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Earn your day’s indulgence at the 5th Annual Oakland Turkey Trot 5K & Festival of Thanks! More than just a healthy start to the holiday, the Oakland Turkey Trot is a fun way to give back while you give thanks. – We are a 501c3 event organization directly impacting our neighbors … MORE
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    Angela FIRST-TIMER '18

    ***LOCATION*** Oakland, CA ***DATE*** Thanksgiving Day ***PRICE*** $40 (I think there were cheaper and more expensive rates but I don't know what they were; this is just what I paid … MORE

    Oakland, CA

    Thanksgiving Day

    $40 (I think there were cheaper and more expensive rates but I don’t know what they were; this is just what I paid when I signed up at the end of September.)

    ***THE DEAL***
    This was the second year of the Oakland Turkey Trot, which is a charity race supporting Oakland Public Schools and the Alameda County Community Food Bank. While there are geographically closer Turkey Trots to me, it’s actually logistically simpler to get to & park in Oakland than it is to some of the ones in the city. (If I were doing one in SF, I would probably just run there, run the race, & run home.)

    I think they actually sold out this year?

    ***FIELD SIZE***
    Finishers: 2,402

    This year the race was staged at Eastshore Park, between Lakeshore Ave and Grand Ave on Lake Merritt, which is a lovely little area. (The Oakland Marathon was staged here this year as well, and in fact the start & finish lines were in exactly the same places.) The packet pickup/gear drop tables were right by the finish line.

    Parking is SUPER easy, especially given that 1) there’s a pretty huge parking lot under the freeway literally steps from the finish line, and 2) it’s a holiday so metered parking is free. There’s also lots of easy neighborhood parking. Just be sure not to park in any of the areas marked “No Parking” for the race — I saw that some people did & got ticketed.

    There was also a pretty good brass band playing in the finish area afterward.

    ***THE COURSE***
    The course pretty much circled Lake Merritt on blocked off city streets. I’m not sure if there were aid stations; I don’t remember seeing any. The whole thing was well marked and easy to follow, and the streets were all in pretty good shape. It’s basically pancake flat, with the exception of two reasonably substantial hills (that I recognized from past races). Neither are hideous, but you can definitely see them coming & kind of go “ugh, FINE.” I’d guess they were maybe .1 miles each but I’m not good at estimating those things by sight.

    Logo T-shirt & a cool medal

    Logistically this is a super easy race. Race day bib pickup, plenty of easy free extremely close parking, AND they still have a gear check right at the finish line (at the bib pickup table).

    The 8:30 start means you get more daylight before the race, and there’s a good chance it will be sunny.

    This is a good time of year to run in Oakland in terms of weather. Of course no one ever really knows for sure, and it’s always possible you’ll get a cold/rainy/windy morning, but odds of reasonably good weather are decent.

    I’d totally run this Turkey Trot again. Logistically it’s easier than participating in a lot of the local SF Trots, and this area in Oakland is super pretty in the fall. It was extremely well organized and the whole experience from registration to info emails to logistics to the race itself was easy and seamless. I really liked the vibe and the fact that it was a charity event supporting local causes, and also that it was on the smaller side for a Turkey Trot. (TBH I just don’t really enjoy big, impersonal races that much.)

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