My Profile

@UKCathryn

San Mateo, CA Raving since 2014 http://myheartscontentblog.com active 1 year, 4 months ago

About Me

  • Running club(s):
  • Rave race:

    Healdsburg Half Marathon

  • Race that's calling my name:

    Big Basin trail half-marathon

  • I run because:

    I love it.

My races

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

50 States Map
image/svg+xml FL TX NM AZ AK CA NV UT CO OR WA ID HI OK MT WY ND SD NE KS MN IA MO AR LA MS AL GA SC IL WI MI IN OH TN KY NC WV VA PA NY ME VT NH RI CT NJ DE MD MA DC

Half Marathon

Marathon

Ultramarathon

(Marathon &/or Ultra) + Half

Marathon + Ultra

Other

Personal Bests (3)

Race Distance Location Date Result
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Mar 1, 2014 1:52:37
10K Danville, CA May 28, 2016 50:14
5K San Francisco, CA Feb 5, 2017 24:45

Future Races (0)

Race Distance Location Date Paid

Past Races (40)

Race Distance Location Date Result My Raves My Performance
Half Marathon Annecy, France Apr 22, 2018
7 Miler Marlborough, United Kingdom Sep 17, 2017
10K Reykjavik, Iceland Aug 19, 2017
5K San Francisco, CA Feb 5, 2017 24:45
5K Bend, OR Nov 24, 2016
Half Marathon Stinson Beach, CA Nov 12, 2016
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 15, 2016
Half Marathon Healdsburg, CA Oct 9, 2016
10K Leeds, United Kingdom Jul 28, 2016
10K Danville, CA May 28, 2016 50:14
5K Oakland, CA Mar 20, 2016 24:58
25K Tulsa, OK Feb 27, 2016
Half Marathon Walnut Creek, CA Dec 12, 2015
5K Santa Barbara, CA Nov 26, 2015 25:12
Half Marathon Sacramento, CA Nov 14, 2015
5K San Jose, CA Sep 5, 2015
5K Arroyo Grande, CA May 24, 2015
5K Livermore, CA Apr 18, 2015
5K Wailuku, HI Mar 29, 2015
Marathon Relay Oakland, CA Mar 22, 2015 58:20
Half Marathon Las Vegas, NV Mar 7, 2015
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA Feb 1, 2015
10K Mountain View, CA Jan 1, 2015
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Oct 5, 2014
200 Mile Relay San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2014
5K Redwood City, CA Jul 4, 2014
Half Marathon San Jose, CA Mar 1, 2014 1:52:37
10K San Leandro, CA Feb 15, 2014 50:37
10 Miler Tiburon, CA 2014
200 Mile Relay Fort Collins, CO 2014
Half Marathon Pacifica, CA 2014
Half Marathon Richmond, CA 2013
2nd Half Marathon San Francisco, CA 2013
Half Marathon Oakland, CA 2013
10K Redwood City, CA 2013
Half Marathon Half Moon Bay, CA 2013
Half Marathon Woodside, CA 2013
1st Half Marathon San Francisco, CA 2012
Half Marathon San Francisco, CA 2012
Marathon London, United Kingdom 2004

My Raves

Marathon Dulac D’Annecy

Marathon Dulac D’Annecy

I ran the HM this year as my goal race and frankly as my dream race. Give me mountains and lakes in France and I'm about as happy as I … MORE

I ran the HM this year as my goal race and frankly as my dream race. Give me mountains and lakes in France and I’m about as happy as I can be. There was much to love about this race: spectacular beauty, a flat course, solid organisation, wonderful volunteers. However there are some things to bear i mind. The HM starts at 2.30pm every year – this year, that coincided with temps in the 20s/low 70s which is too hot for pale European runners who have trained in the winter. As such, I scrapped all ambitious plans and settled for survival, running as wisely as I could. People literally were dropping all around me – collapsed runners at every single mile. Plenty of medics, all of whom were busy. Lots of water stations and excellent volunteers but very little ‘food’ and no salty food at all. At the end, there was very limited shade to cool down in, and no food or salty stuff at all. The organisation took much criticism for those things, hopefully they’ll learn. We got rubbish, horrible medals but apparently the organisers were let down by suppliers and the actual medals will come in the post, which is fine! I totally fell in love with Annecy but I don’t know if I’ll run this again – 2.30pm is too late and too hot. But seriously – the beauty was incredible.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Marlborough Temple Trail Half Marathon

Marlborough Temple Trail Half Marathon

My husband and I ran this soon after we moved back to the UK after living in California, it was our first UK race. It was very different from US … MORE

My husband and I ran this soon after we moved back to the UK after living in California, it was our first UK race. It was very different from US races…much smaller, less hoopla, less information beforehand and a fraction of the price!!! People were friendly, parking was plentiful and there were real loos to use. The 7-mile course was mainly on trail/gravel road. It was undulating with a couple of short but murderous hills in the final two miles – you could wear trail or road shoes, but I’m assuming that changes dependent on the weather. At the end, the rugby club (where the race was staged) offered hot mugs of tea and bacon sandwiches for a small fee. Swag included a small medal and a buff! Really great local race, we had a fab morning.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

Reykjavik Marathon

Reykjavik Marathon

I ran this race purely for fun and loved every single second. We were blessed with perfect weather...bright sunshine, blue skies yet a little cold. The 10k route is nearly … MORE

I ran this race purely for fun and loved every single second. We were blessed with perfect weather…bright sunshine, blue skies yet a little cold. The 10k route is nearly entirely flat, it goes through residential neighborhoods then along the waterfront. The crowd support is second to none throughout. It was crowded, so if you’re after a PR, make sure you go to the front. I had to walk a few times at the start and wasn’t able to run freely until M3. But the atmosphere was wonderful, the volunteers at check in were friendly and spoke good English and we loved it. We were able to register my family on the race morning and despite what the website said, my under twelve YO was able to register in person. The t shirt was decent, the medal was simple but nice. We really really loved this race, my entire family loved it. Can’t quite stop raving, sorry!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Full disclosure: I was a social media ambassador for this race and got free entry.However I've paid to enter the concurrent half-marathon twice with my own hard-earned cash. This is … MORE

Full disclosure: I was a social media ambassador for this race and got free entry.However I’ve paid to enter the concurrent half-marathon twice with my own hard-earned cash.

This is a cracking 5k race. I went into it unfit, overweight and with the sole intention of running as hard as I could and being happy with whatever the day threw at me. I had no dreams of PR-ing. (Well, I dreamed of it but didn’t expect it). The course is excellent – there are more uphills than I expected in the first mile but the second half is solidly steadily downhill and I was able to fly. I was surprised and thrilled to post a 4-second PR despite not being race-ready so if you ARE race-ready, you should be able to PR easily!
I am always impressed with race organization. Numbers are mailed in advance, there are plentiful shuttle buses from Ocean Beach, there are thousands of friendly, helpful volunteers. The medal was ENORMOUS but doubles as a coaster which is pretty cool. There’s a free cotton shirt which I really liked and I earned a free technical shirt as an ambassador and I LOVE that so would recommend you spend a bit more if this is a goal race for you and you upgrade to the tech shirt! All in all, this is a brilliantly run, classic SF race and I’m so glad I did it again.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Bend Thanksgiving Classic

Bend Thanksgiving Classic

We ran this race on our Thanksgiving trip to Bend. Bend has two Turkey Trots. One is run by the local running store, one is run by the Boys & … MORE

We ran this race on our Thanksgiving trip to Bend. Bend has two Turkey Trots. One is run by the local running store, one is run by the Boys & Girls Club and this is the one we ran – it was much closer to our Airbnb.

It was a lovely event. We chose to do packet pick-up the day before in a local sports/outdoors shop, we got $10 off to spend there, some freebies and a bottle of free kombucha! Race shirts were $10 extra – I chose to buy one and I like it, it’s a nice souvenir.
Race day was cold but there was free coffee and hot chocolate (and bananas and bagels) at the start which was much appreciated. The course was more or less flat and was very pretty as it wound up and down the river. No medals at the end but you could immediately get a print-out of your time.
One thing to note – there’s no chip-time. When you finish, they tear off part of your bib and scan it. Thus all our times were a few seconds slower than our garmins. Not a biggie for us, as this was purely for fun, but worth knowing if you’re actually racing. All in all, this was a really fun event that we enjoyed doing.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

Mt. Tam Trail Run

Mt. Tam Trail Run

I ran the half marathon here in the middle of a very nasty cold and with poor training. It's fair to say that I suffered greatly as a result. It's … MORE

I ran the half marathon here in the middle of a very nasty cold and with poor training. It’s fair to say that I suffered greatly as a result. It’s also fair to say that it was the most beautiful race I’ve ever run.
‘Race’ is overstating it. I went into this with the sole aim of enjoying the beauty and that goal was totally achieved. Steep Ravine Trail will crush your soul in one respect but it will make your soul soar in another. The two climbs are tough – the first one has you with jelly legs by M3, the second is much less steep but goes on forever. And the final 3 mile descent back would be wonderful if your quads weren’t so trashed you had no confidence they’d hold you up on the half-mile or so of steps.
If you train for this and if you’re healthy however, it will be one of the best runs you ever do.
Inside Trail are faultless in their work – signposting was excellent, the aid station well stocked (with coke) and the medal was particularly nice!
I had a great day. I had an awful day. I am so glad I did it. You should do it too.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Quicksilver Trail Challenge

Quicksilver Trail Challenge

This review is on behalf of my husband who ran this race as his first ever trail race. Pretty hilly - uphill for the first half, downhill for the second … MORE

This review is on behalf of my husband who ran this race as his first ever trail race.

Pretty hilly – uphill for the first half, downhill for the second half. Most of the trails weren’t fire roads but weren’t single-track. Be sure to take enough water as there wasn’t very much water at aid stations for the back of the pack. Spot-prizes given out after the race, which was fun.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SCENERY
4
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Healdsburg Half Marathon

Healdsburg Half Marathon

I ran this race in 2012 when I was new to running. It was my best ever race experience - I PR'd beyond my wildest dreams and loved every second. … MORE

I ran this race in 2012 when I was new to running. It was my best ever race experience – I PR’d beyond my wildest dreams and loved every second. So this year I went back for more of the magic. Yeah, it didn’t work twice, but this remains an excellent race.
Flawless organisation. A beautiful course. A cool wineglass (or pint glass) and massive wine-stopper medal. A decent t-shirt. Plenty of portapotties. Good aid stations. Measured exactly 13.1. A decent field (700) but never crowded. Food and drinks afterwards. Can’t be faulted.
Bear in mind the course is much hillier than I remember. It’s definitely ‘undulating’ instead of ‘hilly’ but the climbs are significant, especially in the second half, and they wiped me out this time round. It was also much warmer this year, so the weather could go either way.
But having said that…still a wonderful event which I wholeheartedly recommend.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Run For All Leeds 10K

Run For All Leeds 10K

I ran this during a visit to Leeds (where I used to live). I wasn't a runner when I lived in Leeds so it was cool to race there, it … MORE

I ran this during a visit to Leeds (where I used to live). I wasn’t a runner when I lived in Leeds so it was cool to race there, it was my first Leeds race.
I was very impressed with the organization. It’s a big race but doesn’t feel too enormous. The organisers responded really quickly to my emailed problem (and fixed it). Packet Pick-Up on the day was pretty quick and painless. There were several young people with ‘Ask Me’ signs who were able to answer our questions on the day. The course is not exactly flat but it’s a very PR-able course, which makes up for its lack of prettiness. The shirt was disappointing, but the medal was REALLY nice and the goody bag had some great British chocolate to refuel. All in all, this was a great race that I thoroughly enjoyed. Wished I’d trained more so I could run harder.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

Danville Half Marathon (CA)

Danville Half Marathon (CA)

I ran this race with friends a few weeks ago - it was my goal 10k race for the spring. The course is 'flat' along the Iron Horse Trail, there … MORE

I ran this race with friends a few weeks ago – it was my goal 10k race for the spring. The course is ‘flat’ along the Iron Horse Trail, there are no hills to contend with. HOWEVER…it’s ever so slightly downwards on the way to the turnaround and ever so slightly upwards on the way back…and that upward slope is a bit brutal, so be aware and pace accordingly. There were about 400 runners this year – it’s in aid of Semper Fi and there was an old plane fly-by at the start which was pretty special.
Only two things to bear in mind. This year the race started at 8am. It was a hot day and a 7am start would have improved things significantly. Also the course is a tiny bit short – 6.15 miles on my garmin. It helps you PR but I’d love it if they could make it 6.2 miles for accuracy’s sake. Swag was a good, solid medal and a really nice cotton T shirt that actually fitted me REALLY nicely and will be worn again in real life! If they move the time to 7am in 2017, I’ll definitely be back!
Also, go to Chow for post-race brunch 🙂

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Oakland Running Festival

Oakland Running Festival

I've run nearly every race in the Oakland Running Festival (only the marathon remains/will remain un-run). This was my first time running the 5k and I had a goal of … MORE

I’ve run nearly every race in the Oakland Running Festival (only the marathon remains/will remain un-run). This was my first time running the 5k and I had a goal of sub-25 mins. The course isn’t ideal for PR – it’s fairly flat but there are several turns in the first mile including a U-turn and then a brutal little hill in the finishing stretch. It’s not a very pretty course, running through downtown Oakland – Lake Merritt would be much prettier. However it’s a faultlessly organized event and it’s fun to be part of such a big running festival. Somehow I pulled a sub-25 out the bag (just) and was rewarded with a great medal and shirt. There’s a fun ‘festival’ in the park afterwards which is always fun to hang out at. A great morning’s work. Please note you need to pick your number up the day before at the (admittedly excellent) expo which is kind of a pain. Also, if you use the free bag check, use a bag that’s very different from the (good) free bags they give at the expo – it would make it much easier for the volunteers finding bags after the race.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

POSTOAK Lodge Challenge

POSTOAK Lodge Challenge

I ran this race with three other running friends (so there will probably be more reviews on this site coming up soon). We all ran the 25k which is 2 … MORE

I ran this race with three other running friends (so there will probably be more reviews on this site coming up soon). We all ran the 25k which is 2 loops of a course. There’s also a 50k and a 10k on Saturday and a marathon, half-marathon and quarter-marathon on the Sunday. If you run on both days, you’re a ‘doubler’ and you get an extra medal, which is a genius idea!!
This was my first 25k and my longest run for 12 year so my expectations were modest. However the whole race experience was excellent. Easy packet pick-up the day before at the venue. Friendly runners on the day. The trails are not often run, being private, so sometimes they were a little tricky to follow but signposting was excellent throughout. There were four aid-stations on the loop, two of which were loads of fun, bringing loads of energy to the race. The course is NOT easy. It includes two sizable hills (even for a California girl used to hills) and is constantly up-and-down, which wears the legs away slowly and innocuously. What’s harder is that they are VERY rocky so you have to watch every single footstep, so beware! It was lovely running through woodland though and there were some great views of Tulsa in the distance!
Race production was excellent, I can’t fault it. There was free food at the end and AG winners got beautiful hand-made plaques. I LOVE the race shirt. (Jess T below mentions that they’re unisex and ‘roomy’. She is absolutely right, I just really like how it fits me personally). I’ve hardly taken mine off since. The medal is also big, heavy and beautiful.
My only suggestion would be breakfast options for runners before the race. There was breakfast at the hotel which was $12, no runner can pack away $12 food before a race! A $5 option of coffee/bagels (or even free coffee/bagels) would be a really nice touch.
This was my first race in OK and I had an absolute blast!!! Thanks, Post Oak.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Walnut Creek Running Festival at Christmas

Walnut Creek Running Festival at Christmas

I can't add that much to the review above which is incredibly comprehensive but there are a few things I'll focus on. - this course is hard. It's not likely … MORE

I can’t add that much to the review above which is incredibly comprehensive but there are a few things I’ll focus on.
– this course is hard. It’s not likely to be a PR course (although clearly some will PR on it). There’s a tough 2-mile hill at M4.5 and then a fairly long stretch on an actual muddy ‘path’ at about M11.
– it’s also expensive! $100-ish.
– the shirt is amazing, I love it! Nearly worth the $100 🙂
– no gels on course (so carry your own)
– good expo at the end

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

ZeeBlu Thanksgiving 5K/10K

ZeeBlu Thanksgiving 5K/10K

We ran this race on a family trip to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. I would 'race' it, my little boy and my husband and my parents ran it for fun. … MORE

We ran this race on a family trip to Santa Barbara for Thanksgiving. I would ‘race’ it, my little boy and my husband and my parents ran it for fun. It was a great event. It was very good value (I think $20-$25).

Packet Pick Up was slightly confusing, I’d recommend getting there an hour before to avoid last minute panics. There’s plentiful free parking and proper bathrooms so that’s not an issue. The route runs along the ocean front from one gorgeous beach to the next gorgeous beach so the views are wonderful throughout and it’s pretty much dead flat. There’s one aid station at the turnaround point. Best of all, it measured at exactly 3.11 miles which I hugely appreciate after a number of short races this year.

At the end there’s bananas, coffee and cake and a massage tent. A great community atmosphere. No medals but we did get some cotton t-shirts, I’d prefer a medal any time. But a wonderful fun event which we all really enjoyed…and I got a PR 🙂

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
2

Was this review helpful?

 

Beat the Blerch – Sacramento, CA

Beat the Blerch – Sacramento, CA

I ran this race as a 'solid long run', so not racing but not out to take photos of the views either and it served its purpose admirably. It's a … MORE

I ran this race as a ‘solid long run’, so not racing but not out to take photos of the views either and it served its purpose admirably. It’s a really FUN race with wonderful atmosphere, lots of costumed runners, cake and sofas at aid stations…I really enjoyed the event. The course is flat and pretty PR-worthy except a short (but horrid) stretch on wooden boards at the end. The staging area was excellent with plenty of free parking and many toilets. The end was a tad chaotic but not dreadful and there was cake at the finish line. My main issue with the race is that it was short – 12.8 miles. All four distances (5, 10, 1/2, full) were short which is pretty dreadful especially for the poor marathoners. If they can get that distance issue sorted for the next year, it would be a race I wholeheartedly recommend!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Trail Hog Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Trail Hog Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

I ran this race with my 5 year old son, it was his first trail race but not his first 5k. We chose it mainly because of it being a … MORE

I ran this race with my 5 year old son, it was his first trail race but not his first 5k. We chose it mainly because of it being a Brazen race – they give ENORMOUS medals, which appealed enormously to my little boy.

Organisationally, Brazen are faultless. Easy packet pick up, clearly marked route, amazing buffet at the end (including ice-cream) and the aforementioned giant medals. Any Brazen race will be a joy to participate in.

Ref THIS race…it’s not flat, there are some notable hills and it’s also officially a long course, at about 3.4 miles so put away your PR hopes. The trails are wide and dusty fire-road style. The park isn’t spectacular but it is pretty and a pleasure to run around. If you want to test your speed on hills, this would be a great race. If you just want to pootle round with a kindergartener, this is also a great race! Thoroughly recommended.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Strawberry Stampede

Strawberry Stampede

We ran this Memorial Weekend race as a family, with our 5 year old son. It was a great event which is part of the town's strawberry festival. Very low … MORE

We ran this Memorial Weekend race as a family, with our 5 year old son. It was a great event which is part of the town’s strawberry festival. Very low key but a pretty, undulating course and free strawberries for all runners at the end. No medals apart from age group winners, but I believe there were tshirts we opted out of. (Grateful for the chance to opt out). Lots of fun .

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
1

Was this review helpful?

 

Pace for Peace

Pace for Peace

This was a tiny race raising funds for a women's non-profit! It had a lovely atmosphere and was fun and informal. The course is fairly flat (not pancake flat, but … MORE

This was a tiny race raising funds for a women’s non-profit! It had a lovely atmosphere and was fun and informal. The course is fairly flat (not pancake flat, but not undulating) and runs out to the vineyards so it’s pretty! It was also VERY cheap – about $20! LOVED that!

Minimal swag.There were no medals but they had great shirts. I opted out of the shirt (I THINK for a reduced price) and I really appreciated that option on sign-up but actually, I kind of wished I’d had the shirt!!

There were some organisational niggles that I’ll mention in the interest of transparency but I believe that all these issues are being fixed for their next race in October.
– Prizes only for the first 3 runners which meant the first woman didn’t get a prize. For a women’s non-profit, that’s a bit strange. I think that for Oct, they may even have age group prizes.
– No chip timing (again being rectified)
– A short course. I measured 2.99 which frustrated me.
– Only 2 bathrooms for 100 or so runners. Hopefully they’ll have more for October.

However it raised a lot of money for an awesome cause so I’d still really recommend it, especially if they’re fixing the issues for their next race. There was an excellent post-race buffet and a good raffle! It was a great morning out!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

HITS Triathlon Series Napa Valley

HITS Triathlon Series Napa Valley

I didn't race this myself, my husband did the half ironman distance so my feedback is based on his comments. On the whole, we thought this was an excellent event. … MORE

I didn’t race this myself, my husband did the half ironman distance so my feedback is based on his comments. On the whole, we thought this was an excellent event. The Ironman distance/half was a fairly small event (we think only about 30 people did the full distance). Packet Pick Up on the morning was very fast and easy. Transition was incredibly well organised – each competitor had their own labelled spot. The swim was in Lake Berryessa and it was VERY cold, my husband struggled to deal with the cold water for a while and a lot of smaller, thinner women looked pretty chilly at T1. The bike course was very rolling – constantly up and down – and the run course was similar and not shaded. Also note that there is no crowd support for the entirety of the course. Worth bearing in mind and being prepared for.
All the above sounds like criticism, it’s NOT. We thought this was an excellent event. Competitors got a good tech T, a cracking medal, a solid post-race lunch. Plenty of portapotties. Also there was a food truck at the staging area for spectators. I also really liked the non-profit which put on a children’s play area which I hugely appreciated. This is one of the earlier Tris in the season and this spectator and her competitor really rated it.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Maui 5K for Kids

Maui 5K for Kids

We ran this whilst on vacation in Maui. It's a really lovely community event - loads of local residents. It's not JUST for kids to run, it's a fundraiser for … MORE

We ran this whilst on vacation in Maui. It’s a really lovely community event – loads of local residents. It’s not JUST for kids to run, it’s a fundraiser for local schools – thus the slightly confusing name. There were lots of schoolchildren running, Miss Maui and the Mayor were there and it was a lot of fun. The course isn’t very pretty (on a stunning island) and includes a good mile of steady uphill but it was a lot of fun. Lovely flip-flop medal that we all loved and a nice cotton t-shirt. We really enjoyed being part of this race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Oakland Running Festival

Oakland Running Festival

I've run the half marathon before and this year I ran the 4 person marathon relay with three brilliant girls! I was Leg 3 so will only be talking about … MORE

I’ve run the half marathon before and this year I ran the 4 person marathon relay with three brilliant girls! I was Leg 3 so will only be talking about that leg. The shuttle bus to our exchange left at 7.30, which left a good 1 hr 30 waiting about on a cold morning under a motorway overpass. There were only two portaloos – they could have used 4 or 5. But the camaraderie was excellent and I made some lovely friends there. My leg was predominantly downhill or flat, with just a few (unexpected) rollers along International Blvd. The bigger issue was merging with the half-marathoners en masse at mile 4 – this definitely slowed me down and I was a little frustrated. It took about a mile to even out again. The handover exchange seemed well organised, it was easy to find my runner. The only other issue was getting BART to the finish line. As a non-Oaklander, I had no idea which line I should take, which stop I should get off at and which platform I should take – and there was no information at the station to help me. A volunteer would be well placed there. At the end, there was a great, chilled hang-out at the staging area, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. All in all, a really well organised race and the relay was a LOT of fun! Totally recommended.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Red Rock Canyon Marathon

Red Rock Canyon Marathon

Probably the most beautiful half I've ever done. It's situated in a gorgeous state park on a road which winds in a horseshoe shape. The views are always magnificent. However … MORE

Probably the most beautiful half I’ve ever done. It’s situated in a gorgeous state park on a road which winds in a horseshoe shape. The views are always magnificent. However there’s a 5 mile hill to start with and an 8 mile downhill with some ‘rollers’ thrown in, so it’s not likely to be a PR effort. I felt that the hills were pretty runnable with some training. Plenty of aid stations, super-friendly volunteers. Pancakes at the finish line. GIANT medals and a really nice tech shirt. Packet pick up very easy at Sun Coast Casino. Great shuttle buses from the Sun Coast, which made race morning very easy. All in all, fantastic organization, a beautiful race and a great day. SO glad I didn’t do the 26.2.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

This race is one of the best local half marathons. The first half goes through Golden Gate Park and includes a wonderful 2 mile descent. The second half is a … MORE

This race is one of the best local half marathons. The first half goes through Golden Gate Park and includes a wonderful 2 mile descent. The second half is a (pretty much) flat out-and-back along the ocean. That second half is difficult mentally and you should probably pace yourself during the first half – something I failed to do, sob.

If you get there in decent time, there is a good amount of free parking next to the ocean and plentiful shuttle busses to the start line.

The only criticism of this race is the very crowded start. The 5k and Half start at the same time and it’s crazy busy. The corrals are very small and as such, the first half mile can be pretty crowded and involves a lot of dodging people. Apart from that, organisation is top notch and the race staff are really helpful and chilled.

Race Swag in 2015 included a medal for the first time (I’ll always pay extra for a medal, I’m odd like that) and a nice cotton sweatshirt and a goody bag.

I heartily recommend this race – just pace yourself.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Race to End World Hunger – Mountain View

Race to End World Hunger – Mountain View

This race is a bargain. Both the 10k and 5k were only $35 to race. Can't go wrong with that! The course is pretty much pancake flat with only a … MORE

This race is a bargain. Both the 10k and 5k were only $35 to race. Can’t go wrong with that! The course is pretty much pancake flat with only a few slopes. I believe it’s pretty, overlooking the bay, but I was fighting for a PR so I only saw the bottoms of the runners ahead of me. It’s paved all the way except the first and last 0.2 miles and the unpaved surface didn’t bother me. Good size – not too big, not too small. There was some issues with the timing for us (the rankings, not the actual timing) but that was quickly and easily rectified. All runners got a tech t-shirt and prize winners got a ribbon and a $10 Sports Basement voucher. Best of all, this is run by a great group of runners who raise money to feed and help developing countries so it is well worth supporting! I’d definitely recommend this race for a NYD blast of fresh air.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon

A big, slick, professional race with faultless race direction. This was my first RnR 1/2M and I was hugely impressed with their management. It was a hot day and I … MORE

A big, slick, professional race with faultless race direction. This was my first RnR 1/2M and I was hugely impressed with their management. It was a hot day and I appreciated the many hose-pipes along the course to cool runners down. The course is perfect for PR-ing. It’s almost completely flat, if little boring. It is BIG so be prepared to dodge other runners. Medals are enormous. Excellent free parking if you’re prepared to get there early. Starts at 8am but I wish it started at 7am due to the heat later in the morning. Overall, a great race that I’d recommend.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Ragnar Road Napa Valley

Ragnar Road Napa Valley

As the team captain, I have very mixed views on this race. I was in Van 1 and I believe Van 1 had a much better experience than Van 2. … MORE

As the team captain, I have very mixed views on this race. I was in Van 1 and I believe Van 1 had a much better experience than Van 2. Our roads were generally decent and the whole experience was pretty great. The portapotties throughout the race deserve a mention because they were plentiful, always decent and always with paper!! However Van 2’s legs were hot and on very busy (often unsafe) roads. Ragnar organization did a poor job of supporting runners in the hot temperatures particularly in the long stretches with no van support. Also, medals failed to arrive for the finish line. This didn’t bother me personally but shows distinct lack of organization when the race date has been set for months. Also the finish line party was great and had free beer…but not free wine (this was ‘Ragnar Wine Country) and wine-drinkers had to pay $6 for tiny glasses of bad pink fizz. I would do another Ragnar but wouldn’t recommend this one.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
1
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Parade Run – Redwood City

Parade Run – Redwood City

A great race. The course is dead flat. You run 3 laps around downtown so it's not very pretty and three laps is a LOT of lapping, but it means … MORE

A great race. The course is dead flat. You run 3 laps around downtown so it’s not very pretty and three laps is a LOT of lapping, but it means that there’s fantastic crowd support all the way round. It was fairly busy so I had to weave quite a lot but never got stuck. The course measured just short on my Garmin, which was slightly disappointing, I’m going to let the organizers know so they can fix it for 2015.
The things that made my day were: seamless organization; a good number of computers where you check your results immediately afterwards (seriously, awesome), really nice race shirts that I’ve worn since; great volunteers; water and snacks afterwards.
The thing that made me LOVE this race was that I was running with my giant son (then 4) in a stroller. This race is very generous with awards – not only is there a stroller division but it’s split into genders (male stroller runners, female stroller runners) and then split further into single and double strollers – so FOUR stroller categories and 12 awards up for grabs. I have never seen such stroller generosity. We won second female single stroller and the excitement on my son’s face was pretty magical.

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
1
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Hellyer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Hellyer Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Brazen organize great races and this was no exception. The only thing they couldn't control was the weather and it was pretty cold and very wet but we won't blame … MORE

Brazen organize great races and this was no exception. The only thing they couldn’t control was the weather and it was pretty cold and very wet but we won’t blame them. The course is very PR-friendly – pretty much out and back so no tangents to worry about. It’s on a paved trail which is quite pretty and you can just zone out and run. Very slight uphill on the way out, very slight downhill on the way back. Be wary of the wooden bridge just before the turnaround if the ground is wet – the runner in front of me went flying and cut himself quite badly. GREAT buffet at the end including red velvet cake. Big medals and the ability to opt out of the t-shirt and pay $5 less. Pretty much perfect, eh?

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Bay Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Bay Breeze Half Marathon, 10K & 5K

Another excellent Brazen production. The out-and-back course is flat, along the Bay. Not particularly pretty but not ugly. Probably about a mile is on hard-packed gravel as opposed to tarmac … MORE

Another excellent Brazen production. The out-and-back course is flat, along the Bay. Not particularly pretty but not ugly. Probably about a mile is on hard-packed gravel as opposed to tarmac but I didn’t have any issues with that. The only possible concern is that the final mile got very crowded with 5k runners, many of whom were out for fun (which is great) so you may need to do some weaving. Great buffet at the end, BIG medal and the ability to opt out of the t-shirt which I always like.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Pacifica Foothills Trail Run

Pacifica Foothills Trail Run

This race is murderous but beautiful. The half marathon is 2 different loops. The first (7 miles) climbs up Montara Mountain. The climb is generally runnable but relentless and very … MORE

This race is murderous but beautiful. The half marathon is 2 different loops. The first (7 miles) climbs up Montara Mountain. The climb is generally runnable but relentless and very steep at the top. However the views and the trails and the eucalyptus trees make it all worthwhile. The second loop climbs two smaller hills, the second of which has numerous switchbacks and feels like it will never end but the trails are really stunning. If you get a good day, the views are spectacular. Inside Trail put on a great race, really well executed. I twisted my ankle badly on the first loop so dropped out, but have since run the second loop’s trails. Inside Trail have since stopped giving away mugs as finishing mementoes, which kind of breaks my heart, but I believe they now give medals which is nice.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Zoom Ayala Cove Run

Zoom Ayala Cove Run

I loved this race. From the minute we runners got on the ferry to the island to the minute we got the ferry back, it was great. Very small indeed … MORE

I loved this race. From the minute we runners got on the ferry to the island to the minute we got the ferry back, it was great. Very small indeed but well organized. Brutally cold at the start but fine once we got running.
You can choose from 5 miles, 10 miles and 15 miles covering 1,2 or 3 loops of the island respectively. The 10 miler runs one loop half way up and around and one loop up to the top and around. You pass the start line at the half-way point and that’s where the one aid station is located. The views on both laps were fabulous. The trails were beautiful and well maintained. Just be careful of the steep, nerve-wracking steps on the way down. Got a great race t-shirt (one of my favorites) and a good medal and I even placed in my age-group which made my day. All in all, a fantastic race that I’d heartily recommend.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Wild West Relay

Wild West Relay

My first relay. From a race perspective, it was perfect. Faultless organization, great volunteers, roads which (on the whole) felt safe to run on and views to die for. Unfortunately … MORE

My first relay. From a race perspective, it was perfect. Faultless organization, great volunteers, roads which (on the whole) felt safe to run on and views to die for. Unfortunately for sea-level runners, the lack of oxygen is murderous so be prepared to run much slower than you expect if so. It was SUCH a great experience from start to finish.

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

Zoom Dynamite Run

Zoom Dynamite Run

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

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

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
3
My Report
SCENERY
3
SWAG
3

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

The SF Marathon lets you run half-marathons on both halves of the course, which is GREAT. This time, I ran the second half. It's much less hilly than the first … MORE

The SF Marathon lets you run half-marathons on both halves of the course, which is GREAT. This time, I ran the second half. It’s much less hilly than the first half (although not flat by any means) and considerably less scenic. The first half of the race winds through Golden Gate Park (lovely) but the second half is through residential neighborhoods, light industrial estates and finally past AT&T park and along the Embarcadero. So don’t do this for the views. Having said that, it’s a good race to break into sections (park, houses, potrero, AT&T, embarcadero) which helped my brain focus.
The second half marathon suffers from a lack of razzmatazz at the start – no national anthem for example, which is a shame. But you finish with the marathoners and there’s plenty of action at the finish line – beer, water, snacks. The race medal is small but nice – if you do both halves in successive years, you get a stonking extra medal which is one of my all-time favourite medals! This year, the shirts were a dismal failure, badly designed and appalling fit. I’m sure they’ll get it right next time!

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
4

Was this review helpful?

 

Oakland Running Festival

Oakland Running Festival

This is a great Spring half-marathon. The course runs through downtown Oakland and is pancake flat so it's very PR-friendly, unless you go out like a bat out of hell … MORE

This is a great Spring half-marathon. The course runs through downtown Oakland and is pancake flat so it’s very PR-friendly, unless you go out like a bat out of hell and then die quietly from mile 9 onwards! It’s not the prettiest of courses but there are some great on-course sights to see (the fire breathing dragon was awesome) and it ends round lovely Lake Merritt. There’s a fantastic gathering at the end – beer/wine for runners, some food etc and the medals are big and fancy. There was also a top-notch kids run which my little man (then 3) loved. They got cool medals too. I’d definitely recommend this. The only downside is that you have to go to the expo the day before, which is a pain in the backside!

DIFFICULTY
2
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
2
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Crystal Springs Trail Run (Summer)

Crystal Springs Trail Run (Summer)

This race is held in my favourite state park and on my favourite trails - in fact this is where I had my very first trail run! The trails are … MORE

This race is held in my favourite state park and on my favourite trails – in fact this is where I had my very first trail run! The trails are utterly gorgeous – pretty smooth and winding their way through dense lush redwood forest. It’s a treat! The half-marathon is however brutal. The first mile is downhill but then you face a five mile solid climb up the 1,000 ft to Skyline Blvd. Pacing yourself is crucial. At the top, once you can breathe, you run at fairly flat out and back to a turnaround point, twice passing the (same) aid station which was well stocked with everything from M&Ms to Oreos to healthier fare. Clearly I went for the sugar. And then you get the prize that makes it all worthwhile – the amazing, wonderful 4 mile plunge back down to the finish line. That downhill stretch is on Dean Trail, my favourite, and frankly, I felt like Katniss all the way down. The endorphins rock! At the finish line there’s a great buffet and a nice atmosphere. The race is very low-key but very well managed. I was pretty intimidated by all the super-hardcore looking other runners but managed 4th in my age-group so I was happy with that! I LOVED this race – but I’d think twice before doing it again, it’s pretty tough 🙂

DIFFICULTY
5
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Half Moon Bay International Marathon

Half Moon Bay International Marathon

There's a lot to like about this race. It's in the lovely coastal town of Half Moon Bay, which has plentiful mid-range accommodation. The course is pretty much pancake-flat and … MORE

There’s a lot to like about this race. It’s in the lovely coastal town of Half Moon Bay, which has plentiful mid-range accommodation. The course is pretty much pancake-flat and winds its way down the coast giving spectacular views of the Pacific. The weather is generally perfect – a cool start and a not-too-hot morning. The t-shirt is one of my favorite race t-shirts and the medal was spectacular – large, rotating and a sun-catcher to boot! It’s a great size – I’m not sure of the numbers but it wasn’t crowded at all so i was able to find my stride pretty much immediately. The only negative I can think of is that the race was measured incorrectly – the 1/2 marathon was about half a mile too long. This was addressed quickly by the organizers and the race took a break in 2014 whilst organizers ironed out that and other operational issues! I’d definitely do this race again.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
4
My Report
SCENERY
4
SWAG
5
My Media

1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

 

Woodside Ramble

Woodside Ramble

I ran the 10k race here as I'd run a half-marathon on these trails in the summer and my legs were still a little bitter about it 🙂 The half-marathon … MORE

I ran the 10k race here as I’d run a half-marathon on these trails in the summer and my legs were still a little bitter about it 🙂 The half-marathon hills are brutal – the 10k hills are not negligible but they’re bearable! Huddart is my favourite park – the redwood forest trails are truly special, you feel like Katniss when you run there. The bathrooms here are good – proper buildings, flushing toilets, water etc. It’s $6 to get in and park – parking gets busy but I found somewhere fairly easily. A photographer was located half way up the climb and the photos were available for free afterwards, which is much appreciated. All in all, this is a great race.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
4
My Media

Was this review helpful?

 

San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco Marathon

I ran this back in 2012 but it was a great experience. You start EARLY, like 5.30am which means a very early start if you don't live locally. The course … MORE

I ran this back in 2012 but it was a great experience. You start EARLY, like 5.30am which means a very early start if you don’t live locally. The course is beautiful – along the bay, out and over the bridge, down Lincoln gazing at the ocean and then a long, fairly bland road to get you to the finish in GG Park. Personally, I didn’t enjoy the Golden Gate Bridge part. You’re packed in like sardines, it’s hard to pass people and it got a little monotonous, but I appreciate I’m complaining about nothing really!! Also, this course isn’t easy. There’s a pretty sizable hill up to the bridge and then another biggie AFTER the bridge and then some undulations in the final miles. It would be hard to PR on this race.
Plenty of portaloos at the start and finish. The medal wasn’t enormous but was pretty nice and I really liked the race shirt this year – the fit was great. Other years have seen shirts that fit less well. At the end, you get an Irish coffee and a space blanket and it’s over so early you’re in time for breakfast! It’s fairly crowded at the start but after a mile it’s pretty easy to settle into your pace. I’d really recommend this race if you want the SF racing experience.

DIFFICULTY
4
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon (Kaiser Half)

I ran this race in 2012 and am going back in 2015 to try it again. It's a great course - either flat or downhill. You start in Golden Gate … MORE

I ran this race in 2012 and am going back in 2015 to try it again. It’s a great course – either flat or downhill. You start in Golden Gate Park, loop the Panhandle, run back through the park to the ocean and then have a slightly interminable 3 miles down the ocean road and 3 miles back. Many people didn’t like that out-and-back, it didn’t bother me particularly. It may bother me more when I try for a PR this year. In 2012 there were no medals but I believe 2015’s race will have medals, which is why I gave it 5* for swag, I like medals. Plenty of loos at the start, plenty of water and snacks at the end. You never know what weather you’ll get – I ran it in sunshine, my friend ran it in 2014 in the arctic rain! But it’s a great local race.

DIFFICULTY
1
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
5

Was this review helpful?

 

London Marathon

London Marathon

I ran this back in 2004 as my first (and my last) marathon. It was incredible. The Expo in Docklands was easy to get to and well organized. There were … MORE

I ran this back in 2004 as my first (and my last) marathon. It was incredible. The Expo in Docklands was easy to get to and well organized. There were plenty of trains to get to the startline and plenty of portaloos once you got there. The atmosphere was amazing.
The course is spectacular. It’s pretty much entirely flat and runs past the most amazing London sights – Cutty Sark, Tower Bridge, the Tower of London, Parliament and Buckingham Palace to finish on the Mall. There ARE some duller stretches (Deptford comes to mind and Docklands if you don’t have friends strategically placed to look out for) but this is a wonderful course to run. In ’04 there were no finisher shirts but there was a big medal and snacks/drinks at the end. I am so very glad I ran this.

DIFFICULTY
3
PRODUCTION
5
My Report
SCENERY
5
SWAG
3

Was this review helpful?

 

My Followers