There are so many great blogs in and about Oakland. I try to tag the good politics-related ones for my news feed here on the site, but I often wish I had a way to highlight great posts from Oakland bloggers on other subjects. So I’ve decided to start a weekend feature where I can share some of the ones I really enjoyed.
I would be remiss to not use the inaugural weekly blogoaksphere highlights post to note how much I enjoyed reading all the great blogs posted about the Oakland Marathon. What an exciting event for Oakland! The other day, I encountered eight (eight!) people who had come to town just for the marathon. All of them made a point of saying how surprised they were to discover what a beautiful city Oakland is. It was totally heartwarming.
And it was so awesome seeing how crowded downtown Oakland was on the beautiful afternoon yesterday (and of course again today) so I was thrilled to come home after a day out and see that Baseball Oakland had been thinking the same thing. Deborah from Oaktown Art was delighted about the race passing through Ghosttown, where she lives. Aimee Allison shared a similar excitement about how well the marathon showcased the city, and then last night posted some really sweet stories from participants in yesterday’s twilight 5k.
And the New York Times Bay Area Blog had a nice interview with event director Gene Brtalik.
But our local metroblogs weren’t the only ones all abuzz about the race. Virginia of A Runner’s Story anticipated today’s event with a touching story about the emotional experience of her first marathon. (She also tweeted the marathon today). Tim from A Bay Area Runner was nervous about the hill and spent the last week hurt and sick, but excited for the event nonetheless. Running on Faith tried to pinpoint on the eve of the race what makes her push herself so hard.
Sesa in Stride talked about the new “booty shorts” she bought for the occasion. Another blogger running the half marathon hoped to wear his father’s shirt from when he ran the Oakland marathon in 1984.
Callipides and Roadburner thought the expo on Saturday sucked, but were excited for the race anyway. And maybe it wasn’t so great, I don’t know. But at least one runner was excited to meet Mr. Cooper while waiting on his bib.
It was really fun to listen to all the pre-race cheering this morning and watch all the runners go by.
There was also plenty of post-race blogging from both runners and spectators, which you can find at:
- Callipides: “Oakland is a great city that put on a great event. The police officers manning the course were cheering on the runners which is highly unusual in my experience. There was even on police officer out using his radar gun!”
- tattarrattat: “7:25am – high five mr. cooper. RUDE people around me commented “mr. cooper, that’s the best we get in oakland?” um hello, mr. cooper is AWESOME!”
- Virginia Runs: “I can’t think of enough good things to say about the inaugural Oakland Running Festival. This marathon was the best race I’ve ever run.”
- I’m just sayin: “I didn’t even know this was going on right outside my window.”
- Sesa in Stride: “For now, I’d like to thank the following…The City of Oakland, for closing the necessary streets, as well as gracing us with hot policemen and firemen”
- Oakland Focus: “Regardless of who is named, Gene Brtalik of Corrigan Sports, and newly-minted Oaklander, made the Oakland Running Festival not just a reality, but a smoothly-running event.”
- Spirit. Energy. Life.: “It was totally inspiring and totally helped me to have people cheering me on, letting me know i could do it!”
- Photos at thedude.com, the eJournal of Vincent Rafe, Toujours l’audace, Oaklander Online, Half-Assed Marathoner, Running Commentary, Oakland Seen, Oaktown Art, and alamedarunners.com.
- Metrorocker: “It was the sense of community that this event brought to Oakland. Often ‘misunderstood,’ Oakland residents have great pride in their community, and the Marathon was no different.”
- ublach: “What a great event for Oakland!”
- Couch to 70.3: “Can I tell you how much I loved this event? Finally one event that brought the people of Oakland together to do something healthy and positive.”
- Out Box: “We ran through fiery arch at a soldering studio; we were cheered on by Oakland A’s fans and Raiders’ fans; we were sprinkled with fairy dust at Children’s Fairyland. And everywhere (and what I love about running these races) were people who just stepped out of their homes and businesses, with pots and pans or just their hands, rooting us on.”
- A Trail Runner’s Blog: “Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums gave me some pointers – he used to be an avid runner, but “now that he’s 70 he just sticks to martial arts”. How cool is that?”
- Baseball Oakland: “Heaven on a Sunday was how the Oakland Running Festival felt yesterday.”
- On the Trail of Plastic Snappy Things: “Basically, it hella rocked.”
- New York Times Bay Area Blog: “On Sunday, there was a connection between the runners and those who lined the race course. I started to feel as if I was running for a cause beyond stretching my own physical abilities.”
- Becky Jean: “Anyway, as we were waiting at the start, we were greeted by Oakland’s very own Mark Curry. (You know, from “Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper?) He ran through the start line about 10ft from me, giving everyone hi-fives. I thought it was pretty exciting.”
- The Tao of Me: “The first thing I saw when coming up from the 12th St/City Center BART station was the Oakland Mayor and the actor Mark Curry, aka “Hanging with Mr Cooper.”
- Mac on a Mission: “The Oakland Marathon runners breezed by my building this morning and there were a ton of them!”
- The San Francisco Marathon Jog Blog: “I have no plans to run 2 races in the same weekend again, but I will say, it was definitely an adventure.”
- Meet your new math teacher: “To anyone who has never run a half-marathon: do it. The race today was probably one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.”
- Runner Girl Knits: “The route was varied and interesting and I saw a few areas of Oakland I’d never been through.”
- A Bay Area Runner: “Before I get to my performance, I want to state that Oakland did a great job. There were about 1,100 full marathon runners. There also was a half and 5K. Overall it not a large race. Yet, the community came out in full support as if 25K people were running it.”
- Fish Out of Water: “Yeah, well, the SF Marathon last July couldn’t hold a candle to the nastiness of the Oakland hills yesterday – yikes!”
- Job Slobs: “So anyway, yesterday’s run was not that well-organized, but even though it was a little crazy and chaotic, the 13.1 miles was totally worth it for one reason: MR. COOPER WAS THERE!”
- rebron: “I was surprised by the number of people that were out and about cheering (moreso than the San Francisco marathon).”
- foodfoodbodybody: “But on the other hand, it was a beautiful experience. I loved the community, the being out in my great city, the energy.”
- Terminal Berkeley Denizen: “The inflatable arch started to collapse! Someone ran under it to hold it up with outstretched arms as the rest of us runners zipped through. Holding up the arch for us: Comedian Mark Curry!”
- Chasing Silas: “It was a tour of many lovely and not-so-lovely parts of the Town, highlighted for me (who am I kidding – for everybody!) by running through a flaming arch set up for the occasion in front of The Crucible.”
- Running on Faith: “Check out who greeted us when we crossed the finish line. SUPPOSABLY he was not there when runners crossed earlier. So it is possible that the Big Guy wanted me to cross the finish line later, so I could see the MR. COOPER.”
- Kathy Runs: “The amount of support and excitement from within the marathon, to the citizens of Oakland was outstanding. I’m definitely going to be running this race again next year!”
- Entropical Paradise: “One young man rolled up on his motorcycle, and sauntered down to the corner, smoking a cigarette. “I guess I should put this out if I’m gonna watch them run,” he said sheepishly as he dropped his butt on the ground and turned it under a heel.”
- alamedarunners.com: “Already looking forward to the 2011 Oakland Running Festival!”
And my favorite, from Mariposa Tales:
Although I am not an Oakland native nor a current resident, I couldn’t be more proud of a city that is usually seen in a negative light by the media and outsiders, and is somewhat notorious for having negative relations between its residents and the police department. Today, none of that was seen, felt, or heard. Today, was a good day for the City of Oakland.
Besides all the totally glowing media attention, another cool by-product of the marathon is the fact that like all the streets were closed today. Hooray for Sunday Streets in Oakland! I took a ridiculous amount of pleasure in marching smack down the middle of a totally car-free Broadway this morning to go get coffee after all the runners had passed.
In other blogoaksphere news, this week saw the debut of another addition to the Oakland new media landscape — Oakland Seen, a project of former City Council candidate Aimee Allison. Jennifer Ward of Scenes From Oakland celebrates the launch by declaring this a golden age in Oakland journalism. I have to admit, it’s pretty freaking cool to think of how far online Oakland media has come in the last four years. When I started blogging, you could, like, count all the Oakland blogs on your fingers. It’s so thrilling how much things have exploded over the past couple of years!
And here’s some posts on other topics I really enjoyed:
- Oakland North had a really cool multimedia feature profiling the workers behind the scenes at a Skyline high school basketball game.
- Today in Montclair had a fabulous post detailing the proposed changes to zoning in the Oakland Hills, an aspect of the citywide zoning update that hasn’t received much attention elsewhere.
- The Entropium had a great post about his gratitude for Rocky of the Montclair Barber Shop, who forced him to abandon his burgeoning combover.
- I am getting totally antsy for the Oakland Museum to reopen next month. Yet another enticing post this week about their renovation didn’t do anything to help my patience.
- How does a vegetarian come to grips with an addiction to Bakesale Betty’s fried chicken sandwiches? Sarah from Lettuce Eat Kale explains. (Okay, this is technically a Berkeley based blog, but I just really loved this post.)
- For a local perspective on health care reform and what last week’s historic vote will mean, just ask the doctors and nurses at Highland Hospital. The Waiting Room delivers the goods.
Oh, and if you like the idea of car free streets in Oakland on more than one day a year, you may want to consider becoming a member of Walk Oakland, Bike Oakland and getting involved in their Oaklavia campaign.