Join the Fourth Annual Oakland Running Festival – A Running Adventure for All
Calling all runners! Fun for Elites and Novice Runners of All Ages and Abilities! Get ready for a weekend running festival that will blow your double-knotted sneakers off! Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half Marathon, 5K and Kids' Runs--sign up for the Oakland Running Festival - held March 23rd and 24th - and see why athletes travel great distances to run in this spectacular event!
Posted Monday, 11 March, 2013
This turns your view of Oakland upside down. Corrigan Sports Enterprises brings you the Oakland Running Festival: a celebration of running that includes a full marathon, half marathon, team relay, 5K, and the Lucky Kids’ Fun Run. March 23rd and 24th, 2013 marks the events’ fourth consecutive year as the city opens its streets to thousands of runners, walkers, excited volunteers and townspeople who come out in droves for this one-of-a-kind event.
The past three years have proved highly successful. The Oakland Running Festival has become a cornerstone in building community and promoting fitness in the city of Oakland. In the first three there were significant increases in runners, spectators, volunteers – all coming together for the sport of running and revitalized Oakland pride. This year, more than 9,500 runners will take to the streets of diverse, eclectic Oakland and find out what the city is made of. We are proud to say, the Oakland Running Festival is BACK and it’s the talk of the town among Bay Area runners.
When you participate in the Oakland Running Festival, you’ll run meticulously planned courses through beautiful, diverse neighborhoods, and experience a well-orchestrated running event. Corrigan is famous for organization and details that make events memorable for runners, taking experience and success from the original festivals in Baltimore (October) and Frederick, Md. (May). You’ll enjoy Oakland’s high-energy community support, terrific centralized location, and will experience one of the most vibrant cities, which makes this a tempting race weekend getaway and adventure.
Oakland: Great Running Destination
Part of the 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, Joaquin Miller Park, Redwood Regional Park, or any of the 65 beautifully preserved and maintained parks in the East Bay (ebparks.org/parks). Another must-do trail is the incredibly long San Francisco Bay Trail, which runs along 500 miles of shoreline along the bay (baytrail.org). You can run through all of the marinas and through wildlife preserves, all within 10 feet from the famous bay and the Pacific Ocean.
Many group-training runs trek through and around Oakland’s bustling downtown and various city parks, as well as into the Oakland hills and quaint neighborhoods. Grueling hill training, beautiful scenery and a topographically diverse environment of trails through regional parks, not to mention fun running clubs and amazing local running stores, make Oakland a running hub for runners living in or visiting this city.
Oakland Running Festival Schedule
Saturday, March 23rd kicks off the festival with the Sports Expo at Oakland Marriott City Center. Pick up your race packet and shirts, and see what’s new and cool in the running world at various booths. You will find great prices on shoes, apparel, active gear and health care products. Hear guest speakers and get training tips, as well as pacing information at the Expo, open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. *Note: there is no race day packet pickup.
Sunday, March 24th is 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 and the Half-Marathon start time is 9:15 a.m. The Lucky Kids’ Fun Run starts at 9:20 a.m., and the Sports Expo and Celebration Village Activities run from 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. There will be live music on the main stage from 10:00 to 2:00. p.m., inspiring finishing runners and entertaining spectators. The Festival winds down with an exciting awards ceremony at noon.
About the Course
Corrigan Sports is well known for excellence in race organizing – they also put on the highly successful Baltimore Running Festival and Frederick Running Festival among many others. They are experts in creating exciting running courses within urban settings. 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, Rockridge, Fruitvale and Lakeside. Runners will run through historic areas of this grand city, and will experience Oakland’s charm, beauty, and spirit.
Marathoners will start from Downtown, through Uptown, and speed along picturesque Piedmont Avenue and trendy College Avenue, then go through the Temescal neighborhood, past pretty Lake Temescal, then climb through the Claremont neighborhood's gorgeous hills while passing by Joaquin Miller Park. By mile 10, the route turns into a two-mile 550-foot descent into the Diamond and Laurel districts, which turns into the Fruitvale and Foothill districts. Here runners head back toward Downtown, passing historic Jack London Square and running through pretty West Oakland. Then they head toward Adams Point and run around famous Lake Merritt. The finish line (and all the festivities) is located at Snow Park, near Oakland’s Fairyland, just after rounding the lake.
Half marathoners will stick closer to the downtown area. Half marathon will enjoy much of Oakland: Downtown, Uptown, Jack London Square, West Oakland and Lake Merritt. Both races start and finish near Oakland’s City Hall at 19th and Alice.
There are many surprises along the way, as some runners found last year, including myself: DJs and bands playing, and choirs singing 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! The amount of city support is overwhelming. Strangers in every neighborhood will come to cheer YOU on. And before the race, Mayor Jean Quan will welcome everyone with a speech about the good news of Oakland and how proud she is to be able to host this event in her amazing city.
The race is expertly organized and timed (using the latest B-Tag timing system), and a large part of the success of this running adventure is surely the residents, volunteers, and overall character of Oakland. As you will see, the spirit of Oakland is alive and well in this thriving community, and they support their runners! You will hear a lot of cheering, get a lot of side-line support, and feel the Oakland spirit.
Historic Oakland, a Must-Visit City
Oakland is packed with history, from its native people, the Ohlone Indians, to the Spanish Conquistadors, to a mass migration of southern laborers during WWII. It saw the creation of Rocky Road ice cream and the Mai Tai Cocktail. This city has also been rich in political activism and the environmental movement since the 1960’s. There are also many physical landmarks that make up the interesting and diverse history of Oakland:
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 (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 (lmjs.org). 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 downtown where the marathon and half marathon finish. This is truly a 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 in 1934. Marathoners will get a close up view of the park and visitors are encouraged to take a stroll through the 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 bustling 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, opened in 1973. It has hosted such musicians as Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Williams, Diana Krall, Branford Marsalis, and hundreds more. Both marathoners and half marathoners will pass through this area. After the race it’s 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.
For local upscale dining, including Oakland’s very own Michelin-award winning restaurant, go to Commis, located on Piedmont Ave. You can also sip cocktails (after your race, of course) and eat in the Uptown area of Oakland at Flora or Hopscotch, two local favorites. You can also eat at a lively new restaurant and bar is on the edge of Lake Merritt near City Hall called Lake Chalet, which has rave reviews from Oakland locals. Oakland is a leader in urban green living and has plenty of local grocers and farmer’s markets to choose from (ediblecommunities.com/eastbay/farmers-markets/farmers-markets.htm).
Oakland also has some great local running stores to check out such as Transports (transportsrunswim.com) and See Jane Run (seejanerun.com for women only), both on trendy College Avenue in Oakland.
Beyond Oakland: 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. Head north to Mount Tamalpais State Park where the trails are beautiful and redwoods grow like monuments in nearby Napa Valley. You could easily make a weekend get-away into 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 miles from Oakland and has 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 a beautiful place to run, with rolling hills, beautiful views and historic architecture by Julia Morgan.
Run for a Cause
The Oakland Running Festival has partnered with many organizations to help raise money and awareness for special programs. Whether you need to kick start training or push to go one more mile, running for a cause will motivate you to reach your 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 in the Bay Area. Please check details at: www.oaklandmarathon.com/Run_for_a_Cause.htm
The Oakland Running Festival: Your Destination Marathon
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. 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 the Oakland Running Festival by listening to runners’ experience and feedback, and making changes based on that feedback. This is why Corrigan Sports events are so popular and growing--they know how to create memorable events geared toward athletes of all abilities.
Weather: Another reason to run the Oakland Running Festival in March is that the East Bay provides perfect running weather! It’s sunnier than San Francisco, but still cool. 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 discounted rates just blocks from the start and finish lines - marriott.com/hotels/travel/oakdt-oakland-marriott-city-center. Hotels are plentiful in the Emeryville area near the marina, in downtown or Jack London Square.
There is no easier city to navigate than Oakland. The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) goes straight to and from both the Oakland Airport and the San Francisco airport, making it easy to arrive and get to any hotel.
Register now because you won’t want to miss the 4th 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 24th!
For those who haven’t run in previous races, you will not want to miss year four! This is a terrific opportunity for all athletes; from elite marathoners to novice joggers or aspiring track stars, so register early for a discounted registration fee! We will see you there! Register here: www.oaklandmarathon.com/Registration.htm
Event Website: www.oaklandmarathon.com
About Oakland, CA: http://www2.oaklandnet.com