We did the Jungle Run Half Marathon in Los Gatos yesterday. Although this was the third year Firstwave has put on this event, it was my first time running it. Firstwave also does several other events, including one of my personal favorites, the Santa Cruz Half
The weather was a bit warm as the usual Pacific marine layer was a no-show. The temperature for the 7am start was around 65-70 degrees. The race began on time (always a good sign) with about 300-400 runners.
The first 4 miles of the course were fairly uninteresting. We wound through parts of Los Gatos and then into Campbell. At the 5 mile marker, we entered onto the Los Gatos Creek Trail and ran back towards Los Gatos, passing through Vasona. The last 3+ miles of the trail were an out-and-back, almost to the base of Lexington (I was happy we didn't have to run to the top! I've done that before and it is a hike). Most of the trail was shaded and very scenic.
Overall, here's how the run rates in my book:
Organization - The race was well put together and the course was clearly marked/staffed. Grade: A
Course - The Los Gatos Creek Trail was great; however, the first four miles, including a not-so-great run down Winchester Blvd, detracted from the overall experience. I'd highly recommend re-doing this part of the course. Grade: B-
Aid-stations - The aid stations were located as advertised. All stations had water, some had Cytomax also. One thing to work on for next year - the sight of a 30-gallon trash bag in a garbage can being filled with water from a garden hose isn't that great. How about some bottled water out there? Grade: B
Swag - The short-sleeve shirts were nicely designed, as was the finisher's medal. I've run larger races with swag wasn't as good. Grade: A