Berkeley to host its first half-marathon

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Berkeley will host a half-marathon Nov. 24, marking the first race of its kind to take place in the city.

The 13.1-mile race will begin at Civic Center Park and end at Golden Gate Fields, winding near the parameter of the UC Berkeley campus and extending down University Avenue.

“We got a huge response that Berkeley wanted its own event,” said Lark Ryan, marketing and outreach coordinator for Berkeley Half. Berkeley Half is the marathon created by a partnership between the city of Berkeley and Jumping Fences, the organization that planned the San Francisco Marathon. Ryan said planning for the marathon has taken about three years.

Ryan said she is expecting about 8,000 runners to participate in the marathon. About 3,000 already have signed up, said Ciara Viehweg, the charity-program coordinator at Jumping Fences.

Cal Running Club, a campus organization, is collaborating with Berkeley Half to help publicize the marathon. Students who indicate they are running with the club will receive 15 percent off their registration fee.

“We’re hoping to see a lot of the Berkeley residents and Berkeley students, whether it be for volunteering or running in the event,” Ryan said. “It’s been an amazing process to see how excited the Berkeley citizens are.”

Ryan said that to ensure that the marathon will not greatly affect daily commuters, only a portion of University Avenue will be closed to traffic.

Registration for the half-marathon costs $75, and some of the proceeds will go to various charities, including the Berkeley Public Schools Fund and the Lung Cancer Foundation.

In addition to the 13.1-mile half-marathon, Viehweg said there would be a 10-mile run and a 10-kilometer run to accommodate runners of all ages and abilities.

In future years, organizers hope to extend the course onto the UC Berkeley campus and to collaborate with the university on fundraising.

“Our goal is to celebrate everything that is Berkeley,” Viehweg said.

Contact Lydia Tuan at [email protected].

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all proceeds raised from the Berkeley half-marathon will be donated to charity. In fact, while the marathon will donate funds to charities, not all proceeds raised will go to the charities.

A previous version of this article also incorrectly stated that Jumping Fences planned the Oakland half-marathon. In fact, it did not.