In November of 2010, a friend was entered in their first ever 5K run. Unfortunately, the person who got them to sign up bailed out, and my friend was left on their own. Having never run a 5K myself, I volunteered to join them. At least we would muddle through together.
The run was organized by Brazen Racing. They organize up to 24 trail runs per year, mostly at East Bay Regional Parks. Nearly all of their runs offer a choice of 5K (3.1 mile), 10K (6.2 mile) or half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.
Turns out the 5K we chose for our first run was one of their most challenging, a 3.3 mile hike to the top of Sanborn County Park in Saratoga on single-track switchback trails with a vertical climb of 668 feet. “What was I thinking?” was the dominant thought of the day.
But, I was hooked on the experience, running through the beautiful redwood groves of the Santa Cruz Mountains, gorgeous views from the top, overcoming the challenge and feeling the sense of accomplishment, and of course the It’s-It Ice Cream Sandwiches and banquet of other goodies waiting for us at the end of every run.
Sam, Jasmin and the Brazen Racing Crew are truly amazing organizers. Each year they keep from 500 to 1,400 runners happy at each of 24 events in around 16 different locations throughout the Easy Bay. Their leadership has attracted a unique community of supportive, fun-loving Brazen Racing runners.
Since my first run, Brazen Racing has held around 50 events. I have run 49 of them. For the first year I ran all 5Ks. My second year I ran all 10Ks. This year I am running mostly half-marathons.
My wife and I have become friends with some wonderful people who are regulars (People doing every Brazen run are known as “streakers.”), including two who met at a Brazen run and are now engaged to be married.