Overall Rating
Overall Rating (80 Reviews)
3.8
(80 Ratings)(80 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.4
PRODUCTION
3.6
SWAG
3.8
Welcome to Oakland’s #1 summer half marathon, 5K and kids events! Join us at Oakland’s City Hall for a Half Marathon, 5K, and Kids Stomper’s Stomp presented by the Oakland A’s. Best weather, best perks, hyper-local feels. In addition, there will be an Oaktown Challenge event (Half Marathon + 5K) … MORE
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Recent reviews

    mrl9117 FIRST-TIMER '18

    I had a fun time doing this race--it was nice to have something in Oakland that wasn't around Lake Merritt (which is a bit long for a 5K). The course … MORE

    I had a fun time doing this race–it was nice to have something in Oakland that wasn’t around Lake Merritt (which is a bit long for a 5K). The course was relatively flat and fast. There were some cars to contend with, I think because there was some miscommunication and the course wasn’t properly secured when the first runners were let through.

    I had never done an afternoon race — I thought I’d prefer it because I do tend to be an afternoon/evening runner, but it was a hot day! I rolled my ankle, too, so it wasn’t my fastest race, but the post-race party was a lot of fun and I’d definitely consider doing it next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    K2ayers REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I actually fell into this race, kinda by accident. I was contacted by the staff asking if I wanted to run it because I was listed as a race ambassador … MORE

    I actually fell into this race, kinda by accident. I was contacted by the staff asking if I wanted to run it because I was listed as a race ambassador (which I had no idea I was). I had been an ambassador for the race in a previous year, but it turns out that people had been using my promo code and I was one person away from getting a free race. I hadn’t really trained for it, but I just can’t pass up a free race right? I laced up, toed the line and ran a 1:30. Not a bad day at all. I didn’t know that this would be the last time that I ran this race. It’s always been one of my favorite.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    K2ayers REPEAT RUNNER '16

    In August 2014 I ran my first ever road race and fell in love. The race was an inaugural half marathon race in Oakland, CA called The Town's Half Marathon … MORE

    In August 2014 I ran my first ever road race and fell in love. The race was an inaugural half marathon race in Oakland, CA called The Town’s Half Marathon (RunOAK). I enjoyed it so much that in 2015 I signed up for the entire three race series adding The Livermore Half Marathon and The Golden Gate Half Marathon to my race calendar. In 2016 I returned to Oakland as a seasoned vet. I even decided to apply to be a race ambassador. As captain of the Bay Area Black Men Run chapter, I encouraged them all to join me. We even went on training runs touring the course in the weeks leading up to race day (08/13/2016).

    Nothing about training happens in a bubble. Your outside life and circumstances weigh heavily on your time, psyche and physical performance. The last few months have been rough for me. A series of family emergencies reduced the amount of time I was able to spend on the road. I pushed through the best I could, and managed to run my third fastest half marathon ever at 1:32:17.

    While of course I would have rather PR’d, this race taught me a lot about myself, and made me excited about future races. With minimal training I was able to cross the finish line strong in the top 50 out of over 1,700 runners. In addition, I didn’t cramp up at the end; I had enough fuel to pick up the pace for the last mile and I’m becoming more comfortable racing strategically, but I’ll talk more about that in the recap below.

    RECAP
    The race started off on 14th St in downtown Oakland right next to City Hall. In prior years they started in the Frank Ogawa breezeway a block over, but this worked as well. I started in the middle of the pack. In almost all of my prior races I started in the back and spent the first few miles weaving through the crowds. After some sound advice from my BMR Brother Onyanga, I decided to try something different. As the race began, I felt comfortable. I talked to other runners, looked around at the sights and sang along with the music in my headphones. The course had several early turns (some newly added this year) which made it a bit crowded but by about 2.5 miles into the race the herd began to thin. While heading North on Broadway I was presented with the option to bail out and take the turn with the 5k runners or to continue on. I joked with the runners near me at the time about this possibility but we all were in it for the long haul by this point.

    Having experience running the course, I knew the terrain. For miles 3-5 it was crucial to find your rhythm before the hills robbed you of all momentum. I passed a few runners here and there, but most runners were settled in working towards the same goal. Around mile 5 while trying to pass a small group of young gentlemen one decided to make chase. He broke away from the pack and pulled up along side me. This early in the race I normally wouldn’t entertain such a challenge, but my legs felt fresh and my pace needed a bit of a boost. We conservatively tested each other for a couple miles, but when the hills started rolling his fatigue set in and he decided to let off the gas and concede. I thanked him for the challenge and began seeking my next target.

    As the hills became steeper around mile 7, more and more people began to fall victim to fatigue. We were now more than half way done with the race but past experience had shown me that once you get over these hills, it’s all downhill from there. I ran relaxed with arms pumping up the final hill. At the top I saw a young boy, maybe 13 years old, that was showing signs of struggle. I gave him a few encouraging words as we both began our decent victoriously.

    The police, neighbors and volunteers were out cheering as we came down Grand Ave. I did my best to maintain my downhill cadence as the road flattened out. My hips began to feel the repercussions of the early turns and rolling hills at this point. We were approximately 9 miles into the race and we had been on our feet for about an hour. My calculations told me that I should be sipping a beer in half an hour.

    The turn onto the Lake Merritt jogging path was brutal with the hip pain, but I managed to make it without falling into the water. I passed on the water station right before the entrance and spent half the time around the lake wondering if that was the right move. At mile 10 I was challenged yet again by a runner, but this time he was not wearing a race bib. We traded leading spots back and forth for almost a mile before he apparently reached his car and drove off. I looked on enviously.

    Once we exited the Lake Merritt jogging path we were placed back onto 14th St. I began to hone in on the music I was listening to, a Spotify playlist geared to inspire killer workouts. Eminem shouting the lyrics to ‘Till I Collapse in my ear helped me shift gears, to forget about all pain and pass a few more people before the tape. While I did stop short of actually collapsing, I definitely gave a solid effort.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    jonoringading REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I was very happy to be allowed to co-Pace the 2:15 group with East Bay Beer Runners. I was impressed with the many options to pick up my bib, more … MORE

    I was very happy to be allowed to co-Pace the 2:15 group with East Bay Beer Runners. I was impressed with the many options to pick up my bib, more races should follow this example! the Bib, pins and shirt were well designed and great quality. The crowd had good energy going in, but due to a delay of about 15 minutes, people started getting uncomfortable. after it started the crowd got back to having fun, which I like! The delay is one of the main negative points of this year’s event. The weather was perfect, and the announcer was easy to hear. The course this year was flat the whole way, so it was fast but it went through a lot of industrial areas. I wish that races would try to go through more neighborhoods, so a better feel of the city is presented, but I am sure permits are very expensive…. at least we got to circle Lake Merritt, which is lovely. the other negative to this year’s race was that the course was very short. (Approximately 500 M) I believe the 6 mile marker was early, and stayed off from there. I have a Jones Counter, and wonder if many races use one, as is required for USATF certification. Our Pace group decided to stick to the Pace rather than finish the shorter course in 2:15. The results show a pace based on a full 13.1, which is about 14 sec / mile faster than reality. There were also some sections where we went on trail conditions, Dirt and rocks, rather than roadway. This should be avoided for road races… On the plus side, the Oakland PD always does a stellar job with traffic control. The Medal and Mason Jar given to finishers was really nice, and I appreciated not having more plastic bottles in the world, instead, they had large clean water tanks ready to refill the jars. There was some nice musical entertainment after the race, and beer for those over 21 who wanted it. All in all, I would definitely run this again, and hope they iron out the distance and start time issues.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    BeerBlazer FIRST-TIMER '18

    Production of this run was really well done. The notifications and pickup of BIB was great with preparty. Course meandered through Oakland showing off much of the area. 6 water … MORE

    Production of this run was really well done. The notifications and pickup of BIB was great with preparty. Course meandered through Oakland showing off much of the area. 6 water stations along the course and post event was fun with Band, empanadas, energy snacks, and beer! Medal was huge. Due to the warm conditions the course took it out of me. Well done Oakland!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    walterlibretti FIRST-TIMER '17

    The course is fairly easy , mostly flat - I ran my PB ever there. The perks are really good , and the post race festival is nice. Not really … MORE

    The course is fairly easy , mostly flat – I ran my PB ever there. The perks are really good , and the post race festival is nice.
    Not really a lot of people in 2017 , probably bacuse it was a Saturday morning.Probably on a Sunday you’d get double the amount of people.
    Some of the areas that are crossed are not nice at all , with homeless people and garbage , especially the first half is full of warehouses scenery ; it gets better going up to Piedmont.
    Not a lot of people at all , cheering the runners along the course.At aid stations I have seen only liquids.
    I also haven’t seen mile markers , other than one at mile 7.
    in the end , if you want to try and crush your PB , this is your race.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    5

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    kmckenri REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Pretty easy course, quick and fast. Lots to notice...almost makes you want to run slower so you can see it all! The finish line was fun with lots of post … MORE

    Pretty easy course, quick and fast. Lots to notice…almost makes you want to run slower so you can see it all! The finish line was fun with lots of post race snacks and awesome beer!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    mjaugustine FIRST-TIMER '17

    Friday's expo was fairly small, which is fine, not what I'm there for. The race start was delayed, but weather was great! Scenery was so-so, which is to be expected … MORE

    Friday’s expo was fairly small, which is fine, not what I’m there for. The race start was delayed, but weather was great! Scenery was so-so, which is to be expected in an urban, downtown race — you do get to see a lot of the city, and the run around Lake Merritt is nice. The only thing was, there were a lot of non-racing runners out and about doing their usual runs, and it was tough to avoid them when focusing on racing. Volunteers at the aid stations during the race were fantastic and encouraging. Volunteers at the expo on Friday, not so much — I felt like they did not want to be there at all.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    Noeldnjuani REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Did this race lose its development director? Where was the electrolyte, gu, sponsored cheer/dj/music spots? C'mon folks, this is Oakland! Take a walk around the Art & Soul Festival, collect … MORE

    Did this race lose its development director? Where was the electrolyte, gu, sponsored cheer/dj/music spots? C’mon folks, this is Oakland! Take a walk around the Art & Soul Festival, collect a few business cards and get a soul food proprietor, healing arts therapist/yoga studio, reggae band—heck, even a taco truck and couple of cool DJ’s could make a big difference!

    T-shirt last year was meh—this year double meh. Should always be long sleeve technical tee!

    Medal for the third straight year, is bangin’

    Speaking of bangin’—the participation of Sierra Nevada is by far the best thing about this race, and is the one thing that keeps me coming back… Double the taps and servers—halve the lines!

    Question: Why is this race held on a Saturday?

    In spite of the late start and missing mile markers that everyone else has noted (and being only 3 weeks after the San Francisco Marathon) I’ll see you all next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    minorit REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Much more intimate and better course than the Oakland Running Festival. You still can experience running through many different parts of Oakland. It starts early so you don't have to … MORE

    Much more intimate and better course than the Oakland Running Festival. You still can experience running through many different parts of Oakland. It starts early so you don’t have to worry about the weather heating up too drastically.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    justinbliang FIRST-TIMER '17

    Had a ton of fun doing this race, my third half marathon, and set a new PR! Course is a comfortable, easy trek through all of Oakland--Jack London, downtown, Temescal, … MORE

    Had a ton of fun doing this race, my third half marathon, and set a new PR! Course is a comfortable, easy trek through all of Oakland–Jack London, downtown, Temescal, and Lake Merritt–and a great flat course for beginners. Weather couldn’t have been more perfect, and I appreciated the street closures, cops, and general level of organization/safety. It’s also not a huge race, meaning there was just more room to run, and no crazy crowds at bag check or the after-party. Would definitely do this one again! My only suggestion was to get more security folks at the bag check area; there were lots of homeless people trying to steal stuff, which made it somewhat unpleasant–not to mention difficult to find people’s belongings.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    rach.burkhart FIRST-TIMER '17

    The race course was well laid out and I got to see neighborhoods in Oakland that I had never seen before - pretty neat! Some of the water stations felt … MORE

    The race course was well laid out and I got to see neighborhoods in Oakland that I had never seen before – pretty neat!

    Some of the water stations felt a little sparse but I didn’t want for water so they served their purpose. The cops and volunteers were all very nice and encouraging.

    Overall, a good run!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    kozlinda FIRST-TIMER '17

    start was delayed 15 minutes. if there was a mile marker at 1 mile it was really inconspicuous. medal is nice but t-shirt is the worst ever: it's for the … MORE

    start was delayed 15 minutes. if there was a mile marker at 1 mile it was really inconspicuous. medal is nice but t-shirt is the worst ever: it’s for the 1/2 marathon (no mention of 5k) and is un-dated. annnnnnddd…no age group results. i’ve been doing 5ks in the bay area for 30 years and this was the worst. i will not be a repeat customer.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    2

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    Gurleen REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This is my second time running this half marathon, you catch a glimpse of Oakland and its a great city run Pros: parking is easy, nice race shirts, good communication … MORE

    This is my second time running this half marathon, you catch a glimpse of Oakland and its a great city run
    Pros: parking is easy, nice race shirts, good communication prior to race
    Cons:
    -its a Sat run, so the expo runs from 1-7pm Friday. It makes it a bit challenging if you work out of town and get off at 5. There is the option for race day pick up but its an additional cost
    -race started late and it was difficult to hear the announcements
    -no mile markers towards the end of the race

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    widdler103 FIRST-TIMER '17

    Really enjoyed the race overall, it was a fast course, and takes you through multiple areas of the city. The swag of a mason jar was a nice touch. I … MORE

    Really enjoyed the race overall, it was a fast course, and takes you through multiple areas of the city. The swag of a mason jar was a nice touch. I echo other’s comments that there weren’t many spectators/music along the course, and I would have really liked Miles Markers (there were only markers through mile 8). And the expo/post-race area could be better planned out. The entry/exit to the whole area is a relatively narrow ramp. They wall the area off w/ portable fencing. Why not create a larger entrance/exit in between there? I’ll be hoping the organizers continue to improve the event and I look forward to seeing the changes the next time I run it.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    2
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    runintensity510 FIRST-TIMER '17

    The route is nice - but the city really doesn't get into it (barely anyone cheering on the entire course - the only people I saw cheering were the people … MORE

    The route is nice – but the city really doesn’t get into it (barely anyone cheering on the entire course – the only people I saw cheering were the people on bikes asking you to smile so the race photographer could catch you enjoying yourself). The aid stations are pretty much all set up around blind turns with no signs or heads up (so if you need to eat gels a few seconds ahead of time before scooping up some water, good luck with that).

    The biggest pet peeve was requiring folks to show up to a 1 day race expo the day before, or pay $35 to have the bib shipped in the mail. Asking folks to come out on a work day, or face a 50% of registration fee – that was not cool and in all of the races I’ve run I’ve never seen an organization take such advantage of their audience like this race did. $20 – fine, I get that you want people going to the expo so you can make good on your commitment to sponsors, but forcing people to show up during work hours on a work day (or asking a friend to do that) – that really didn’t sit well and will probably be why I never run this race again (or any other race run by this organization). $35 – highway robbery and serious opportunists. We saw all of the sponsors on the day of the race anyway!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    1
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    1

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    esdouglas FIRST-TIMER '17

    Smooth organization, nice route, lots of friendly people both in the race and on the sidelines. Great overall experience. I kept track of distance on my watch, so I didn't … MORE

    Smooth organization, nice route, lots of friendly people both in the race and on the sidelines. Great overall experience. I kept track of distance on my watch, so I didn’t miss the lack of late mile markers much.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    sckatie FIRST-TIMER '17

    First time Town Half Marathon runner this year. Really enjoyed the atmosphere and fellow runners. Morning rally was kind of lacking enthusiasm and it was a little confusing when everyone … MORE

    First time Town Half Marathon runner this year. Really enjoyed the atmosphere and fellow runners. Morning rally was kind of lacking enthusiasm and it was a little confusing when everyone lined up at the start because the emcee was muffled, the announcements unclear, and we started 10 minutes late (7:10am). Mile markers were somewhat off between the GPS on my phone and where they were posted on the route. Also, they were not out towards the end of the race (last 4 miles or so), which would have been nice. I used the water stations instead to know how far I was. Lastly, the final 3 miles were around Lake Merritt. It’s a good leg, but kinda difficult to stay on pace when having to watch out for people walking/running/strolling who are not participating and are on the same sidewalk. Overall, totally enjoyed it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    withkidz REPEAT RUNNER '17

    Great race, but real bummer that no mile markers after mile 8. Also I was ambling along probably 7:30 pace - when suddenly according to the mile markers, mile 6 … MORE

    Great race, but real bummer that no mile markers after mile 8.
    Also I was ambling along probably 7:30 pace – when suddenly according to the mile markers, mile 6 I ran an 8:53, then mile 7 a 6:21. Give me a break.

    Great event though – good start finish and registration.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    earod FIRST-TIMER '17

    There were no mile markers that I could find after mile 7. I was hoping to start my kick in at mile 10, but ended up kicking in 1.5 miles … MORE

    There were no mile markers that I could find after mile 7. I was hoping to start my kick in at mile 10, but ended up kicking in 1.5 miles later because i had no clue what mile I was at.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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