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Posts Tagged ‘half marathon’

How many Oaklanders does it take to change a light bulb? Hella.

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Yesterday, Nicole and I finished the Oakland half-Marathon it’s one of the best of these events we do and we’ve done quite a few. I mean everyone has their merits, but only one has Lake Merritt.

It started with a little pain because the night before we went to see the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the SF Jazz. They were amazing but I was dancing on the same feet that were gonna run 13.1 the next day so I started the day with a creaky ankle. On an interesting side note- the date that was three dates behind SF Jazz was of all places “Bethany College” – props to you Alma Mater- you’re cooler now when I was there and we slogged through Beatles tribute bands and The Georgia Satellites.

Our experience with the SF Marathon vs The Oakland Running Festival is not night and day but it’s a little bit of a dichotomy. The SF expects the course & scenery to shine and the Oakland wants the people & the event to shine. To put that another way SF is like “F^@k you, here’s a bridge” and Oakland is more “Hey, how’s everything going. Would you like some more bananas? How about some snacks? You seem nice. Wanna hang out?”.

Oakland gives away not one but two beers, there were three places on the course giving away orange slices and one place giving away power muffins & orange slices (much love to Brown Sugar Kitchen– which we hear from new friend Britta is also an awesome place to eat)

Libby Schaaf, the mayor of Oakland, who kicked off the race, announced “I bet you’re going to run into hella people who love Oakland. So have fun!” Which makes me love Oakland even more when you put her against Ed Lee who seems even stuffier (and possibly slightly more corrupt) when pitted against that.

Along the course we saw tons of people with signs, a couple bands and 1 super awesome Asian drum team. There a number of churches emptying out as we ran, we were greeted by a number of Pastors, a few congregations and woman who was wearing her church best on a corner dancing and shouting encouragement.

This race’s hands down winner from the sign category was “If Brittney Spears can make it through 2007 you can make it through this race” barely beating out last years favorite “Run like you stole something because let’s face it- this is Oakland so you probably did”. Signs repeat lots, for example we see “Worst Parade Ever” lots but that doesn’t make it less funny, but there’s always one or two that are new and clever.

This year during the race we heard from another runner about the Santa Rosa half which comes with a bottle of wine- which is pretty good swag unless you drink it immediately following the race (freight train to sh!tfaced town!). Also folks that join the Deloach wine club get free entry. I don’t know the first thing about that winery or we might think about it.

And now to the conceit- I thought about trying to dig up some “running” songs but that seemed forced so here you go- one from the stove and one from the vault:

Old Song: Mr Greeves by the Pixies. This came out in 1989 (The number. Sound of the funky drummer- but more on that later). It got a ton of play when I was in college (see above) but it still sounds like a good song despite it’s age. I’m not saying I want to listen to it all the time but it stands up and doesn’t sound like you’re on a memory trip.

New Song : Corrine by Black Honey. These guys are a punk, psych rock sixties sounding something else. I’d love to think that they might get some kind of larger fame but I fear that they are such a niche sound that they just won’t have enough to break bigger. I bet, though, that based on everything I’ve heard of their recorded stuff that they probably kill it in concert and I’ll be keeping an eye out for tour dates that aren’t in UK or France.