqueros Tarantula Run Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I'm so glad Brazen took this race over, I loved this race! The Kid's scramble was so cute, and the swag for this race was so much fun. This race … MORE

I’m so glad Brazen took this race over, I loved this race! The Kid’s scramble was so cute, and the swag for this race was so much fun. This race is closer to home, so I’m kind of biased, but the Los Vaqueros views along with Mt. Diablo view, makes this a favorite. I gave this course a 4/5, not because of the elevation or it being technical, but because at one point you come so close to the finish of the race, only to find out that you still have a ways to go! I’d rather go further out on the course, than hear Sam calling out finishers when I’m still slugging along 🙂 Other than that, this is really one race I will look forward to every year from now on.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

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Diablo Summit Stomp! (fka Brazen Diablo Trail Adventure)

Diablo Summit Stomp! (fka Brazen Diablo Trail Adventure)

This was a new trail for me to run, and I really enjoyed the difficulty. If you like to climb, like I do, this is a good race. Semi-technical in … MORE

This was a new trail for me to run, and I really enjoyed the difficulty. If you like to climb, like I do, this is a good race. Semi-technical in parts, but really pretty when you get to the top of the trail and BEAUTIFUL views! I really liked the butterfly shirt/medal, and as always…AS and volunteers were awesome!

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5

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Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Drag-N-Fly Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

My DIL talked me into doing this race since it was so close to home. My first official trail race, and first race with Brazen Racing. I'm totally spoiled now. … MORE

My DIL talked me into doing this race since it was so close to home. My first official trail race, and first race with Brazen Racing. I’m totally spoiled now. I had friends and family join me and we all had a blast. This is a tough course, it kicked my butt, but I’m totally hooked! There are beautiful views of Mt. Diablo, historical Black Diamond Mines, Contra Loma, Rose Cemetery, and more! Lark is no joke, but at least that climb is in the beginning of the race. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the AS were stocked and when we got to the finish, they even had It’s-It ice cream waiting for us. Brazen Racing is the best of the best.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
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