Oakland Running Festival Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K

Sunday, March 22, 2020 • Oakland, CA • Course Map

Though running events have been commonplace in nearby San Francisco for years, Oakland hosted its first marathon in more than two decades with the inaugural running of the Oakland Running Festival in 2010, at a race that now features the 26.2-mile marathon, a 13.1-mile half marathon, a four-person marathon relay and a 5K.

Now set for its 10th annual running, the race takes runners along some of the city’s most notable sights through a combination of downtown areas and residential neighborhoods, and nearly all the way around the waters of Lake Merritt just east of downtown, past the campus of Laney College and through Lake Merritt Channel Park. Those running the half marathon share the same starting line as those running the full marathon, on Lakeshore Avenue before El Embarcadero, just a few blocks from Lake Merritt.

From there, those running the half follow an out-and-back loop course that follows a roughly clockwise direction around the city, first clockwise around Lake Merritt, then north along Broadway for a run past the Paramount Theatre and then left onto Grand Avenue. The course then turns left onto Martin Luther King Jr. Way and then follows southward past Lafayette Park to 8th Street, where runners turn left again and heads east toward Chinatown, and then turns left again on Harrison Street.

The next stretch of the race follows turns on 14th Street, Madison Street and 10th Street, as runners make their way to the race’s first significant downhill stretch around the mile 3 marker.

The course then drops in elevation between miles 5 and 6 as runners make their way around Laney College and the Frank Youell Athletic Field, continuing west along 10th Street and through Chinatown, turning left again onto Webster Street.

As runners make their way past the waterfront, they next start the stretch of the race that takes them along the northernmost part of the half marathon route, northward along Cypress Street up to 26th Street, where they turn right and head east toward 27th Street.

Between miles 10 and 11 runners hit what is the biggest uphill stretch of the half route, and then keep heading eastward to the stretch that takes them through Lakeside Park and around Lake Merritt to the finish line.

Runners start the Oakland Running Festival in 2010. (Photo by Ella Baker Center/flickr)

Runners start the Oakland Running Festival in 2010. (Photo by Ella Baker Center/flickr)

Race Weather & Climate

Located just across the Bay Bridge, over the San Francisco Bay a few miles east from downtown San Francisco, Oakland typically experiences mild to moderately cool weather in the early spring, and more wet weather in spring than in the summer, when conditions here are at their driest.

On race day (March 22), the average low is 49°F and the average high is 64°F — while rainfall amounts average just over 3.56 inches for the month.

Past Results

Course Map

See the race route map for the Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon here.

Starting Time

  • 7:00 AM – full marathon
  • 7:30 AM – 5K
  • 9:30 AM – half marathon


  • $75 – $125 for the half marathon
  • $190 -$270 for the relay (per team)
  • $105 – $160 for the full marathon
  • $35 – $55 for the 5K


To reserve your spot in any of the race distances at the 2020 running of the Oakland Running Festival, register online at RunSignUp.com here.

Official Race Website


Facebook Conversations

Ever run in the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon at the Oakland Running Festival? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.

See more races in: March, California

1 comment… add one
  • Jenna Payne August 9, 2017, 4:30 pm

    Hi there,

    I’ve participated in your event in the past and I’m interested in getting involved to make it even better. I am an Event Planner for Girls Inc. of Alameda County, and I think I can help you really create a more memorable event next year. Who can I speak to about getting involved?
    Thanks for letting me know.

    Jenna Payne


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