Ever wonder what running the The Berkeley Half Marathon course is like? Let the Berkeley Half Marathon staff take you through the experience of running the The Berkeley Half Marathon mile-by-mile. Get a sneak peak, then get registered and get training!

Beginning in the serene shade of the Eucalyptus Grove, Mile 4 takes runners through the final stretch of UC Berkeley, passing the Crescent/Springer Gateway and around Crescent Lawn on the west side of campus. Built in 1964 the plaza and stairway was a gift of Russell Severance Springer, a Cal alum from the class of 1902. On sunny days students often lounge on Crescent Lawn and you may see some studying there as you race past. Just across Oxford St. to the left as runners exit Campus is the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. BAMPFA’s origins can be traced back to 1881 with the opening of the Bacon Art and Library Building. Just the third building constructed on the UC Berkeley campus, it was named for Henry Douglas Bacon, who donated his library, several paintings, and half the funds for its construction. In 1919 a bequest from Cal alumnus and professor of literature William Dallam Armes added approximately one thousand Japanese prints to the collection. With this gift, the museum became an institution of global breadth, establishing the foundation for what is now a near-encyclopedic collection with works that date back to 3,000 BCE in Asia and to the Renaissance in Europe.

With a left turn on to University Ave runners pass through a core stretch of Downtown Berkeley’s commercial district. From the popular all vegan delicatessen The Butcher’s Son, to Japanese chain Ippudo to the UC Theatre, a 1,400 person live music venue, University Ave has something for everyone.

Runners enjoy a brief stretch of University Ave before turning right on to Shattuck Ave. pushing towards North Berkeley. Mere blocks later runners will pass a surely familiar location, the Berkeley Running Company. We hope you have all the right gear for the race but if you need anything to prepare for your race you can surely find help here. This section of Mile 4 takes runners through Berkeley’s vaunted restaurant district which features longstanding community restaurants such as Chez Panisse, Cheese Board Collective, the first Peet’s Coffee (a popular Bay Area coffee chain) and many more. Chez Panisse was founded by chef, activist and author Alice Waters and is famous for its organic, locally grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine. 

For many years this area was colloquially known as ‘The Gourmet Ghetto’ however restaurants in the area worked together to formally retire this name in 2019 given a variety of concerns including the racist and elitist overtones of the name.

While you won’t be able to stop for dinner and a drink right now you may want to make a reservation at one of this neighborhood’s restaurants for a post race celebration. For now, water at Water Stop 2, just at the end of Mile 4, will help keep you moving.