THE BERKELEY HALF MARATHON COURSE: MILE 5
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Mile 5 begins a tranquil section of the course as runners make their way through Berkeley’s residential neighborhoods for a taste of life in this community. Runners pass by Live Oak Park where they may see families playing on the playground in this cozy grove. The site of several community festivals, Live Oak Park offers a range of recreational opportunities, with basketball and tennis courts, a recreation center, and tot and school-age play areas. Runners proceed briefly down Shattuck Ave. before a right onto Mariposa turns to a quick left on Los Angeles Ave. and The Fountain at The Circle.
The Circle and Fountain Walk, which links The Circle to the streets below, are the focal points of Northbrae, an area which Mason and McDuffie developed at the beginning of the century. Northbrae tract in north Berkeley was the second Berkeley development project of Joseph J. Mason, a Berkeley real estate promoter, and his partner, Duncan McDuffie. The Circle is a roundabout originally planned as a hub for rail traffic. Now it is a rather harrowing auto hub used by about 30,000 cars a day with seven streets radiating from The Circle like spokes from a wheel. Don’t worry though, today you’ll have the roads to yourself. The original fountain was the City’s first public work of art but was demolished in 1957 in an auto accident. In 1993 the non-profit volunteer organization Friends of the Fountain and Walk was born. Friends of the Fountain and Walk to rebuild the fountain in the image of the original. Between the funds they raised and contributions from local businesses this was the largest grassroots effort in Berkeley’s history for the improvement of a public space. Runners continue around The Circle, exiting onto Marin Ave.
Mile 5 ends just past Berkeley Fire Station Number 4, where a 1912 Segrave (Parade Engine) is housed.