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home > races/results > usa: california > corrigan sports enterprises brings you the 2nd annual oakland running festival

Corrigan Sports Enterprises Brings You the 2nd Annual Oakland Running Festival
Get ready for a weekend of fun for the entire family! Runners of all ages and abilities will enjoy this amazing race weekend in one of California’s most historic locations. On March 26th and 27th, Oakland, California is the place to be for the Bay Area’s Running Event of the Year.

Corrigan Sports Enterprises Brings You the 2nd Annual Oakland Running Festival

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By Traci Joy
Posted Tuesday, 11 January, 2011

Once again coming to Oakland is the Corrigan signature two-day festival of running, including a full marathon, half marathon, 4-person relay, Twilight 5K, and Kid’s Fun Run. For the second consecutive year the city opens its streets to thousands of runners, walkers, and energetic volunteers and townspeople who will again come out in droves for this one-of-a-kind event.

Before the inaugural race in 2010, the city of Oakland had not seen a marathon for over 25 years! But due to the highly successful first festival, including overwhelming participation of runners, walkers, volunteers, and fans, coupled with the dynamic event-planning team, the marathon and festival are BACK; and again with excellent city support. It’s the talk of the town among Bay Area runners, as it was named Best Sporting Event of the Year by Oakland Magazine, and Best Race by the East Bay Express.

An amazing course through Oakland’s beautiful and diverse neighborhoods, major community support, and a terrific centralized location, which fosters ease of travel; make this a tempting race weekend getaway for singles, couples and families alike in search of a running adventure. And for those who missed last year’s memorable inaugural, you will not want to miss this year! This is a terrific running opportunity for all athletes; from elite marathoners, aspiring track stars, to novice joggers. There literally is something for everyone, so register early for a discount:

Visit to Run… Run to Visit
Runners know the best way to see a city is to run it! This is true for Oakland and its surrounding Bay area towns and cities too. Part of picturesque East Bay, Oakland has so much to offer visiting runners: from warm-up runs around Lake Merritt and along Emeryville's marina, to hikes and trail runs in Tilden Park, Redwood Regional Park, or any of the 65 beautifully preserved regional parks in the East Bay. There are also some great local running stores to check out such as Transports and See Jane Run (for women only), both on trendy College Avenue in Oakland.

Berkeley: Berkeley is two short miles away and there are dozens of trails and canyons for running and hiking. Visit the hills of Strawberry Canyon for the best view of the Bay Area, or run along the Berkeley Marina or the Ohlone Greenway. The University of California Berkeley campus is also a beautiful place to run, with rolling hills, beautiful views and historic architecture.

San Francisco and Beyond: With BART and the highly reliable MUNI bus system, you can pop over to San Francisco easily. There you can see the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Warf, and so much more. Get in your ZipCar ( and head north to Mount Tamalpais State Park, where the trails are serenely beautiful and redwoods grow undisturbed; or check out the vineyards in nearby Napa Valley. You could easily make a weekend get-away a two-week Bay Area vacation filled with hot running spots, great food, museums and galleries, lovely hikes and historic guided tours.

Festival Schedule
Your Oakland adventure weekend begins Saturday, March 26th – the Health and Fitness Expo will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Oakland Marriott City Center for packet pick-up, late registration and shopping for the latest in gear, fuel and other running goodies.

Participants will then join in the fun from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Kick-Off Party with live music and more at Jack London Square. Jack London Square is one of Oakland’s most identifiable landmarks and a symbol of the city’s history as a seaport! After you've rocked out with several live bands, the Twilight 5K Race begins at 6:30 p.m. – a sunset run around downtown before heading to the waterfront. Jack London Square is Oakland’s waterfront home to dining, events and outdoor activities. It is a jewel of the city and has recently undergone a major facelift. This new addition for 2011 will give runners a new course to run and let them take in another hidden gem of Oakland.

Following the Twilight 5K, there will be an awards ceremony with more live music, and runners are invited to carbo-load at one of Oakland’s many wonderful eateries, including Scott’s, Kincaid’s, and Miss Pearl’s Jam House! There are so many great restaurants in and around Oakland, every variety and ethnic cuisine; you will have a difficult time choosing your race weekend menu!

Sunday, March 27th is the big race day. The Marathon and Relay begin at 7:30 a.m. (opening remarks and National Anthem start at 7:15); the half marathon starts at 9:00 a.m. Celebration Village runs from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with live music on the main stage from 10:00 to 2:00 p.m., inspiring finishers and spectators. The Festival winds down with an exciting awards ceremony at noon.

10:00am – 5:00pm - Packet Pick-Up, Sports Expo, and Late Registration
6:00pm – 8:00pm - Kick-Off Party with Live Music and more! At Jack London Square
6:30pm – Twilight 5K Race from City Hall to Jack London Square
8:00pm – Twilight 5K Awards Ceremony

7:15am – Opening Remarks and National Anthem
7:30am – Marathon and Team Relay Races Start
8:30am – Kids' Fun Run Start
9:00am – Half Marathon Start
9:00am – 2:00pm - Sports Expo and Celebration Village Activities
10:00am – 2:00pm Live Music on the Stage
12:00pm – Awards Ceremony

A Unique Course, of Course!
Corrigan Sports is well known for excellence in race organization, particularly the Baltimore and Frederick Running Festivals. They are experts in creating an exciting course for urban regions. Participants will get the full spectrum of Oakland’s roads and neighborhoods from Downtown, to Rockridge, to Monclair and Fruitvale, to Chinatown, to Jack London Square, to West Oakland and Lake Merritt. Runners will pass historic areas of town and will experience Oakland’s charm, beauty, history and the spirit of Oakland residents.

Marathoners will start from City Hall downtown and speed along picturesque Piedmont Avenue and trendy College Avenue, pass pretty Lake Temescal, then climb through the Claremont’s gorgeous hills. By mile 10, the route turns into a two-mile 550-foot descent. Then runners will head back toward the downtown area. Everyone will enjoy Fruitvale's borders and neighborhoods, pass historic Jack London Square, and finish around Lake Merritt, charging through the finish line at Oakland's City Hall.

Half marathoners will stick closer to downtown and not head into the hills. The half marathon course skips the incline and descent from mile 5 to 12 in the marathon. Half marathon runners will still enjoy much of Oakland: Downtown, Chinatown, Jack London Square, and Lake Merritt. Both races start and finish near Oakland’s City Hall at 14th Street and Broadway.

There will be a few surprises along the way, as runners experienced in 2010: DJs and bands playing on the side of the road, running through rings of fire (yes, rings of fire), members of the Raiders’ Black Hole fan base, the Raiderettes, and lots of treats at aid stations. Many neighbors even camped out next to their own self-styled aid stations, which included fruit and pretzels! Before the race, the mayor welcomed everyone and a choir was singing within the first mile.

The race is expertly organized and timed (using the Chronotrack system). In addition the heart and soul of this running adventure is surely the residents and volunteers. The spirit of Oakland is alive and well in this thriving community, and people are proud to support their city, its activities and runners!

Points of Interest
Lake Merritt: this famous lake is central to the Oakland Running Festival, and is a magical place to run. It was the first official wildlife refuge in the United States - designated in 1870. It houses a large bird sanctuary and is famous for its geese. In fact, 'geese' are the mascot for the local running club, the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders ( Lake Merritt is a central location for many Oakland runners who train and compete. It is a jewel of the city and has recently undergone a major facelift. And one true benefit of running around the lake--the distance is a perfect 5K! The lake is also a great “welcome back” to the downtown area when the marathon and half marathon finish. This is one of the gems of Oakland!

Lake Temescal Park: the park is known for its lush vegetation and pink cherry blossoms. It is a serene nook in a vibrant city that remains a getaway for urbanites and runners alike. The main boathouse was a WPA project, and this was the third park in the East Bay to join the East Bay Regional Parks district in 1934. Marathoners will get a close up view and visitors to this fair city are encouraged to take a stroll through the park’s rolling hills.

Jack London Square: a popular and busy shipping port and train station where views of the water are beautiful and you can catch a glimpse of Alameda Island and the bustling harbors of the East Bay. There are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities in the square, as well as a hopping nightlife. Famous ‘Yoshi’s’ Jazz Club and Japanese restaurant is located there, which opened in 1973 and has hosted such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, and hundreds more. Both marathoners and half marathoners will pass through, and it would be a good place to later celebrate a run well done!

Oakland has some of the best restaurants in the Bay Area too, with pizzerias and plenty of unique restaurants to fulfill pre-run carbohydrate needs. Arizmendi, Lanesplitters, Gioia, and the CheeseBoard (all thin crust), then Zachary's (deep crust) are a few local favorites; and for pasta there is Trattoria La Siciliana, LoCoco's, Dopo, and the Oliveto Cafe. There are many great places to eat within blocks of the starting line, including the Pacific Coast Brewery and Luka’s Taproom and Lounge.

Why Run Oakland?
Corrigan Sports is also the driving force for the innovative creation of the Baltimore (11 years) and Frederick Running Festivals (nine years) in Maryland; both highly successful. Their focus is creating big time running venues within unique small-to-medium sized cities. Oakland, like Baltimore, is rich in history and has enjoyed vibrant growth and a rebirth. Both cities are nested within a larger urban hub, which makes for an exciting and affordable visit and an excellent place to run.

Corrigan Sports focuses on the community element of racing, and has fine-tuned its Maryland events by listening to runners’ experiences and comments, and making changes and additions based on that feedback. The have worked very hard to “green” their events and to enhance the communities they serve. That is why most runners who ran the inaugural Oakland event will be back!

There will be 16 aid stations along the course stock full of water, PowerAde, GU and snacks. There will be post-race refreshments to restore lost salts and carbs, as well as a massage clinic courtesy of Innersport Chiropractic.

Weather: March is perfect running weather in the East Bay! It is sunnier than San Francisco, but still cool before summer’s bright sun. The average high temperature for festival weekend is 63 degrees and the average low is 50 degrees.

Prizes will include cash awards given to the top five overall male and female runners, and to the top male and female masters. Cash prizes for the marathon will be:
Overall Winners (Men and Women):
• 1st: $500
• 2nd: $400
• 3rd: $300
• 4th: $200
• 5th: $100
Overall Masters, first Man and Woman, each receive $150.

All finishers will receive a commemorative race medal and finisher's T-shirt. Awards will be given to the top three male and female finishers in each five-year age group; no duplicates. Age Groups are: 16 – 19, and five year increments through 70+, both races. Also the top male and female Alameda County runners are recognized. Awards will not be mailed; you must claim them race day.

Run for a Cause
The Oakland Running Festival partners with the following organizations to raise money and awareness for special programs. Whether you need a kick-start to your running or the push to go one more mile, running for a cause will certainly motivate you to reach your running goals. Run for Team in Training for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society; Urban Promise Academy – to help send inner-city kids on a life-changing trip to DC; or the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights – an Oakland-based network of neighborhood-changing volunteers and programs; or Calico – a child abuse center that aids in prevention and recovery of abused children in the Bay Area. Please go here to learn more about raising and contributing much-needed funds for these programs:

Hotels are plentiful in the Oakland area near the marina, in downtown, and in Jack London Square. Here are participating hotels that are close to the Expo Center and the start/finish:
1. The Downtown Marriott: The official race headquarters hotel and site of the event’s Expo offers discounted rates just blocks from the start and finish:
2. Homewood Suites:,KEKT2X3ZM5A14CSGBIX2VCQ
3. Waterfront Hotel: This hotel is just blocks from the start and finish and steps from the end of the 5K:

Register now! You won’t want to miss the 2nd Annual Oakland Running Festival! Be a part of running history and experience the spirit of Oakland – Start training now to participate in these amazing events on March 26 and 27th!

Oakland Running Festival is on Facebook!

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