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home > races/results > usa: california > join the third annual oakland running festival - a non-stop adventure weekend with course enhancements and added fun!

Join the Third Annual Oakland Running Festival - A Non-Stop Adventure Weekend with Course Enhancements and Added Fun!
Runners - get ready for a weekend running adventure that will blow your double-lined socks off! Sign up for the Oakland Running Festival - held March 24th through March 25th - and brace yourselves for an amazing festival that includes events for the entire family!

Join the Third Annual Oakland Running Festival - A Non-Stop Adventure Weekend with Course Enhancements and Added Fun!

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Active Running

By Traci Joy
Posted Tuesday, 21 February, 2012

Runners of all ages and abilities will enjoy this super-sized racing weekend in one of California’s most historic locations, Oakland, California. So join us in March for the third annual Oakland Running Festival!

Corrigan Sports Enterprises brings you the Oakland Running Festival: a two-day celebration of running that includes a full marathon, half marathon, team relay, 5K, and the Lucky Kids’ Fun Run. March 24th and 25th, 2011 marks the events’ third consecutive year that the city opens its streets to thousands of runners, walkers, and excited volunteers and townspeople who 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 in over 25 years! However, due to the highly successful inaugural year, then an even more successful second year, including an influx and outpouring of runners, participants, volunteers, and massive city support, the festival is BACK and it’s the talk of the town among Bay Area runners.

When you sign up for the Oakland Running Festival, you’ll run spectacularly planned courses through Oakland’s beautiful, diverse neighborhoods, and experience the most well-orchestrated running event you’ll run this year. Corrigan is famous for organization and all the details tat make events memorable for runners, with fantastic results year after year from a similar festival in Baltimore in October. You’ll enjoy Oakland’s high-energy community support and a terrific centralized location, which fosters ease of travel and makes this a tempting race weekend getaway for those in search of a running adventure.

Significant changes will enhance the experience: The start and finish lines will be moved to beautiful Snow Park near Lake Merritt and the 5K will take place on Sunday, March 25th along with the other events. (The first two years it was held the evening before.) Snow Park will make an outstanding backdrop for memorable events, along with the large crowds expected around Lake Merritt, one of Oakland’s jewels. Registration is running more than 40% ahead of last year, and the events may sell out. All five events, Marathon, 4-person marathon relay, half marathon, 5K, and Lucky Kids’ Fun Run will run on the same day. Please visit for details and registration.

For those who haven’t participated in the two previous years’ races, you will not want to miss this third year! This is a terrific running opportunity for all athletes; from elite marathoners to novice joggers or aspiring track star, so register early for a discounted registration fee! Register here:

A Runner’s Dream Location
Oakland was selected #5 overall on the New York Times listing of "Places to Visit in 2012", and was first among USA destinations on that list: And Runners know the best way to see a city is to run it! This is true for Oakland and its surrounding sibling-cities too. Part of picturesque Bay Area, 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 and maintained parks in the East Bay ( ). Another must-do trail is the incredibly long San Francisco Bay Trail, which runs along 500 miles of shoreline along the bay ( You can run through all of the marinas and through wildlife preserves, all within 10 feet from the famous bay or ocean. Oakland also has 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.

From Oakland and Beyond: With BART and the highly reliable MUNI bus system, you can pop over to San Francisco with ease. There you can run in Golden Gate park, or grab something to eat in Chinatown. Get in your ZipCar ( and head north to Mount Tamalpais State Park where the trails are quietly beautiful and redwoods grow like vines in nearby Napa Valley. You could easily make a weekend get-away a two-week Bay Area tour filled with hot running spots, great food, museums and galleries, lovely hikes and historic guided tours.Berkeley: Berkeley is two short miles from Oakland 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.

Festival Schedule: Two-Day Race Schedule
Starting on Saturday, March 24th with a Sports Expo at Oakland Marriott City Center, visit to see what’s new and for packet pick-up and late registration from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., then you are off for carbo-loading and getting lots of rest before the big race!

Sunday, March 26th is the big race day. Marathon and marathon relay teams begin at 7:30 a.m. (opening remarks and National Anthem start at 7:15 a.m.), the 5K starts at 7:45 (same day as other races this year) and the half-marathon start time is 9:00 a.m. . . .The Lucky Kids’ Fun Run starts at 9:15/9:20, then the Sports Expo and Celebration Village Activities run from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. So much to do and see! There will be live music on the main stage from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00.p.m., inspiring finishing runners and spectators. The Festival winds down with an exciting awards ceremony at noon.

There will be 15 aid stations along the course stock full of water and lemon-lime Gatorade. Select aid stations will offer fruit, salty snacks, and various flavored GU Energy Gels. There will be post-race refreshments to restore lost salts and carbohydrates, as well as a massage clinic courtesy of Innersport Chiropractic. At least one porta-john will be available at each station.

Prizes will include cash awards, which will be given to the top five overall male and female runners, and to the top male and female masters’ runners. Cash prizes for the marathon will be:

- Overall Winners (Men and Women):
• 1st: $500
• 2nd: $400
• 3rd: $300
• 4th: $200
• 5th: $100

- Overall Masters (Men and Women):
• 1st: $150

All Marathon 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 duplicate awards. Age Groups: 16 – 19, 20 – 24, 25 – 29, 30 – 34, 35 – 39, 40 – 44, 45 – 49, 50 – 54, 55 – 59, 60 – 64, 65 – 69, 70 and over. Awards will be given to the top male and female Alameda County runners. Half Marathon awards will include the same groups. Awards will not be mailed. You must claim your award on race day.

About the Course
Corrigan Sports is well known for excellence in race organizing, particularly the Baltimore Running Festival, and they are experts in creating an exciting course in urban areas. Participants will get the full spectrum of Oakland’s city streets and sub-neighborhoods from Downtown to Chinatown, to West Oakland, to Temescal to Claremont and Rockridge. Runners will run through historic areas of town and will experience Oakland’s charm, beauty, and spirit.

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 neighborhood's gorgeous hills. By mile 10, the route turns into a two-mile 550-foot descent. Here runners will pass by Joaquin Miller Park, and head back toward the downtown area. Everyone will enjoy Emeryville's borders and neighborhoods, pass by historic Jack London Square, and finish by rounding Lake Merritt, then charging through the finish line at Oakland's City Hall.

Half marathoners will stick closer to the downtown area. Half marathon runners will still enjoy much of Oakland: Downtown, 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 some runners found last year: DJs and bands playing on the side of the road, running through rings of fire (yes, a ring of fire), and lots of treats at aid stations. Many neighbors even camped out next to their own self-built water stations, which included fruit and pretzels! Before the race, the mayor came out and welcomed everyone and a choir was singing within the first mile. Though the race is expertly organized and timed (using the latest B-Tag timing system), the heart and soul of this running adventure is surely the residents and volunteers. As you will see, the spirit of Oakland is alive and well in this thriving community, and people are proud to support their city and its runners!

Historic Oakland, a Must-See
Lake Merritt:
this famous lake is included in every Oakland Running Festival course, and is a magical place to run. Lake Merritt is 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 ( A sunset run around the lake is a relaxing pre-race exercise. As runners round the lake, they can watch the sun set, with its image doubled in the sparkling water. Then twinkling lights will begin to appear that wrap around the entire lake like a jeweled necklace. Finishing the race at Lake Merritt is the cherry on top of a famous Fenton’s Sundae (from Fenton’s Creamery in Oakland). The lake is also a great “welcome back” to the downtown area where the marathon and half marathon finish. This is one gem 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, growing 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 the year of 1934. Full marathoners will get a close up view of the park and visitors to this fair city are encouraged to take a stroll through the parks rolling hills.

Jack London Square: is the 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 other busy 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 full marathoners and half marathoners will pass through this area, and it would be a place to 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 just a few local favorites; and for pasta there is Trattoria La Siciliana, LoCoco's, Dopo, and the Oliveto Cafe. A lively new restaurant and bar is on the edge of Lake Merritt near city hall called Lake Chalet, which has received rave reviews from locals. Oakland is the front-runner in urban green living and has plenty of local grocers and farmer’s markets to choose from (

Why Run Oakland?
Corrigan Sports is also the driving force for the innovative creation of the Baltimore and Frederick Running Festivals in Maryland, which have been highly successful for the past 11 years. Their focus is on creating big time running events within unique small-to-medium sized cities. Oakland, like Baltimore, is rich in history and has enjoyed fast and vibrant growth. 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 their Maryland events by listening to runners’ experience and feedback, and making changes based on that feedback. This is why the Corrigan Sports racing events are so popular and growing quickly: they know how to create memorable events geared toward athletes of all abilities.

Run for a Cause
The Oakland Running Festival has partnered with a number of organizations to help raise money and awareness for these special programs. Whether you need a kick-start to your running program 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, 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 who survive in the Bay Area. Please go here to learn more about raising much-needed funds for these programs:

Weather: Another reason to run the Oakland Running Festival in March is that the East Bay provides perfect running weather! It is sunnier than San Francisco, but still cool before summer’s bright sun. The average high temperature for the end of March is 63 degrees and the average low is 50 degrees.

Your Stay in Oakland
Oakland Downtown Marriott Center, the official race headquarters hotel is offering runners discounted rates and is just blocks from the start and finish lines - Other hotels are plentiful in the Emeryville area near the marina, in downtown, and in Jack London Square. You could even venture out and stay in a quaint bed and breakfast in Berkeley.

Register now because you won’t want to miss the 3rd Annual Oakland Running Festival! Be a part of running history and experience the spirit of Oakland, California – Increase your training now to participate in this amazing festival: March 25th and 26th!

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About Oakland, CA:



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