Overall Rating
Overall Rating (72 Reviews)
3.8
(72 Ratings)(72 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.6
SCENERY
3.4
PRODUCTION
3.7
SWAG
3.7
Oakland, California.  Its motto is “Love Life,” and when you run The Town’s Half Marathon, you’ll understand exactly why so many people love this bayside gem.  A compelling history spanning hundreds of years.  Standout landmarks that showcase the city’s rustic and modern beauty.  The irrepressible spirit of locals fiercely devoted … MORE
Local Weather (Aug 12)
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H (°F) 76 68 73 68 66
L (°F) 54 55 61 61 56
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Recent reviews

    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!

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    Profile photo of Minori Tsuge
    Trigirl 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.

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    Profile photo of Justin Liang
    jbliang 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.

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    Profile photo of Rachel Herrington
    Rachel 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!

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    Profile photo of Linda Kozlowski
    Linda 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.

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    Profile photo of Gurleen Deol
    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

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    Profile photo of Jeff Lee
    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.

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    Profile photo of david miller
    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!

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    Profile photo of Erik Douglas
    erik 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.

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    Profile photo of Kathryn Kadas
    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!

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    Profile photo of Stuart Adamson
    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.

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    Profile photo of Erik Rodriguez
    Erod613 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.

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    Profile photo of Kyrah Ayers
    Kyrah Ayers REPEAT RUNNER '17

    I've run The Town's Half Marathon every year since it's inaugural 2014 race. This year I ran my fastest time on this course. The crowd support and swag were excellent … MORE

    I’ve run The Town’s Half Marathon every year since it’s inaugural 2014 race. This year I ran my fastest time on this course. The crowd support and swag were excellent this year. The medal is great and I like the t-shirt design.
    As in last year’s post, I had issues with the lack of mile markers. They also changed the way runners enter and leave the Lake Merritt loop. This was somewhat confusing because there wasn’t a lot of signage to guide us. At one point I even asked another runner if we were still on course.
    The after race celebration was great and I look forward to running this race again.
    Thank you volunteers and organizers for your hard work.

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    Profile photo of Julie Romano
    JulieR FIRST-TIMER '17

    I enjoyed the positive vibe of the relatively small race. My biggest challenge was the accuracy & availability of mile markers - I didn't see any for miles 9-13. I … MORE

    I enjoyed the positive vibe of the relatively small race. My biggest challenge was the accuracy & availability of mile markers – I didn’t see any for miles 9-13. I also thought it was odd to have gels only at mile 12 – a little too late for me. The finisher’s metal is awesome & it was otherwise very smoothly run!!

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    Profile photo of Morgan McGuire
    Morgan FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my first time running The Town Half, and I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd run other races in Oakland before and there's generally a lot of community … MORE

    This was my first time running The Town Half, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d run other races in Oakland before and there’s generally a lot of community support, so I was excited to see if The Town would be the same. It’s in August, which in the Bay Area is called “Fogust”, and the weather was pretty great for running. Foggy and cool and 57 at the start. It was a bit quieter than I expected, as far as people out cheering for you. That’s not a dealbreaker though, just a nice bonus to have. There were several times we were running on uneven, broken asphalt and had to be super careful not to break an ankle – that wasn’t awesome. There’s also a pretty big hill right in the middle which was challenging. Running around Lake Merritt is nice, but can get a little crowded. The race distance was also longer than 13.1 – it was about 1/2 mile too long. I know sometimes there are small discrepancies in distance and GPS isn’t always accurate, and there are lots of factors to consider, but I talked to several others who all said the same thing. My GPS said 13.6. I’m fine with 13.1, 13.2, even 13.3, but much more than that and your official finishing pace can get pretty inaccurate. I probably won’t run this one again since there are so many other great options in the Bay Area.

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    Profile photo of John Hanson
    John Hanson FIRST-TIMER '16

    I really enjoyed this run, and the support on the course was good. The Medal was nice, but the challenge medal for doing the 3 race series of which this … MORE

    I really enjoyed this run, and the support on the course was good. The Medal was nice, but the challenge medal for doing the 3 race series of which this is a part, is really awesome.

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    Profile photo of R Kay
    R Kay FIRST-TIMER '16

    Running through Oakland on mostly flat ground, I got to see parts I had never seen before. Of course, they don't have you run through East/ West Oakland - but … MORE

    Running through Oakland on mostly flat ground, I got to see parts I had never seen before. Of course, they don’t have you run through East/ West Oakland – but the Lake and the Piedmont have some great views! I like uphill climbs and detest downhill so this was good on my knees. The roads in Oakland are crumbly and uneven, stay in the center of the road on you won’t suffer from ankle pains.
    Also, kudos to the Police Dept for keeping absolutely all cars from impeding on the track! One guy kept honking and screaming at runners and the cop just waved to us and yelled, “Ignore him! You’re doing a great job! :D!”

    Cons: They talked up a festival for runners after the race, which was a small push towards doing this one as my first. Promised – Parfait and banana and treats from Whole Foods, small coffee and other snacks! Reality – Acai bowl machine dried up at 9am (Race wasn’t even over until 10) Small snack size KIND granola bars. Yuck! The coffee was premade with milk and sugar too, so us lactose-intolerants just had to pass. The beer was a good touch, except the beer garden had a snaked convoluted line that took like 25 mins for the first drink. Still tasty!

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    Profile photo of Eric McClendon
    emcclendon FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my first year to run this race and I definitely plan on returning again next year. This is a very flat and fast course with a nice scenic … MORE

    This was my first year to run this race and I definitely plan on returning again next year. This is a very flat and fast course with a nice scenic route built in around Lake Merritt. This race is also one of the three stops on the Golden State Half Series Challenge, which contains a series of three local Bay Area half marathons to complete, after which you receive one serious bling medal. The other positives are close free parking (if you arrive early enough) and free beer at the end, not to mention a serious bling medal of it’s own. The only negative is that this race is held in August, which can hold some of the hottest temps in the Bay Area. Here’s my valuable tip: do not but the very expensive VIP pkg. that claims to provide free close parking with more alcohol and food, because this all comes standard with the race anyway, along with the free and very close parking garage if you get there early enough.

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    Profile photo of Natalie Russell
    Natalie FIRST-TIMER '16

    Great race! Course would be good for a first time half marathoner - relatively flat with a few short climbs. Sierra Nevada at the end! Great Oakland vibe. MORE

    Great race! Course would be good for a first time half marathoner – relatively flat with a few short climbs. Sierra Nevada at the end! Great Oakland vibe.

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    Profile photo of Gloria Cheng
    calbear93 FIRST-TIMER '16

    This was my 2nd half marathon and 2nd race for the Golden Gate Series (first was the Livermore Half). Overall, I thought the production was well run, water stations were … MORE

    This was my 2nd half marathon and 2nd race for the Golden Gate Series (first was the Livermore Half). Overall, I thought the production was well run, water stations were at approx every even mile but not sure if the mile markers were that accurate. The scenery ranged from industrial, downtown historic buildings, Chinatown, quaint local neighborhoods and the beautiful Lake Merritt. The cops and race volunteers were all very friendly and cheered you on but not many other spectators were on the course. It was mostly flat with a few gradual inclines so I was able to PR. The after race snacks and entertainment were great except Sambazon ran out of their Acai bowls which was a huge bummer since I was really looking forward to it. I’m not a beer drinker but managed to try a nice refreshing one from Sierra Nevada. The medal we got was very substantial and heavy, very nice bling to earn after a great run.

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