The air was filled with laughter, cheers and the energy of thousands of runners, volunteers and supporters as they participated in the Berkeley Half Marathon on Sunday.
Runners in bright clothing lined up at the start line in Downtown Berkeley, at the intersection of Milvia and Kittredge streets, preparing to race 13.1 miles in support of the event’s official charity, Berkeley Public Schools Fund. According to the Berkeley Half Marathon website, spectators were dispersed throughout the course at cheer stations, screaming their support as runners passed and the community came together.
Many UC Berkeley students took part in the event. Campus freshman Alyssa Norada took part in the half-marathon race. Norada said she made a goal of running a half-marathon at the beginning of the year and signed up for the event after she began dedicating time to running each day.
“The race day was very intimidating but exhilarating at the same time,” Norada said in an email.
The Berkeley Half Marathon consisted of half-marathon, 10K and 5K races, the website notes. All three races began at the intersection of Milvia and Kittredge streets in Downtown Berkeley but varied in the rest of the course.
The half-marathon went through campus, to the Berkeley Marina and finally ended at Allston Street in Downtown Berkeley. The 10K race went through campus to North Berkeley and ended at Allston Street, while the 5K race course went through Telegraph Avenue and ended on campus.
According to the Berkeley Public School Fund’s website, the fund supports programs in math, science, leadership and more in Berkeley public schools to provide equal learning opportunities for students.
Runners from San Diego to Texas were present at the event, and a sense of community pride and engagement encompassed the half-marathon, according to the Berkeley Half Marathon’s website.
“It was very inspiring to see people of all ages running and getting amazing sub times,” Norada said in the email. “Just looking at how many people who had huge smiles on their faces as they were running 5-12 minute paces and just enjoying themselves was very heartwarming.”
The Berkeley Half Marathon website adds that the Finish Line Festival and Cheer Garden events took place after the race to celebrate the runners’ achievements. High spirits filled the crowds as celebration ensued.
For runners of all ages and experience levels, the Berkeley Half Marathon brought a sense of pride to the community.
“By the end of the race I was questioning if I was insane for signing myself up for it,” Norada said in the email. “However, I finished with a pace I didn’t even know I could run, so I was very proud of myself.”