10,000 runners expected for Oakland running festival races Sunday

OAKLAND (BCN) — The Oakland Running Festival marathon, half marathon, team relay, 5K and kid’s fun run races start bright and early Sunday morning.

Runners in the marathon and team relay start at 7:10 a.m. at 19th and Harrison streets, organizers said. Runners in the half marathon start at 9:10 a.m. at the same location.

The 5K starts at 7:30 a.m. at 19th and Harrison streets, according to organizers.

The kid’s fun run starts at 8:45 a.m. Kids will meet at the kid’s fun zone at 8:40 a.m. before walking to the starting line.

The running festival is in its seventh consecutive year and organizers expect 9,000 or 10,000 runners this year.

“Enthusiasm is high,” President Lee Corrigan of Corrigan Sports Enterprises, which organizes the race, said.

Corrigan Sports also organizes the Baltimore Marathon, which has grown to 27,000 runners.

“Oakland is on a very similar trajectory,” Corrigan said.

Race director Gene Brtalik confirmed the growing popularity of the race.

Oakland residents cheer on the runners and try to show people there is more to Oakland than what they’ve heard and what’s in the news, he said.

“That’s what’s made it grow,” Brtalik said.

Runners from 30 states and 10 countries will participate this year.

The winner of the marathon will take home a $500 prize, according to Brtalik. Each runner on the winning relay teams will receive a roundtrip ticket to Hawaii. Relay runners will participate in a men’s, women’s or co-ed team.

Runners can still register today from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Oakland Marriott at 1001 Broadway for the marathon, half marathon and kids fun run. Registration is closed for the 5K and team relay.

Streets in downtown Oakland will be blocked off for runners and vehicles will not be allowed through the barricades from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District will set up a temporary transit center along Castro Street from 12th to 17th streets, with eight stops to accommodate riders.

These may be the only stops in downtown Oakland for many of the affected lines, according to AC Transit officials.

A free shuttle will replace AC Transit lines 14 and 54 to the Fruitvale BART station and line 62 to the West Oakland BART station.

AC Transit buses originating in Alameda or East Oakland and traveling to downtown will stop at 6th and Washington streets, AC Transit officials said.

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