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Joseph D. Grant County Park

Date: (Sun.) Apr. 5, 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Event Director: - 408.878.5073
Course Setters: Derek Maclean, Jim Fish
Type: B; Standard seven-course event for beginners through advanced

Course Setters' Notes

By Derek Maclean and Jim Fish

Welcome to the 2009 event at Joe Grant Park! It's only been 5 months since the A-meet was held here, but you will find a fresh challenge in our springtime courses. Joseph D. Grant Ranch is a large and beautiful park on the southeast edge of San Jose, characterized by steep, forested slopes and wide open meadows.


The White and Yellow courses will start near the main parking lot. To take advantage of better terrain, intermediate and advanced runners (Orange to Blue) will walk 1 km (15 min) to a remote Start. The Orange Start is close to, but separate from, Brown–Blue Start.


The map is 1:10,000 scale with 5-m contours. While some sections of the map were updated for the A meet, most areas used were mapped 20 years ago and are showing their age. Unmapped sage and broom thickets may be found in open and forested areas. You may encounter unmapped indistinct trails due to ranching activity. We have tried to make suitable updates in areas near the controls.

Course Details

  Course    Length    Climb   Controls   Technical      Physical
  White     2.4 km     60 m      11      Beginner       Trails
  Yellow    2.4 km     95 m      12      Adv. Beg.      Mostly trails
  Orange    3.9 km    150 m      11      Intermediate   Intermediate
  Brown     4.5 km    180 m      12      Advanced       Hard
  Green     5.4 km    215 m      14      Advanced       Harder
  Red       6.6 km    255 m      16      Advanced       Very hard
  Blue      7.7 km    330 m      17      Advanced       Even harder

The White and Yellow courses cover the campground and nearby areas. White is all on trails of varying quality, and could probably be negotiated with a rugged stroller. Yellow is never very far from a trail, but you will typically need to leave the trails to find controls, and some short cross-country routes will be optimal.

The Orange, Brown, Green, Red, and Blue courses all traverse a broader sweep of the park. The longer courses have tougher climb, and visit wilder, steeper areas. The Brown through Blue courses are advanced standard, which should be tackled only by those with appropriate experience. Stout cleated footwear is strongly recommended, especially on Red and Blue.


Although we are hoping for mild spring weather, this park can be hot and exposed. All courses have one water stop. Please be courteous to fellow competitors, and do not waste water or use this to refill bottles. Please also try to arrive at the Start well-hydrated. Drinking a quantity of fluid 20 minutes before your start is advised.

Poison oak is present throughout the park. At this time of year it is bursting into life, and is growing as we write. Wear full-body cover and take suitable precautions. Lyme disease has been reported to be present in this park. Wear full-body cover and inspect your body for ticks after your run.

Competitors on the Orange through Blue courses will have to cross one or more fences. Some are old and have a missing top strand or can be crawled under; others are new and quite robust. These are best climbed at a sturdy fence post. The park has been reconfiguring fences, especially around the main watercourse running through the lower valley. Some old fences have been removed, new ones have been put in. We have tried to amend the map to capture the changes. It may be worth checking the map for a nearby gate. Several legs have been designed to make passage through gates a good route choice.