Latest reviews by Fallon C

(2020)
"Good Times In Napa"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration was available online up until it sold out a few weeks before the race. Registration is on the higher side but there were a variety of discounts available.

Race communication was on point, not too many emails but enough that I knew what to do and where to do it.

The race expo took place in the Napa Marriott. Things were a little congested, there was one room for bib pickup and another for swag pickup and expo booths. The second room was completely packed. I feel like the flow of people might have worked better if the swag pickup had been in the same room as the bibs. All the merchandise booths were crowded.

Race morning dawned early and while they offered shuttle pickups at a few local hotels, I chose the drop off option. The drop off corner while crowded was less than half a mile from the start. Even better was that I had VIP privileges and was able to enjoy the warmth of Conn Creek Winery and real bathrooms.

The race started on time and then it was 13 miles of road and pretty vineyards.
The race primarily took runners down the Silverado Trail before turning towards town.
In my opinion the races tends towards flat with very little change in elevation.

The aid stations were well staffed and stocked with water and Nuun. The first aid station was around mile 3 with second around mile 6. From then on they were every couple of miles.

The finish line was located at Vintage High School and once across you were handed your medal and a heat sheet. Then down through the chute grabbing snacks along the way. Also a first for any race I’ve run- post race soup!

Swag- the swag for this race was a nice, long sleeve tech shirt and an amazing backpack/ duffel bag- all runners received these and they are nice- I love mine.

All in all this was a great race, one I would definitely run again. Also due to some GI issues I was out there way longer than planned- and the race was still awesome from start to finish.

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(2019)
"Sundown in Surf City"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Surf City 10 offered a 10 mile, 10k and a 5k. This year they flipped it and the races were on the evening on Saturday. Runners could watch the sunset as they ran course.

I registered for this race about 2 weeks before race day. I paid around $60 with a discount which is amazing compared to some of my local, tiny 5k's. I ended up dropping to the 10K a few days before the race due to not feeling great and it was still worth the $60.00. Dropping the distance was also super easy and was something I could myself online.

The race offered bib pickup at the expo on Friday and Saturday before the race. The Expo was near Huntington Beach Pier and it was a little cramped. Granted, allowing bib pick up until 6PM enabled lots of us runners to be a little lazy. Myself included but I did drive 5 hours.

The race was much bigger than I had expected with several thousand runners, the corrals were packed. The course was simple- out and back down Pacific Coast Highway. The course had a few lights along the way. A couple more would have been nice but I could have remembered to get my lights out of the car too. I recall 2 aid stations for the 10k but may have missed one.

Runners received a tech tee, cute medal and a glow stick foam thing with their registration.
The finish line was a festive party welcoming the runners back.

The only thing I might change is that the 5k and 10k turn arounds required runners to cross the center divider on PCH. They built ramps to ease the change for the runners but the ramps and dark just don’t seem like a good mix.

I liked the race and it more than worth the cost. I would run it again.

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(2019)
"Space Rock Rocks"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

I had first heard of Space Rock Trail Race in 2018 thanks to an Instagram ad. I couldn’t make it work with my schedule but I did make it work for 2019.

Space Rock took place at Vasquez Rocks and the scenery was awesome. If you've ever watched any scifi show, odds are you've seen Vasquez Rocks.

Registration was available online up to a few days before the race. Customer service was on point as well- I ended up typing my email address wrong during registration but they were able to correct it for me. Also, I had registered for the half but circumstances leading up to the race had me emailing to drop to the 10K. They were able to change my distance for me before the race.

Race weekend dawned with the challenge of a large fire nearby. The race communicated well and the skies were clear enough to go on.

Race morning came early and there was plenty of parking as well as a shuttle to and from the start. The race started about 20ish minutes late as one of the shuttle buses had broken down. That was fine as it gave me time to get through the port-a- potty line.

This race warns you it is hard and it does not lie. The first half of the race is primarily single track and there are runners going both ways for about a mile or so. The course runs you along part of the PCT so that was kind of awesome. The hill around mile 4 killed me. Granted I was also having an asthma attack but be warned.

There were 2 aid stations with water and gels. Which frankly surprised me- I am used to fewer aid stations at trail races.

The race offered sweet swag too- a nice tech shirt, amazing medal and the cutest little duffel bag. And free race pictures!

I really liked this race, I would gladly run this again. Just hopefully no fire or asthma.

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(2019)
"Out and Back through Oaktown"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration was available online up until the day before the race. Online communication was on point- just enough without being too little. I never had any confusion about where I needed to be and when.

Packet pickup was spread out over 4 days at various locations throughout the city and nearby Berkeley. If those dates didn’t work for you, there was an EXPO-in-a-box option that would send everything to you in the mail as well as race day VIP pickup. Both of these did include an extra cost.

I chose the expo-in-a-box option but there was a snafu. Come race week, my packet never arrived. I reached out to the race and they confirmed that due to an error of some sort, my box was not going to arrive. They were able to refund my money and arranged for me to do race day pick up.

The race started at 7:00 and I was staying at the race hotel so I headed to the start line around 6:00. There was a little line at that time but it moved quick. Then I headed off to the portapottie line which was the longest I’ve ever seen. It moved fairly quickly though.

The race started exactly on time after a singing of the National Anthem.

The first few miles saw us running out towards the Jack London area then doubling back towards downtown. We then headed out to Lake Merritt and looped around it. And then around it again the other way in a long out and back. Then once back downtown, we ran 2 more out and backs along Broadway and the street with the Fox Theatre. It was then back to the start alongside the Frank Ogawa Plaza.

Once across you were handed your medal and a cute Mason jar.

Swag- Medal, race shirt which was a nice cotton and cute, mason jar. I can’t speak for anything that was given out at the expo. There was also one free beer for runners and the best- FREE race pictures!

The aid stations did a great job but I feel like they were oddly spaced out. That could be due to the out and back nature of the race. The stations offered water, Nuun and Honey Stinger Gels.

Elevation- by my standards this race is pancake flat. Flat, flat.

While I enjoyed the scenery of the lake- there was a lot of it. There were a lot of out and back portions that I think broke my brain. This race did have the better scenery compared to other ones I’ve run in Oakland though I did miss the chance to run by more murals.

Overall this was a fun race and I would keep it on my list of races to run again.

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(2019)
"Rockin' In San Diego"
Overall
T-Shirts/SWAG
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Parking/Access
Race Management

Registration- Available online up until a week before race day. There was some limited registration available at the expo.

Race Communication- about one email every few weeks until it was closer to race day then the emails increased. All were very clear in providing helpful information about hotels, parking, race times, entertainment or spectators, and wave starts. The day before I headed down to the race, we received an email letting us know there was a delay with the half marathon shirts and we would have to get them after the race instead of at the expo.

Expo- The expo was held in the San Diego Convention Center. It had a large apparel booth from Brooks as well as the usual booths you would find at a good sized expo. I arrived pretty late on Saturday but it was still packed. I was able to pick a few things I had forgotten at home. Oops.

Bib pick up- Bib pick up was organized by number which you needed to know first, they went paperless this race, so runners claimed their race numbers via the Rock n Roll app. Timing chips were located on the backs of the bibs.

Race morning- I always book my hotel near the finish line and pick up one of the race shuttles to the start. There were plenty of porta potties scattered up each side street along the length of the corrals.

The race started at 6:15 with a wave start. Marathon and half marathoners start together. Instead of crossing the start all together- the waves feed into smaller funnels to disperse people. I am on the fence if I think this helps.

The course- I love this course. It takes you through North Park, Normal Heights and Balboa Park. The town comes out to party and cheer you along as well. There has been a mile 4.5 full bar every year I've run it. There are a variety of pop-up aid stations as well. Rock n Roll has a few music booths out on course and we run through a disco tunnel towards the finish.

Aid stations- The half marathon had 8 aid stations which had water and Gatorade Endurance. It was warm and pretty humid and the stations were always well stocked and ready to go. A couple of stations offered SIS gels as fuel. They were having a bit of trouble keeping up with the demand but I was able to take water at every station.

Elevation- I love hills- well hate them but my body loves them- so I don't find this course to be very hilly. I think I am alone in that though. The only hill to worry about is just past mile 10 in Balboa Park but you get rewarded with an amazing downhill to fly down.

Finish- There are multiple photographers around the finish area as you finish. You are handed your medal then funneled towards finisher’s photos then towards the food. Offered was a bottle of water, Gatorade Endurance, Chocolate milk, Cheese-Its, granola bar, a banana, Pringles and fruit snacks. For the love of Pete, give me something to carry everything in!

The Finish festival happens in Waterfront Park just a few blocks down from the finish line. Matt Nathanson was the headliner this year.

Picking up the race shirt after the race was kind of a mess. They did their best but everyone seemed to want their shirt at the same time and it was chaos. Women's shirts were a neon green color and the men's were blue. I got a men's shirt because that was where I ended up in the crowd and well I like blue better anyways.

I love this race, I really do. This was my third year running it in a row. and if I have my way I will be back again. They really do it right here.

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