Photos and commentary: Oakland Marathon 2012

I haven’t put as many running (or cycling) miles in this year compared to last, but I was still excited to check out the runners at this year’s Oakland Marathon.  My girlfriend and I got up early to head over to College Avenue in Rockridge and see the runners between miles 5 and 6.

The weather forecasts were calling for rain, but as we parked our bikes the sun was starting to shine through the clouds over the Oakland hills.  The pavement was wet from last night but it was starting to dry.

We had a few minutes to spare and stood around watching volunteers direct traffic and the TranSports crew set up their water station.  A lot of drivers were confused by the road closures and some tried to get onto the course to get to where they were going.  Perhaps there should be more signage next year for drivers?


The marathon started with the police motorcycle



The results aren’t yet available off of as of 1:16pm (“We are experiencing higher than normal volume and are therefore unable to process your request at this time.” ) today but this was the 1st place runner and eventual winner Chris Mocko from San Francisco at the mile 5 mark.  He finished with a time of 2:28:09, setting an event record.


1st place winner Chris was decked out in New Balance gear – as part of the New Balance Silicon Valley team.


Here’s the 2nd place runner, Oaklander Phillip Shaw at mile 5.  Most of the runners had serious looks on their faces.  I know it’s hard for me to smile when I’m devoting all of my energy to placing one foot in front of the other.  This guy broke a smile as we cheered him on.  He was dressed in Brooks gear.  He finished 2nd with a time of 2:37:13.  (I hope he wore some Glide or some Vaseline or something.   Or maybe it’s a non chafey-shirt?)


Tony Torres of Cedar Glen finished 4th last year and was in 3rd place at this point.  Nike representing here.  He went on to finish the race in 3rd place with a time of 2:38:05.


This pair was in 4th and 5th place at this point.  Steven Moreno (#773) eventually pulled away to capture 4th place with a time of 2:41:18.  Christopher Gurney finished 5th with a time of 2:43:29.  Both of the guys are also from Oakland.


The 6th place male runner at mile 5 for this year’s 2012 Oakland Full Marathon.  Andrew Willis, of San Jose, finished in 14th place at 3:02:48.


This guy was the first place relay member at mile 5.  Their team, “Wild Dogs”, went on to win the relay with a finishing time of 2:29:57.


The 2nd place relay team at mile 5.  Their team, “Three Men and a Kid”, finished 2nd with a time of 2:46:17.


A guy on a hand powered bike with the GoPro hero in front.


This is Anna Bretan, who won the 2011 Oakland Marathon in her first ever marathon.  It looks like she won again with a time of 2:57:33.  The Oakland Raiders (@RAIDERS) posted a picture of her crossing the finish line here, and as appropriately stated by twitter user @elcush, Anna gave birth 6 weeks ago.  Insane.  According to SFGate: “She ran 40-mile weeks right until she gave birth, and did an easy five-mile job on the same day her baby, Tatum, was born. Within a week, she was back to heavy training.”


1st place female finisher Anna Bretan and other runner in front of Miam Miam

This is a photo of the 2nd and 3rd place female runners at mile 5.  Runner #694, Penny MacPhail of San Anselmo, finished 3rd with a time of 3:12:18.  Claudette Augert (#139) of Edmonton, Alberta, finished 6th with a time of 3:20:47.


And the 4th place female runner at mile 5.  Monica Zhuang caught up a bit and finished the race in 2nd place with a time of 3:06:17.


Once the super-speedy runners had passed, the race pack thickened up.  Here is a group of slightly-less speedy-but-still-fast runners heading up the 3:10 pace group.


I dislike GEICO but I do like the Oakland Marathon Pacers!


Here’s the 3:20 pace group.


And here’s a guy running in his Hawaiian shirt.  I think he did the same last year.


The Oakland Marathon was definitely no Bay to Breakers, but there were some people who had interesting outfits.  This guy wins for the most color-coordinated.  Pink shirt, pink gloves, pink fanny pack, pink socks and pink shoes.  And check out all of those Gu/Clif Shot/Powergel packets.


This guy wins for best beard.  (This is Sam, co-owner of Brazen Racing.  Thanks, Pete!)


This was the first barefoot runner that we saw.  Good job, guy!


This woman was rocking her I hella heart Oakland shirt.


This woman was running with a birthday sash and hat and accompanying runner with a sign.  Happy 30th, Monica!


“I’m running 30 miles for my 30th birthday” – that is awesome.  I wonder if she tacked on the extra 4 before or after the race.


Runner in a tutu.


Relay runner with butterfly wings.


A course high-five.  What is especially cool is that this guy ran the marathon in a disposable lab coat.


This guy ran in a feathered hat and bolo tie.


This looks like a father and daughter team.


The 5:00 pace group.  Yay pacers!


The Praying Runner.  He handed out a rose at each of the 26 miles and was running to support women with breast cancer.


The sign at the College Avenue Presbyterian Church.  “WELCOME TO MILE 5.6 OF THE OAKLAND MARATHON”







Around the neighborhood

A break from the biking for some photos from around rockridge:



Simon.  He said he was trying to see his family on Easter.  He talked about his sister in Emeryville and his dad who’s 82.






Outside of Cole coffee, dogs wait for their owners to finish their drinks




bica coffeehouse, oakland, ca

Bica Coffehouse (5701 College Ave, Oakland)  just opened today across the street from Rockridge BART.  It replaces Cafe Lyon, which closed last May.  I had an espresso made with coffee from De La Paz’s 14th St. Espresso blend.  It was nice and brewed well on their La Marzocco Linea.  A bit bright, citrusy and a little sweet.

(Pardon the less-nice iphone photos)

de la paz 14th st espresso via bica coffeehouse

They plan on rotating their coffees between Flying Goat, Ritual, De La Paz, Verve and Barefoot about every 2 weeks.  In addition to coffee, they also offer teas and a few different types of pastries from Bisbane Bakery.

saw this on the way home:

I heart zombies

“I heart zombies”

miam.miam in rockridge to serve blue bottle coffee; scream sorbet opening soon in temescal

update: you can expect to see some wild-looking mugs at miam.maim:

yet-to-open cafe/lounge miam.miam (5856 college ave)  just posted a huge blue bottle banner in their window.  after having a banner in the window promising frozen yogurt in “summer 2009” and then “holiday 2009” from peeks into their front door, it looks like they’re finally getting closer to opening.   The huge banner is a little misleading – the size of it makes you think that blue bottle is actually opening at that location, but not so.

Bittersweet, just down the street also serves blue bottle (or at least they did last time I was there), so miam.miam isn’t alone.

this gets me to thinking – blue bottle’s got a pretty strong brand going if cafes are clamoring to serve their coffee and use it in their advertising, right?

on a slightly related note, scream sorbet is opening up a shop at 51st and telegraph in temescal (5030 telegraph ave), 2 doors down from bakesale betty.  they’re scheduled to open in June, according to a not-fake poster.

they’ve got a hilarious set of fake posters in the window:

scream sorbet posters

hilarious fake ads and websites:

squidazzle!  Bringing squid and squid-based technologies to the greater bay area since early 2010.  We’ll make you aware what the squid has to share”

the root seller: your year-roud source for roots and tubers”

“the mauve emporium: love mauve? so do we!  finally, the store that’s nothing but mauve.  If it’s arguably mauve… we’ve got it!”

TROUGH: food by the minute – Grand opening special!!! Only $9.99 for 10 minutes!  That’s less than a dollar a minute!!” (looks like landing page is broken)

MARZIPAN MADNESS – The DIY almond paste sensation that’s sweeping the nation!”

cafe zoe in rockridge opening soon with serious espresso?

update 3 (September 2012): Cafe Zoe is now Old Brooklyn Bagels.  The same la marzocco machine is in there though..

update 2: samples today but real opening is on sunday the 20th 7am-7pm

update: via teh twitters, @cafezoeoakland is prepping for a 6/18 opening, pending inspection.

peeked through the window of cafe zoe in rockridge and saw this:

the under-construction cafe zoe, through the window

there hasn’t been a lot to be found about cafe zoe (6000 college ave) on the interwebs, which had been vacant for quite some time (one year? two years?)  Apparently it used to be Baby World but they seem to have moved over to the Temescal neighborhood.

Anyways, back to the photo: Rockridge is a neighborhood with a pretty high cafe per resident ratio, but I’ve yet to find a place with espresso that I really like.  On College ave, there’s Cole Coffee (who have a consistent gathering of people sipping coffee outside), A Cuppa Tea, Spasso, and Peaberry’s in Market Hall.  I don’t remember what the espresso was like from Bittersweet or Hudson Bay Cafe, but the fact that it wasn’t memorable probably means something.  Though each of the places have their draw, I wouldn’t go to any of just for an espresso unless I really needed a caffeine fix.  The nearest place to me is the relatively new Remedy Coffee in Temescal, who do a really nice job with Ritual’s beans.

The machine in the photo is a La Marzocco FB80, a dual-boilered, PID’ed out crema-churning beauty (with some nice detailed reviews) that runs somewhere between $11,000 and $17,000 depending on how many groups you want.  A little searching online found this job posting which indicates that Cafe Zoe will be serving award-winning Ecco Caffe coffee (whose coffee I have not tried but hope to soon, as they are planning to relocate their roastery and open a cafe in portrero hill).

I’ve seen this machine before at the Blue Bottle in Williamsburg.  So, I’m excited.  serious coffee + serious machine + a job description that implies a serious commitment to coffee (“The espresso bar was designed with the barista in mind! Super equipment, great workflow, and the best view in the house.”) probably means serious coffee.

Cotton and company shop to become crossroads

update 05.12.10: crossroads confirms that they’ll have a second rockridge location.  As of May 9th, the shelves were being stocked!

New tenants coming soon – we saw a banner for crossroads trading company while walking by the old cotton and company shop this morning.   I’m guessing that Crossroads is moving from their old location – two spots in Rockridge sounds like a little much.