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Oakland Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Oakland, California
United States
Oakland Running Festival
Total Time = 2h 05m 58s
Overall Rank = 1340/3258
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 108/310
Pre-race routine:

I got about six hours of sleep. I was able to take BART to the race start, which was awesome and super easy. I ate two oatmeal-blueberry muffins on the train, and then spent most of my pre-race time hunting for coffee and/or water. I was unsuccessful on both counts.
Event warmup:

I jogged up the stairs from BART.
  • 2h 05m 58s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 09m 37s  min/mile

Blah run. I felt OK through about mile 5, then started feeling a little nauseated and really over-heated. I felt iffy off and on for the rest of the race, and by the last three miles had slowed down a ton. I'm sure the problems were primarily due to under-training, but just in general I went into this race with a pretty lax attitude. Which I'm OK with.

It's a fun race and course, though. Not sure if I'd recommend it to visitors -- ie, not sure if it's a race worth traveling to -- but a great locals race with a distinctly Oakland vibe. I was very pleasantly surprised by all of the support, even in some of the far-off neighborhoods. My favorite parts were Chinatown (loved the old Asian men and women trying to race-walk across the street to avoid being run over); the "ring of fire" in West Oakland; the dude playing dubstep while perched on top of a giant metal-work ox/cow/bison(???) that actually blew fire; the family playing really explicit rap that made all of the runners laugh; the massive crowds at Lake Merritt.

And, of course, the very best cheerleader a woman could ask for: Shizu. She was incredible as usual. I think she managed to make it to five different spots on the half marathon course! And she'd shake her pompoms and cheer for *everyone*. In fact, three different COMPLETE STRANGERS approached her after the race to tell her how much they'd loved her cheerleading. Ha!!

I've been trying to do either the full or half of this marathon since it was introduced in 2009, but every year I've had to bail on it due to injury and/or scheduling problems (last year I was actually the reporter assigned to cover the race). So it was nice to finally get to run it. I'd still like to do the full someday, though.
What would you do differently?:

Post race
Warm down:

Shizu and I hung around the finish line for another hour or so to cheer on my friend/co-worker, who was race-walking the half.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Primarily, lack of training.

Event comments:

Very good race! I have no complaints. It's incredibly well run and feels very professional, but still maintains a homey, small-race vibe. And I love all of the Oakland enthusiasm!

Last updated: 2013-03-24 12:00 AM
02:05:58 | 13.1 miles | 09m 37s  min/mile
Age Group: 108/310
Overall: 1340/3258
Performance: Below average
Course: A twisty route through downtown/Chinatown, Jack London Square (sort of), West Oakland, and ending with a lap around Lake Merritt.
Keeping cool Below average Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 4

2013-03-24 11:37 PM

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Berkeley, Calif.
Subject: Oakland Half Marathon

2013-03-25 2:50 PM
in reply to: #4672880

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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California
Subject: RE: Oakland Half Marathon
Nice job!  with you - don't think I'd recommend it to visitors, but I had a good race.  Until they didn't get a time for me!!!
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