Trail Hog Half Marathon Race Report

Once again, a well-organized event from Brazen Racing. I'm a big fan of this company even though this was only my second race with them. The do the little details well from easy packet pick-up to food to shirts to a perfectly marked course. Even better, they post all photos to a Picasa web album and you can download whatever you want for free.

I went into this one a bit nervous about the weather forecast - expected high of 90 degrees, super open trails with full sun exposure, and a start time of 8 am which isn't early enough to really beat the heat. It was most definitely hot at around 85 degrees by the end, but somehow it wasn't as bad as I expected. That said, I was seriously ready to hide from the sun after I finished.

The race was at Joseph D. Grant County Park in Mt. Hamilton, on the outskirts of San Jose. I arrived about 45 minutes before the start, quickly grabbed my bib and shirt, then got ready for the race. The shirts are purple and I love them; Brazen has one of the only race shirts I actually wear.

Shirt, bib, and medal.

View of the hills from the start area.

One of the first things I noticed when we started running was how the air was full of dirt. It's been really dry, and all of the dirt was getting kicked up by our feet and making the air actually look dusty around us. I worried that it might make me cough, but it didn't cause any trouble. We had an easy flat to downhill start before the climbing began. The race director said it was 13.4 miles with about 2000 feet of climbing. One thing to note about Brazen, many of the 'half marathons' are a bit longer than 13.1 but they tell you up front when you register.

Early downhill.

The trails weren't my favorite because it was all wide dirt and fire road (I tend to go for single track) but I didn't actually mind at all during the race. Supposedly there are wild boar in the area, hence the name of the race, but I didn't see any wildlife at all. 

I can't say I have anything specific and exciting to say about the during the race part. It was hot, very sunny, and I felt like the sun was eating me at times. I tried to eat pretzels at two different aid stations, but my mouth was so incredibly dry that I had to swish water like mouthwash to swallow. I think I got down only one each time. A highlight was that the aid stations had ICE in the water and they were squeezing big sponges with cold water on us as we came through. Cold water on my neck felt amazing.  
I ran the downhills and flat(ish) parts well, and I power walked the hills that were steep. Overall I felt good, even in the heat, which is a big win for me. I took it easy at the beginning and passed back many of the people who passed me earlier by mile 8 or 9. It always feels good to be strong late in the race.

I was expecting a finish around 3 hours but surprised myself when I crossed the finish line in 2:44:47. I couldn't believe how good I felt on such a hard course, and I'm thrilled! There were still tons of people finishing after me; I finished 82 out of 191 and 6th in my age group. 

Fly! Fly!

Happy finisher with medal.

Oh, and remember all of the dirt I mentioned? I was covered in it. It was too good not to document.

Through the shoes AND socks...holy cow.

Akai was rather concerned about my dusty shoes and wouldn't stop sniffing them.

All in all, a fun time and I'd do this one again. Today's recovery run capped out my week at 37 miles, a build week for me, and I feel good. Here's hoping I continue to feel good over the coming weeks and into the Dublin Marathon. Cheers!


  1. Trails are so fun!! Congrats, great race!

  2. Great job, Paulette! Haha -- great photo of how dirty your feet were!!

  3. Great job Paulette! That finish line picture of you is EPIC!! I wouldn't have gotten a grasp of how dirty you were without that pic - thanks for sharing. Also, I love the pig swag. Fabulous. Every time you post about a trail race it makes me want to try it....

    1. Thanks! Haha, I love they caught both feet off the ground.

  4. I LOVE that shirt!! So cute. Brazen is such a great company - I love all their races.

    Your pics turned out really cute too and omg the dirt!!

  5. Sounds like an awesome race! I keep wanting to do a Brazen race :)
    PS maybe I'm a little slow, but did you do a blog makeover? It's looks good!

    1. You aren't slow, I was just playing with it tonight. I'm really bad at UI design in general, but trying! Thanks for the compliment. :)

  6. Aw man, I should have been checking Brazen for races. I forgot they had one near me. I could have ran to it. haha. I really like the shirt! (Love purple)

    It looks like you had a great time! The finish line photo is awesome! Brazen always has good races and I'm very glad the volunteers were out there trying to keep people cool. It looks like a fun trail run to attempt. I'll have to lock it in for next year :) Oh my to all the dirt.

    My cats and dog go nuts at sniffing shoes and socks when I come in from a run. Then I am treated like a giant salt block haha.

    Love your new blog header btw!

    1. Yes I recommend this one! Could be a bit better if not for the heat though. :)

  7. Great job through the heat and dust! Love the photo of your feet afterwards -- I've had similar experiences and never know if it's better to remove the dusty socks at the door and trail my dirty feet around, or wait take off the socks in the bathroom right before I get into the shower. Trail runner problems. ;)

  8. That race looks like so much fun! Congrats!

  9. Whoa That is dirty!
    Have to try a brazen race someday..


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