Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brazen turns 50. Or maybe 3.

Back when I started training with San Jose Fit in 2009, I was hanging with a bunch of road racers. When they talked about trail races, they mentioned there were no medals, few aid stations, and you would almost certainly get eaten by a mountain lion since you would definitely get lost.

Then I did the San Jose Fit winter program and I learned that the trails weren't so hard to follow, mountain lions don't lurk in every shadow, and best of all, trails are a LOT more fun that roads. That program had nothing scheduled over the holiday period, so Mrs Notthat and I took a gamble and did the Brazen New Years 2010 race that I'd read about in an Active email. I'd never heard of them and expected little.

From that one race we were totally hooked. The shirts, medals, great aid stations, extremely well marked courses (with mile markers!), and a totally relaxed, fun, family atmosphere were all surprises. As were the Krispy Kremes at the finish line.

Saturday was Brazen's 50th race, and it turned out to be at the same place as their first race in 2009, where 229 people came out to see what they were about. Since then, nearly 30,000 runners have finished their races, racking up nearly a quarter million miles. Not to mention the hundreds of kids that have beaten that pathetic turkey at the annual kids turkey races.

For today, Mrs Notthat signed up for the Half Marathon while Grandkid First Born, the mutts, and I signed up for the 10K.

Photo by Brazen volunteer Jonathan
But before the races, Not A Canadian had arranged for a little presentation to honor the 50th race. (She has been a streaker for the last two years and has probably only missed one or two of all those races, and those would have been way back in 2009.)

For the last month or so NAC has been secretly getting people to sign this great book thing she put together. A number of times she feared that Mr and/or Mrs Brazen knew that she was up to something, so she would have to act cool and wander off. She managed to convince me to steal the announcer's mic and announce the presentation ("Honestly, do you think anyone would understand a word I said?" she quite correctly said while trying to convince me to do this.)

Photo by Brazen volunteer Jonathan
Then she whipped out this thing that I thought was a mini-outhouse (sorry - that's where my mind goes). It was actually a birdhouse made from a wooden crate from the original company that used this park to make explosives back in the old days. Since I had no idea about this thing, I handed her the mic and she explained it (I think - honestly, with that weird accent* I had no idea what she was saying).

In any case, once I got done rambling on and on I handed the mic back to Mr Brazen (who finally took his finger off the mute button; "You can do this but nothing embarrassing!" he asked - note that Mrs Brazen is wearing the "50" tiara and that Mr Brazen's is still back in the car; tutus were right out).

Now that that was all done, we could focus on the race.


Htenaj (not her real name, in the pink on the left) celebrated her progression to an easier age group by running 42 miles today. The Half is only 13.1 miles, so she and a group of friends showed up at 5 AM (YIKES!) and started running. This is still well before the race and they are going strong.

Photo by Brazen volunteer
Another thing NAC organized was a group photo of people wearing classic Brazen shirts. This wasn't everyone, but you get the idea of how many people love these shirts and these races.

Finally Grandkid First Born and I started our 10K. After going nearly a quarter of a mile, Kaya figured it was time to take a dump, which meant I had to carry it about a mile to the next trash can.

And then Kaya had a first - she had never seen a horse before. She was stunned and became an immovable object as the horse went by. Meanwhile, GFB was WAY ahead of me.

 I love the eucalyptus groves we get to run through. GFB made a running friend (as usual) and the two of them stayed together for most of the race.

Weird Haired Mom took this picture.

Ednew (not her real name) was great - I really hope GFB wasn't slowing her down, but she said it was fine and they were kind of feeding off of each other.

WHM also took this one.
I've done this race with Kaya once before, but this was a first with two dogs. And it was challenging - Dove was determined to take up the whole trail all by herself.

Photo by Brazen volunteer
I caught up to Darci with about a mile to go. Her feet were bothering her so she had slowed down. As we neared the finish line, she told me that she was going to do a cartwheel as she crossed it. (Honestly, I don't know where she gets these ideas.)

This is a still I captured from the video I took, which you can view by clicking here.

Mrs Notthat came in from her Half not long after we finished - she did a great job and was thrilled to beat both Sirhc and Htenaj (granted they had already done many miles before this race and had many left to do, but still - beating them is a great accomplishment!).

NAC also put together a Brazen timeline in a series of posters she attached to the backs of the port-potties (you can see the full series of them in several of the Picasa albums at the Brazen photo site).

It was a blast. We had great (if a bit breezy at times) weather and a large crowd of runners. All of them anxious to see what the next 50 races will bring!

That's it - move along...

* NAC is actually a Kiwi, but I wasn't sure of that the first time I met her, so I decided to call her something completely wrong - a Canadian. She's actually had people come up to her and call her "that Canadian."

PS: You can see some of the pictures I took here.

1 comment:

IHellaLoveRunning said...

Awesome recap! I got into running around 09 as well and am so happy that Brazen is around putting on family friendly trail races! I especially like the fact that they don't cost an arm and a leg like so many other races.