Subscribe Subscribe | Subscribe Comments RSS
running biking athletics training swimming exercise

Archives for the day Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I remember riding my bike past a group of women running a half marathon four or five years ago wondering what was going on.  It was a small race around Alameda that I obviously missed hearing about.  That sure has changed in a hurry.  We saw the poor ladies in the back of the pack catch a draw bridge near the end of their race.  It was amusing for most of them but some of the impatient runners were quite upset about losing five minutes waiting for a draw bridge.  I guess they were about 2:30 minutes into the race with 3 miles to go.  I quietly watched them thinking about I never have my camera when a picture-perfect moment occurs.

The half marathon course is a really popular training route for people training for half marathon and longer races.  The course starts off in Washington Park which is a park I just run past while I stick to the water front route.  Most of this course is on a multi-use trail that goes along the water.  There are a couple of street crossings but they won’t be a problem on race day.  On a typical day, you will really get to experience micro climates while running this route.  At 8:00 am, it is usually cool and overcast at Washington Park.

The course is slightly downhill for the first 3 miles.  It is amazing how the little hill leading over the draw bridge can hurt legs that are accustomed running on a flat road.  You will cross the bridge and turn left on to a nice little half mile stretch along the San Leandro Bay until you cross Doolittle drive.  Then comes my least favorite part of the course, Harbor Bay Parkway to Ron Cowan Parkway.  I love the sights but there is something about this stretch that does me in.  Fortunately it is only 1.5 miles long.   Then you get some dog legs through the corporate parks to add a mile to the course.  The loop drives house SemiFreddi’s bakery.  Hope they are not baking cinnamon bread the day you run by.  You are now half way done with the hardest part behind you.

The next three miles are on the trail along the SF bay heading back to the draw bridge.  Depending on your state, you may or may not hope for bridge opening.  You run through a neighborhood for about a mile then back to the coastal trail.  You will have nice views with the wind at your back for the last 2 miles.  It is long and straight.  You get some bends near the end of the course.  You know the end is near when you see your car in the parking lot.  Crab Cove is a very popular park where I always see people walking their dogs and geese walking around.  Be careful where you sit.

This is a wonderful course that can be really fast or really windy.  I am happy to see so many people coming out to Alameda to run.  Good luck everyone and have fun.