Thank you for Running 2014

Dear Oakland Runners, Volunteers, Corporate Partners, City Agencies, City Hall and Residents,

What a great day for the City!   We begin with the great weather, then NBA Hall of Famer Alvin Attles starts the race, Oakland’s own Shelia E performs on the Celebration Village stage, and a record 9,862 runners crossed the finish line!  How good was that!

On behalf of all of us at Corrigan Sports Enterprises and the Oakland Running Festival I would like to extend our thanks to all of you that have helped make the event great.  Five years ago, many thought that we were crazy to start a race in Oakland.  However, after a lot of hard work, faith in the Oakland community at large and confidence in the entire Bay Area running community, we all look pretty smart and our investment in the event has paid off for everyone involved!

We now have an huge event that has become a staple in the community.  An event that unifies the many neighborhoods that are linked together by our race route.  An event that community associations, charities and neighbors look forward to each year as a celebration of all thing good about Oakland!

Many do not know that this event annually generates millions of dollars of economic impact and hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity.  It also shines a great light on the City of Oakland and its residents.  We want you to know how proud we are of the event and the fact that we have been able to be successful in the face of many doubters.

We have reviewed the surveys and your feedback is greatly appreciated.  Once again 98% of you would recommend the event to a friend.  There is no higher praise we can receive than that!  Below, you can review some of the things we hope to improve upon at next years race

We are also thrilled to announce to you that we continue to invest in the community with the opening of our west coast office right in downtown Oakland at Broadway and 11thSt.  We have plans to add many new races to the region starting with the NorCal Ten-Miler Series and the Broads Run Broadway 5K while continuing to grow the Oakland Running Festival, the Hella-ween Costume Run, the Raiders Back to Football 5K.   Gene Brtalik and Conor Corrigan carry the Oakland Running Festival torch wherever they go and are dreaming up ways to make the event better.  Please feel free to stop in and see them anytime.  Remember WE RUN THIS TOWN with you at our side!

Thanks again for all of your support, we can’t wait for next year’s event.  Please join us again on March 22, 2015 for what promises to be another great day for Oakland!

Thanks to all of you who took the time to fill out our post race survey, your feedback helps make the event better year after year. We received a 98% approval rating this year, marking the fifth straight year of at least a 97% approval rating. As a result, we expect even more runners to partake in the sixth annual Oakland Running Festival on March 22, 2015.

We are thrilled with the positive support and comments you have provided us.  However, there are always a few things we can to improve upon.  Based on the surveys here are some of the things we hope to make better for 2015:

a) Registration wait time at the expo – We will look at ways to decrease the wait times in 2014 but everyone can help with this process by registering prior to the expo.  This save you both time and money as our rates increase dramatically when you register during the expo.  REGISTRATION FOR 2015 IS NOW OPEN.   In 2014, we processed almost 600 registrations during the expo about 100 more than we processed in 2013.  Our computer-based registration system allows us to streamline the entry process for our timing company and other vendors and makes sure everyone has the most accurate runner data for things like race day tracking, photos and other runner benefits.

b) Medals for the 5k – Thanks to the support of our 5K sponsor Bank of the West, we will be providing all 5K finishers will a medal in 2015.  Very few races of that distance provide a finisher medal and we are proud to be able to honor of 5k runners in this way.  Hooray for Bank of the West for stepping up!  Note too that the We Run the Town Challenge participants will now get three medals on that day!  That’s a lot of BLING!

c) Longer finish line chute – With added growth expected in 2015, we will look into elongating the finish line area to avoid any back ups. While we are somewhat bound by the layout of the streets at the finish, we will explore some options that it doesn’t get crowded when runners cross the finish line.

d) More convenient SF bib pick up location –  We received some great feedback on this option and hope to continue it in 2015.  We will work to find a location that can be easily walked to or reached via BART and will also look into the possibility of having shirts on hand.  However, we hope you understand to logistical challenges of doing so– small stores and LOTS of shirts in race and gender specific boxes just don’t mix!

e) More beer at the finish line –  The switch to 21st Amendment was a huge success. Despite us having more beer than in previous years, there were still a few people who were only offered wine when they finished the event. We will work with 21st Amendment to make sure we have more beer on hand in 2015.

Lee Corrigan