Tag Archives: 10k

Race #51: ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes 10k

There are three weekends left in the year, and only two races to run to complete our 52-race challenge this year! And so it is time to get race #51 in the history books…

Hamming it up before the race
Hamming it up before the race

We decided that #51 would be the ZombieRunner Quarry Lakes 10k in Fremont, CA. This is the fourth or fifth time this year we’ve run a race organized by the Coastal Trail Runs folks, which made it an easy choice — they run nice, mid-sized races that are well-organized, have a great vibe, and also nice medals and shirts!

It’s also the third time we’ve run at Quarry Lakes this year, including recently for Race #49 and also for Race #21.  When you run 52 races in a year, there’s bound to be a few visits to the same locations (I’m also looking at you Hellyer Park and Vasona Lake).

Hamming it up some more...
Hamming it up some more…

Anyway, this was a fine 10k race. We didn’t run it too hard, and finished in 48 minutes and change. It was *cold* for California — probably just a few degrees above freezing at the start, and with a relatively stiff breeze off the lakes chilling everyone. The race itself was half on dirt trails (which I prefer) and half on asphault / pavement (which I don’t). But all of the race was pretty flat and friendly, and the scenery nice under any conditions.

Really hamming it up now...
Really hamming it up now…

So, that’s 51 races done, and 51 race reports written. Just one more race, and one more race report for the year! If anyone is actually reading this, I appreciate you being along for the journey! Onward to the 52nd and final race!



Race #49: Quarry Turkey 10k

We ran on Thanksgiving, and decided to back it up two days later on Saturday at the Brazen Racing Quarry Turkey 10k.  That’s 49 races this year, and just 3 more to go — and all in support of the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’re still not on board as a fundraising supporter, just head over here and make a donation.

A little cold at the start of the Quarry Turkey 10k
A little cold at the start of the Quarry Turkey 10k

We took it a little slower in this race. It was freezing at the start, enough for me to pull on the running gloves. We sat on a pretty gentle pace until the last mile, and then picked it up and brought it home — some guy was racing me, and I decided he needed to be thrashed at the finish line.

The race itself was at Quarry Lakes, a nice little park with a few lakes in Fremont, CA. We’ve run here once already this year in Race #21: The Zoom Quarry Lakes 5k. This time around there was probably five times as many people, and the parking lot was full. Brazen Racing is turning into quite a crowd puller indeed.

Anyway, we’re both feeling great about being well-and-truly on track with the racing. It’s been a tough few weeks to get back on schedule, but 52 races is now within sight!

Race #48: Zoom Turkey Trot 10k

There’s a monster 20,000+ Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving in downtown San Jose. We ran it last year and, frankly, once per lifetime is plenty. This year we ran the smaller Zoom Turkey Trot 10k and that’s more our cup of tea. Either way, It’s a good idea to go into calorie deficit on Thanksgiving!

Zoom Turkey Trot 2015
Zoom Turkey Trot 2015

We didn’t talk too much about pacing before we started, and I decided to pick it up a little out of the gate. The 4th and 5th miles were a little tough as a result — but we still did a pretty nice time of just over 46 minutes. All up, a nice way to spend the morning!

That’s race 48 done, and now there’s just 4 to go to reach our goal of 52 races this year!


Race #45: Whiskey Hill Redwood Run 10k

Selina’s been saying the past week that this was her favorite race of the year. She may well be right (and we’ve got 44 other races to compare it to this year). It’s hard to beat running on trails in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains.


The morning began cold and rainy, but the sun broke through just before we started racing — and that made it just a beautiful day to be running in Huddart Park near Woodside. The race itself was almost a reverse loop of a race we’d run before, but it smartly stayed off the roads and added in an extra mile or so of trails. Just a tweak, but it made it a special race!

There she goes again
There she goes again

This was a tough one, but we don’t mind that. There was well over 1,000 feet of climb, and it pretty much all happened in the first mile and a half. That warms up the legs pretty fast on a cold day.

About to start
About to start

We’ll definitely be back. Anyway, for now, that’s 45 races done in our quest to run 52 this year!


Race #43: Save Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 10k

The Brazen Racing Save Mount Diablo Trails Challenge 10k has hills. If you like steep hills, this is the race for you.

Cruising along at the start
Cruising along at the start

Selina and I started out at a steady but slow pace, and picked it up as the race went along. Some days, it’s hard to stick to the mental promise of “let’s just cruise it today”, and this was one of those days. Put it this way, the last mile was at 7:37 pace, and that’s reasonably quick for (a) my middle-age (b) my body type (c) a trail race and (d) a 10k race.

I love the smiles as Selina pips this guy at the line
I love the smiles as Selina pips this guy at the line

Anyway, I’ve digressed. This was a fun race in a beautiful setting, and a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. What’s more, that’s 43 races completed in our 52-race challenge.

Strava shows you the hills and the pace. Steep!
Strava shows you the hills and the pace. Steep!


Race #38: Brazen Racing Tarantula Run 10k

Just 14 races to go to reach our goal of 52 races in 2015! So far, we’ve raised nearly $43,000 and I know we’ve raised awareness of both Guillane-Barre Syndrome and the GBS/CIDP Foundation. If you’d like to be part of helping beat GBS and help folks in need, head over here.

Sam from Brazen Racing got in the spirit with the costume
Sam from Brazen Racing got in the spirit with the costume

Race 38 was a tough one. At least for me. My trust running buddy didn’t find it quite as hard, and beat me by a minute or so. The pictures tell the complete story.

Selina's just cruising.
Selina’s just cruising.

The race was a trail run at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir, though we didn’t see any water on our run. Indeed, it’s pretty dry up there, similarly to the rest of California right now. Picture dry dirt trails, undulation, and views out over rolling hills in every direction. A nice place for a run.

And I'm struggling. And soaked.
And I’m struggling. And soaked.

I’m not quite sure what was up with me, but I found the race tough from the start. I willed my way through it, and it sure felt like I’d run a lot further than the 6.4 miles or so (the “10k races” trail races are often a little over 6.2 miles).

Anyway, as always, I highly recommend trail running and the Brazen Racing series. Always good vibes, good medals, good shirts, and most importantly some of the nicest places in California for a race.


Race #35: Brazen Racing Rocky Ridge 10k

We heard down the grapevine that the Rocky Ridge 10k was a tough grind. And the rumors were true — while it’s always magnificent to run Brazen’s races, this was one of the tougher ones. (I can only imagine how hard the half marathon is — maybe that’s a project for next year.)

Getting started on the Rocky Ridge 10k
Getting started on the Rocky Ridge 10k

The race started with a single track, undulating cruise through woods, and short return back down a fire road. And then the fun began — a 1,000 foot climb over 1 mile up onto the aforementioned Rocky Ridge.

I always say to Selina that “Williams’s don’t stop”. The reality is I’ve probably walked maybe six times since 1992, and usually for pretty good reasons; there was the time I’d given blood and that other time when I was dizzy and the world span. Well, make that seven times — there’s no way I could run that 1,000 ft climb.

Walking up the hill. I wasn’t the only one…

Once we were up on top of the Rocky Ridge, the views were magnificent. The fog filled the valleys, and a gorgeous day spread out in front of us. If I wasn’t so darn keen to get the race finished, I’d have taken a photo or three. You’ll just have to use your imagination.

The end result was (as usual) Selina won her age group, and I didn’t. I’m pretty sure I was 4th in mine, and power to the guys who beat me! We’ll be back running this one next year — in fact, I think I’ll retire from running road races and stick with the trails in 2016.

Race #29: Brazen Racing Trail Hog 10k

The good news: this was an amazing trail race. The bad news: thieves got into my car and stole my wallet and phone, and ran up $3,000 worth of expenses before we even got close to home. The good news: the card companies removed the charges without an ounce of hassle. The bad news: I have to buy a new iPhone, and good old AT&T is taking 10 days to send me a new SIM card. Sigh.

The Race

The Brazen Racing Trail Hog 10k is awesome. It’s within the Joseph Grant County Park on Mt. Hamilton Rd in the hills east of San Jose, California, and takes you on a run with magnificent views of the surrounding hills including a close-up view of Lick Observatory. This was our second time running it, and you can be assured I’ll be back a third time.

About a mile from home. A gentle climb to the finish.
About a mile from home. A gentle climb to the finish.

It’s a challenging, beautiful trail race. I’d imagine the Half Marathon is a tough grind, because the 10k certainly is (starting with the fact that it’s actually about 6.6 miles or 10.6 kms). At the 1.5 mile mark, there’s a pretty tough 500 foot climb — and after that it’s an undulating run that ends with a gentle climb back to the start. But, overall, it’s pretty hard to beat for scenery as the pictures show.

If you put a camera near the lady...
If you put a camera near the lady…

I was the 4th male in my age group, and Selina was the 2nd in hers. We didn’t crank it out — we’re trying to get in the habit of running the races at a below-competitive pace in the spirit of making it through 52 races in the year. Anyway, that’s 29 races done!

The Theft

I opened the trunk of my car, put my phone inside, and closed the trunk. I walked away from the car without locking it, since my car locks automatically in 30 seconds or so when I take the key with me. I’m guessing as I walked away, the thieves quietly opened one of the doors a few inches.

Once I’m out of sight, they popped the trunk, grabbed the phone, and then emptied out the console in the front and found my wallet. With the booty stolen, they jump in their car, and head for two different Walmarts to run up $3,000 in charges on one card. They also stop and buy $50 worth of gas on another card.

Once I’m done with the race, I figure out I’ve been robbed. But we can’t call anyone from Selina’s phone, since there’s no cell coverage in the park. We drive back, cancel the cards on the ride, use the “Find iPhone” app to erase the iPhone, and suspend the phone service through AT&T.

The card companies cover all the losses (thankfully!), and AMEX even sent me a new card within 24 hours.  Fidelity are taking their sweet time. And AT&T still hasn’t delivered my new SIM card.

You live, you learn. Smart thieves come to races — since racers are definitely not coming back anytime soon. And you should lock your car manually — don’t wait for it to auto-lock, even though that’s a cool feature.

See you next time.


Race #14: Presidio 10

Our fundraising challenge continues. We’ve run 14 races in 2015 toward our goal of running 52 races to raise awareness of Guillane-Barre Syndrome, and we’ve raised almost $26,000 for the GBS/CIDP Foundation on our way to the goal of $52,000. Help us help people who suffer from GBS and related conditions by heading over here and donating.

A special place for a run on an amazing day
A special place for a run on an amazing day

We were up at 5am on Sunday, out the door at 6am, and running the most beautiful race we’ve run this year at 8:30am! The Presidio 10k started on Crissy Field in San Francisco, almost in the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge and near the infamous Alcatraz. The weather was beautiful, the views spectacular, and the race was overflowing with runners running either 10 miles, 10 kilometers, or 5 kilometers. We took the 10k challenge — after running yesterday, we didn’t want to run 10 miles, but we also wanted to run across the bridge (and the 5k route didn’t cross the bridge).

The race was incredibly well organized, the vibe relaxed, and the crowd in the mood for a fun run on a Sunday morning.There must have been a few thousand people running, and that always makes the atmosphere special. The route took us through the Presidio, across the bridge, back across the bridge, and along the foreshore of the bay, and across the finish line. I’m not sure there’s too many races that’d beat this one for scenery.

A tiny fraction of the crowd milling around before the start of the Presidio 10k race
A tiny fraction of the crowd milling around before the start of the Presidio 10k race

We loved the race — we have to run this next year — and Selina’s sure it was her favorite so far this year. I’m thinking that I agree — you can’t beat SF on a beautiful day, and running across the Golden Gate is a special treat.

Next week, we’re headed to the Brazen Mt Diablo race, which should be special too. See you next time.



Race #10: Carrera UNICEF por la educacion

This race was an 8 out of 10 on the exotic scale. I flew 14 hours to the second-largest city in South America, Buenos Aires in Argentina, and raced with around 20,000 people on Sunday. All in the spirit of raising money for the GBS/CIDP Foundation and the great work they do. Which reminds me — if you haven’t donated, I’d love you to join the wonderful people who have.

That was a fun race! A festive atmosphere, plenty of sponsor booths, lots of families, and almost everyone wearing matching UNICEF t-shirts. All along the course there were cheering crowds, who were probably two or three deep along the railings over the last quarter mile. The course itself was flat and wound through parklands on closed roads and past the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium, home of C.A. River Plate, the famous Buenos Aires soccer team.

Selfie at the start line
Selfie at the start line

The warmup beforehand was an experience. Perhaps 5,000 people joined in a choreographed aerobic stretching session with (I presume) a local fitness personality. He was accompanied by loud American rap and dance music, and a costumed hippopotamus. Following that, everyone shuffled into the start chute and lined up over a quarter mile waiting for the start. Fifteen minutes later, we were underway.

We're ready to race. If you look carefully, you can find me in my trademark sunglasses
We’re ready to race. If you look carefully, you can find me in my trademark sunglasses

The 10k race itself felt like a half marathon. I was glad it was over. The humidity of roughly 80% and the temperature in the 80s was tough on a Californian who’d just arrived. I ran a relatively slow time, but that wasn’t really the point — it was an amazing experience.

Crossing the finish line
Crossing the finish line

This week, I’m thinking I’ll keep it simple, and run a race I’ve watched for the past three years. My daughters and wife will probably run it too. It’s a one mile time trial that raises funds for a Zimbabwean orphanage, and it takes place at an elementary school in Los Altos, CA. Looking forward to it!