Coastal Trail Run's has a new endeavour, their "flatter, faster runs", known as Zoom! Running Events.
Originally, the course for their Castle Rock 13.1 was indeed "flatter and faster", but with the City of Walnut Creek not being 'runner friendly', thanks to the mess that was the WC Half Marathon, the city would not grant permission to use Shell Ridge for any part of the course. What to do? Re-route up Mt. Diablo just a few days before the race. During pre-race instructions, Wendell instructed the runners to "pretend it's flat"..... for 2740 ft of climbing. This was not a concern for Brian, but for those who are new to the trail and wanting an event to 'get their feet wet', it would prove a challenging day indeed! Steep, technical, no aid station the last 7 miles, and finishing w/5 miles of down hill. Brian was excited! The course re-route meant he'd be running by China Wall, Macedo Ranch, and Rock City, 3 places on the Mt that we love, but have never experienced as part of an official run.
Coastal Trail Run events, Zoom! did indeed give everyone a nice medal!
As for Zoom!, I think if they stick to 'as advertised' courses, they will have a following. My gut says they are aiming at the same group of runners as Brazen, (keeping distances at 13.1 and under, and elevation under 3000 ft.) and we know who wins in that scenario...Brazen will always be the best! But, with the amount of trail runners in the bay area, and the amount of trails, there is definitely room for Zoom!. I saw a ton of Brazen shirts at this event, and I suppose on the weekends Brazen does not have an event, Zoom!'s courses are comparable in distance and elevation, and would fill a need.
Some of B's thoughts - there were only 2 aid stations. They were bare bones, manned by one person at each, and while they had the usual stuff, there were no potatoes, which he's come to expect at Coastals events, and missed. (this was only 13.1, and not really a potato distance, so that's not a legit complaint in my book). Shirts and medals were ok, sized well, nothing to legitimately complain about, that said..not Brazen quality. There was one table of post food stuff, not much there, and non of the soup that you'll find at the end of a normal Coastal run. Again, with "easier" distances and elevation, wouldn't be the same need for food afterwards, but it's always nice to have.
Overall thoughts- always nice to have a new race company, or brother company (??) available for a run when you want to run! Wendell said he got a call from his brother who wanted to get into putting on races, and that is where the Zoom! events sprang from. Things were organized, even had a packet pickup the day before at Sports Basement, decent shirts and medals....no real complaints about anything. We would for sure run with Zoom! again if the timing and course was appealing. Price wise they are right in there with everyone else, so that wouldn't really be a deciding factor.
Best wishes, Zoom! May you have many years of races ahead of you!