Oaktown Half

Oaktown Half

Oaktown Half

( 9 reviews )
100% of reviewers recommend this race
  • Oakland,
    United States
  • August
  • 3 miles/5K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon
  • Road Race
  • Event Website

Janelle McLeod

California, United States
18 16
"Oaktown is here!"
Aid Stations
Course Scenery
Expo Quality
Elevation Difficulty
Race Management
Janelle McLeod's thoughts:

Oaktown Half used to be called The Town. It was revamped and re-branded as the Oaktown Half for this year's 5 year anniversary. The website promoted a new course, new race management and new swag for 2018! This year there were approximately 1200-1300 runners and it is growing each year.

I live 2 hours away from this location so I opted in for the Expo-In-A-Box option which was an additional $15 and I received all of my items about a week and a half prior to the race. In the box was my race shirt, bib, a set of Oaktown BibBoards, sample of Nuun, sunscreen, voucher for 2 A's baseball tickets, protein snacks and a cleansing wipe. Considering there was no race day packet pickup, the expo-in-a-box was a great option and I loved it.

I drove up on race morning with a fellow runner and we arrived at the parking garage around 6:45. Race time was 7:30 so we knew we had plenty of time. Parking for runners was a flat rate of $5 until 1pm, giving us ample time to run the race and hang out for a while afterwards. The parking garage was underground so when we went up and walked out of the parking garage- surprise! We were literally steps away from the Start/Finish line. Perfection.

The race was scheduled to start at 7:30am. It did start approximately 20 minutes late, which would have annoyed me, however they continued to announce it was delayed and explained it was only to ensure the course was safe for all runners to take off. You can't argue with course safety and I appreciate race management going above and beyond to ensure all their checks were in place. I'd rather start a few minutes late and be safe than the opposite.

The course itself was very flat, less than 75 feet of elevation gain overall. We ran through the downtown streets of Oakland, alongside a freeway, around Lake Merritt and back through downtown. A huge shoutout to Oakland police who were present at literally every corner of the route, directing traffic and cheering on runners as well as ensuring our safety every step of the way.

The scenery around Lake Merritt was beautiful and it was full of other runners, walkers and bikers who were out enjoying their Sunday morning. It was a great vibe all around and although the crowd support was scarce, it was great to see those that did come out and cheer on the runners. The volunteers at each aid station were kind and excited to be there and you could really feel their energy. It was great to have water and Nuun hydration every 1.5-2 miles on the course and I think race management did a great job with the aid stations knowing it was going to be a warm day with little shade.

At the finish, you were immediately handed a huge square medal for the half marathon as well as an adorable mason jar with the Oaktown Half logo on it. They also gave each runner a banana and a HoneyStinger caramel energy waffle which just so happen to be my FAVORITE flavor of HoneyStinger. Lagunitas was also serving free beer for the runners which they poured into your mason jar making it SO convenient!

Overall I really enjoyed this course; it was fast, it was flat and it was well organized. I will definitely consider coming back in future years! #OaktownHalf

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