Filled with miles of trails over nearly 1,000 acres of marshes, wetlands, meadows and hills, the wild habitat of Coyote Hills Regional Park serves as the perfect counterpoint to the modern, Internet- and iPhone-connected city just across the San Francisco Bay, both of which runners can enjoy at the late January running of the Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K and 5K races.
Designed as a race to help runners keep their fitness levels up through the doldrums of the winter season, and to offer a course that’s definitely off the beaten path — runners will trek across a combination of dirt, paved and wooden bridge trails on the double-loop route through the park — the Coyote Hills race also offers a welcome change of pace from big-city road race runs.
The half marathon, like the 10K and the 5K races, follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at the Coyote Hills Park’s quarry staging area, just off Patterson Ranch Road, which leads into the park from nearby Fremont. From there, runners head out on what is roughly a counter-clockwise loop along the trails through the park, heading from inland toward the shore as they make their way along the park’s Chochenyo, Red Hill and Bayview trails.
Runners pass through a variety of natural landscapes as they make their way around the park, passing through marshes and meadows on their way toward the shores of San Francisco Bay. Between the mile 4 and mile 5 markers, runners make their way up to the pedestrian bridge that crosses over Highway 84 and leads to the Don Edwards San Francisco National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters and Visitor Center.
The course rises about 150 feet here, and then follows immediately back downhill after runners make the turn and head back onto the trail.
Once they turn back onto the trail — the Apay Way Trail — runners then descend quickly and head out to the stretch of the route that unfolds along the shoreline, where they’ll see views of both the city and the mountains in the distance. The trail winds along the shore until it brings runners back to the starting line area, where they begin the second loop of the race that unfolds along the exact same route as the first.
If you have time before or after the race, there are a wide range of archaeological finds scattered throughout the park for visitors to take in, including Tuibun Ohlone Indian shellmound sites that date back 2,000 years and tell the story of the Ohlone Indians, the East Bay area’s original inhabitants.
Race Weather & Climate
Located along the southeastern shore of San Francisco Bay, roughly 40 miles from downtown San Francisco and about 18 miles north of San Jose, Fremont typically sees cool to occasionally quite cold weather in January, when the area also sees its wettest weather of the year.
January temperatures average between 42°F and 58°F — on race day (Jan. 24), the average low is 43°F and the average high is 58°F — while precipitation averages just under 3 inches, making January Fremont’s second-wettest month of the year.
- 9:00 AM – half marathon
- 9:15 AM – 10K
- 9:30 AM – 5K
See race website
To reserve your spot in the winter 2015 running of Fremont’s Coyote Hills Half Marathon, 10K or 5K race, register online at Active.com by clicking here.