Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 2013

Posted by Lauren

***Races Page updated!***

One word: WOW

Saturday has been an amazing day!! Gorgeous trail half marathon and a shutout Sharks game?!!! :) Makes for one happy girl!

good saturday 01262013

My morning started early, but not early enough (spoiler alert). I crawled out of bed and popped a homestyle Eggo into the toaster. I enjoyed the crispy waffle while getting ready for the Coyote Hills Half Marathon.

homestyle eggo


Out of nowhere, it was 8 AM… and the race started at 9 AM! I quickly grabbed my things and drove the [short] drive from Palo Alto to Fremont. I joined hundreds of excited runners in the parking lot of DeVry University and we waited in the chilly wind for race shuttles to take us to the start line.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 01

I definitely didn’t budget enough time, taking advantage of the fact that Brazen Racing usually puts on *small* races. I should have known better, especially after the kerfuffle of Walnut Creek. Luckily, about 8 minutes before the half marathon start, the organizers called out to the line, asking for half marathoners to skip the line and immediately get in the next shuttle. PHEW. Close one!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 02

I didn’t go to an early packet pick-up this week due to work, so as soon as the shuttle dropped us off at Coyote Hills Regional Park, I sprinted to the registration table. During that time, the race officially started… By the time I had my bib pinned to my lucky race shirt, I was 3 minutes behind the pack. Ain’t no thang!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 03

Race photos of me borrowed from Brazen’s Facebook page!!

coyote hills race photo 02

The beginning of Mile 1 was, in a word, breathtaking. We ran on top of a deck surrounded by water and water bushes (totally not the technical term). That led to the first “hill,” where, for the most part, I focused on catching up and passing the half marathoners that started before me. Just before Mile 2 was the first water station. Since this was a trail half, all racers were warned ahead of time that the water stations would be at odd points since it’s hard to get the tables and supplies out in the middle of nowhere. I took a swig of water and turned the corner to spectacular bay views.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 05

From Mile 2-4, we ran through the rolling grassland hills with the bay at our right. It was a bit windy and cloudy, but clear enough to see all the way across to Menlo Park, Redwood City, etc. The turnaround came at Mile 5, which was also the next water station. I took a vanilla GU at this point and cruised back towards the start line. Just after the Mile 6 marker, there was a short, gnarly hill (~100 ft gain is a hill for me). I walked part of it and totally enjoyed the downhill afterwards!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 06

The course repeated itself for the final Mile 7-13. I could tell my legs were tired and yes, sure, I lost a LOT of steam. You can tell by my mile times:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont splits

Another Brazen Facebook photo (the race also had a 5k and 10k):

coyote hills race photo 01

Just before Mile 8 I hit the water station, but this time I stopped to enjoy the scenery:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 07

Candy! I took two gummy bears (both red) and a peanut M&M. This is the first race I’ve ever done that has candy on the course. Usually it’s just GU, sometimes an orange slice or banana… but this definitely wins the award for best race food!!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 08

I continued to the turnaround point, enjoying the bay views and sunny skies. That same unpleasant hill came at the end of Mile 12, and I walked a portion of it again. At that point, I knew I blew my previous trail PR out of the water, so…. easy sailing? I cruised down the final hill and through the finish line with an official chip time of 1:42:34. Yahoo!!!!!

Garmin stats:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont summary

3rd place age group?! Coooool.

p.s. did I mention that I was texting a bunch of folks during the race? Namely my mom (who I’m hanging out with tomorrow!) and Kyle, who surprised me by offering to run to the finish line…. FROM PALO ALTO. That’s 9 miles, folks. And he QUOTE-UNQUOTE isn’t a runner?!!! I don’t believe you, dude.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 11

So, after grabbing the awesome finisher’s medal, gulping some water, and visiting the port-a-potty, I found Kyle and we walked to the spectacular food tables. If you ever need a reason to sign up for one of the many races Brazen organizes, how about this: It’s-It ice cream sandwiches, red velvet cake, apple pie, cheesecake, peanut butter, nutella, oranges, bananas, bagels, coffee, hot cocoa….. Total foodie satisfaction.

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 10

After a cup of apple pie and coffee… I finally met two local bloggers I’ve been dying to meet: Jacqueline of Skinny Chick Blog and Janae of Hungry Runner Girl. They are smart bloggers and took photos, but I did not so you’ll just have to visit their blogs!

Too small Speed (blue) – Elevation (green) comparison:

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont speed elevation

Kyle and I had a chance to chat with Janae and Billy for a long time near the race results and in line for the shuttles back to DeVry’s parking lot. I had so much fun talking with them about races and life since they moved to the Bay Area. Hopefully we can go for a run, visit Yogurtland, or go on a double date (not to be confused with doubles tennis) soon!

Also – thanks for sharing your extra It’s-It with me Billy and Janae!

coyote hills trail half marathon 2013 fremont 09

Lessons learned from the race:

  1. Focus on getting to races EARLY
  2. Do another Brazen Race, if only for the food and small crowds
  3. Take advantage of Coyote Hills Regional Park’s 978 acres soon!!! This East Bay gem has miles of trails to go hike, bike, run, picnic, bird watch…. whatever it is, I need to go back soon.

I drove Kyle back to his car across the Dumbarton Bridge and then JETTED to Mountain View for an 8-second shower. I had to get to the Sharks game, which started at 1 PM!!!

sharks avalanche 2013

More on that in my next post :)

Question: What food would you LOVE to see at the race finish? Runners, do you prefer trail runs or the city streets?


Comments (16)

  1. Jacqueline

    Congrats on getting 3rd place you speedy girl!! You did amazing!
    I’m so stoked to finally meet my virtual friend.
    I didn’t realize you live in Mountain View & like hockey! We need to hang out soon.

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Mountain View buddies! Can’t wait for our lunch date this week! :)

      1. Jacqueline

        So excited!!
        First we’ll make snow angels for two hours, then we’ll go ice skating, then we’ll eat a whole roll of Tollhouse Cookie-dough as fast as we can, and then we’ll run. lol
        Jacqueline recently posted..Motivation tips & tricksMy Profile

  2. Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill

    Wow–congrats on an awesome race! The scenery looks gorgeous. The candy would definitely make me want to sign up for a race. :)
    Colleen @ Jimmy Choos on the Treadmill recently posted..CurrentMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Thanks Colleen!! I can’t wait to do more races with this company. They’ve got the food sitch under control!

  3. Cynthia

    I did the Coyote Hills half yesterday as well, but ended up being the 4th-to-last person to start, because of the shuttle wait. The picture of the shuttle line you took was actually a bit before me, because I recognize the girl’s blue CEP socks that I was staring at for awhile ;) And I saw someone raise their hand and people go running at them, but I honestly couldn’t tell if they had called half runners or not. And the 10kers I was standing in between were being kind of obnoxious towards the half runners, so I didn’t really want to deal with them and trying to get back in line if it WASN’T the half runners they were calling! But I got off the shuttle just as they called “last call for half runners,” threw my sweatshirt at my brother, ran up to the announcing desk and asked which way to go! ;D

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Oh man, Cynthia, sorry you had a late start too! Next time we’ll both arrive extra early, right?!! :) Hope you had a fantastic race regardless of the shuttle line!

  4. luv what you do

    That looks like an amazing race! Congrats on the impressive finish!
    luv what you do recently posted..Half HomemadeMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Thank you so much Jennifer!

  5. Kyle Dozeman

    That’s my waffle… give it back. Next time run across the dumbarton bridge too – on the east side you can run on little trails over the bay!

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Next time buy blueberry Eggos. Thanks.

  6. Karen @ Runner Girl Eats

    Congrats on third! The trail looks gorgeous. And that food is enough for me to fly across country to run this next year. Any race that ends with red velvet cake is my kind of race.
    Karen @ Runner Girl Eats recently posted..5 miles and too many Lucky CharmsMy Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Haha yes! Had I known there was red velvet cake at the finish line I might have run a little faster!

  7. Naomi

    I ran this race a couple of years ago and loved it. Congratulations on a great race!
    Naomi recently posted..Week 4 of 2013: Jan 20-26My Profile

    1. Sugar Coated Sisters (Post author)

      Thanks Naomi!! Have you done other Brazen races? If so, what would you recommend?

      1. Naomi

        I’ve run the Bay Breeze (Feb) and Summer Breeze (Aug) races. They are the exact same course. Flat, fast but a lot of it is also on gravel.
        Naomi recently posted..Week 4 of 2013: Jan 20-26My Profile


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