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Toughest Way to Spend a Day at the Lake 

Lake Merritt Half-Day

Taking a lap or two around Lake Merritt on a weekend morning is an East Bay must-do. The bird-watching, the people-watching, the city reflected in the lake: It's hard to beat, and impossible to replicate. But what happens when the 3.1-mile path around the lake transforms from a meandering pedestrian thoroughfare to a long-distance runners' circuit? Is the water as peaceful, the trail as charming, the shade as nice? There's only one way to find out: Spend a day running laps. That's precisely the goal of the Lake Merritt Half-Day, which is a bit of a misnomer because the "half-day race" is a mere six hours, while the main event is a twelve-hour, continuous race around the lake. In both cases, participants begin at 7 a.m. and run as many laps — or miles, as it were — within the allotted time. The men's records are 76.3 miles for twelve hours and 40.4 for six; women's are 67.9 miles for twelve and 37.3 for the half-day. Think you can beat 'em? Better yet, think you can survive? There's only one way to find out.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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