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Archives for the day Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Runners are posting race reports, sharing pictures and videos with friends while the City of Oakland enjoys the positive impact of the Oakland Running Festival (ORF).

Last year’s event attracted around 6,300 participants and left Corrigan Sports Enterprises (CSE) owing money from the inaugural event. However, the company’s efforts in Oakland will follow the same successful blue print as its Baltimore event that successfully expanded to more than 25,000 runners.

Both the half and full marathon courses showed beautiful scenery and parts of the City that many of us wouldn’t run through otherwise. For one weekend in late March, the City of Oakland will have one more event to look forward to that shows the support from the people.

C SE picked up the $775,000 tab — including around $100,000 for Oakland Police overtime — and the City of Oakland is expected to collect more than $2 million in revenue.

As someone who has seen the good and bad sides of Oakland, it was great to see the city come out in support of runners. I know visitors from outside the Bay Area think of Oakland only as a magnet for crime and violence, though for just one weekend all was forgiven. The two ladies on Mandela Parkway in West Oakland cheering for runners  “You are in West Oakland, West Oakland, Run, Run, Run…” and their local neighborhood was well-received among runners.

There were fans lining the street throughout most of the half marathon course, cheering and supporting us the entire run.

The Oakland Half Marathon last year was my first distance race, I had a lot of fun then and I had a great time again this year, so I look forward to the Oakland Running Festival 2012.

A big shout out to the Brown Sugar Cafe on Mandela Parkway for the excellent custom brownies made just for us runners.

Casual athletes understand that running, cycling and endurance sports can be extremely expensive, especially for higher-priced compression and tech clothing. I’ve worn compression shirts and shorts, but haven’t tried compression arm or leg products — which got me thinking, isn’t it time to reach out to a new company?

Alameda Runners recently chatted with Zensah, a compression apparel company popular with athletes. We wanted to hear about the company and some of its products — and why they matter.

Some people believe running should be a minimalist sport excluding compression clothing and similar products, but supporters clearly disagree. Zensah and other companies directly promote their products by listing benefits we can expect.

“If you don’t try it you will never know,” Zensah recently told Alameda Runners. If used properly, athletes will feel feel their legs feeling fresher, and see a reduction in recovery time after those long runs. For those that run with compression they will feel like they can go longer with less exertion.”

As for Zensah’s products specifically, the company has a few items it can be especially proud of in its store catalog.

“Zensah was the first to develop compression leg sleeves. We own our own technology. Some of the other companies just joined the compression market, they are still learning how to create compression clothing. At Zensah we have always been focused on compression.”

For runners hoping to keep their legs healthy during long training exercises and races, Zensah has compression socks, leg sleeves, and shin sleeves. The leg sleeves cost $39.99 and are designed more for health and usefulness more than general warmth and looks — but we were curious how they helped.

“Zensah leg sleeves are the only leg sleeves made with a physiological design to help support the calf and reduce the risk of shin splints. Leg sleeves will help in circulation which in turn helps getting oxygen to the muscles.”

Zensah products can be purchased online at REI or RoadRunners Sports, or check your local running store. If you’ve already used Twitter, feel free to interact with the company (good or bad) via Zensah’s Twitter or Facebook account.