Ready, Set, Run: 4 Excellent Long-Distance Running Routes in the East Bay

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Mixed martial artist Conon McGregor famously said, “Movement is the best form of medication. Any time you move, it makes your brain sharper. It makes your mind sharper." Sharpen your mind and body with these fabulous East Bay runs.



Mulch and Madness (13+ miles)

(Courtesy of Mama Quail)


At 13-miles-and-change, the Lake Chabot Trail Challenge isn't for the faint of heart. Combining some of the most scenic and serene views of Lake Chabot with killer rolling hills, it's a route that will test both your body and tantalize the senses.

The Details:

  • Park at the designated spots right off Fairmont Dr. and Lake Chabot Rd.
  • Begin along the West Shore Trail and head eastward onto East Shore Trail.
  • Merge onto Lake Oak Trail (feel free to stop at Raccoon Point to snag a few pictures),
  • Follow onto Brandon's Trail; you will also be running through Logger's Trail.
  • Merge onto Skyline Trail.
  • Follow onto Goldenrod Trail.
  • Merge onto Bass Cove Trail.
  • Follow West Shore Trail and eventually find yourself back at your vehicle.


Editor's Tips:

  • Eat a carb-heavy breakfast a couple hours before your run.
  • Hydrate the night prior.
  • Stretch accordingly prior to setting-off. For such long runs, your upper-body will be just as worked as your lower-body.
  • This route is best done in the early mornings and on the weekends.


Over The Bay and Through the Woods (14+ miles)

(Photo courtesy of Mental Flea Market)


Eleven miles of city streets and treelines (and the occasional jaw-dropping view of San Leandro Bay) await on this long run through Oakland and Alameda. With dips and dives, turns and twists, this is a phenomenal route to improve your running dynamics. Just more than a half-marathon in total length, this is going the extra mile—literally.

The Details:

  • Park in the large parking lot off Vana Village Parkway leading into the World Class Smile Center.
  • Begin taking a left onto the sidewalk-trail segment toward the back of the complex, following it all the way to Shoreline Park.
  • Take a right down Triumph Drive.
  • Merge onto Atlantic Avenue; this will also become Sherman St.
  • Run onto Buena Vista Avenue.
  • Turn left onto Park St.
  • Merge onto Embarcadero St. after you've taken a left toward 23rd.
  • Continue on to 16th from Embarcadero, eventually taking a left on 15th, then finally a right onto 14th to then merge onto Foothill Blvd.
  • Merge onto Lakeshore avenue, follow until you take a left on El Embarcadero, then follow Grand Avenue till it merges into Bellevue Avenue
  • Merge back onto Grand Avenue, then take a left down Broadway Street.
  • Turn onto 7th street and follow until E. 8th becomes 12th St.
  • Take 16th all the way back to Embarcadero street
  • Follow your muscle memory all the way back to your car from there; you'll just be doubling-back the last three-miles you covered from the World Class Smile Center to Embarcadero.


Editor's Tips:

  • You'll find ample parking at the World Class Smile Center, but be sure to take any essentials with you (your keys, wallet, etc.).
  • You'll be running on roads where there's possible construction, especially toward Peart St. and 12th—so hug the sidewalks.
  • This route is best done in the early morning and on the weekends.


Running the Redwoods: (8+ miles)

(Photo courtesy of Essence In Photography)


There's nothing more exhilarating and more stamina-feeding than pacing through the redwoods. See how fast eight miles can fly by when you're surrounded by natural wonder.


The Details:

  • Park at the Chabot Space and Science Center.
  • Run along the Westridge Trail which will later become Baccaris Trail.
  • Take a left onto Orchard Trail.
  • Merge onto Birdie Trail.
  • Take a right once you come across the intersection of Birdie Trail and Stream trail; follow Stream Trail for some time.
  • Merge onto Prince Trail at the junction, then follow East Ridge Trail for a while.
  • Follow East Ridge Trail until it becomes West Ridge Trail; Run along West ridge Trail at that point.
  • Take West Ridge Trail until it becomes French Trail and follow back to Chabot Space Center.


Editor's Tips:

  • You might want to wear trail running shoes.
  • There's little in the way of landmarks—make sure you know where you're going.
  • Put on bug spray prior to taking off, especially in the warmer months.
  • This route is best taken on the weekends.


Seas, Sneakers, Sweat: Bay Overlook (7+ miles)

(Photo courtesy of Gareth Bogdanoff Photography)


Avid long-distance runners will find this route a welcomed break from normal double-digit days. With a few mile-straights, uninterupted by curves and crossovers, this route's a phenomenal place to asses your accurate mile-times.


The Details:

  • Park at one of the many open spots at Robert W. Memorial State Beach.
  • Follow the bike and hike trail leading toward Central Avenue.
  • Take a left onto Central Avenue and follow for roughly a mile.
  • Merge onto Encinal Avenue and follow for roughly three-miles.
  • Take a left onto Fernside Blvd.
  • Double-back on the scenic overlook trail of San Leandro Bay located right before Doolittle Dr.
  • Once back, take a right toward the bike and hike trail hugging the Bayview Dr.
  • Merge onto Shoreline Drive for roughly two-miles.
  • Merge onto Westline Dr and find yourself back at your car.

Editor's Tips:

  • This route is best taken early in the morning to take advantage of the scnenic overlooks.
  • Parking is ample; we recommend parking close to the beach.
  • You'll be running along quite a bit of pavement, so take care of your knees.

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