This is one of my routes, it's a 12.5 mile route. Here's a description of it and I think it's an interesting enough route. I'm sure CAL students who run would enjoy it.
Mile #1: From my starting point to mile 1 is basically the hood, the ol' Black Panther neighborhood. It's always quiet though and the houses are a mix of nice craftsman style houses to some rundown houses. I pass by a church, a couple schools, and a bunch of new lofts including Green City lofts which is a "green" building. If I make it to mile 1 alive, I'm in good shape. Wear your bullet proof vest when you run and you'll be fine.
Mile #2: I could go further down and pass by the mall and Pixar headquarters but instead I take a right on to San Pablo avenue and pass by the infamous Oaks Card Club. Along this stretch I'll also pass by an IHOP, Arizmendi bakery, Your Black Muslim Bakery, and a lot of people who aren't the most fortunate in the area. This is called the Golden Gate district or Three Corners where Oakland, Emeryville, and Berkeley intersect.
Mile #3: Lots of interesting stuff around here as I near University Ave including some of my favorites: Good Vibrations, Cafe Trieste, East Bay Nursery, LaneSplitter's Pizza, Everett & Jones Barbecue, EcoHome, and Fenton McClaren. There's a lot of garages and salvage yards and antique stores. It's a pretty neat area. There are a couple interesting restaurants that we haven't tried yet either.
Mile #4: I'll pass the Albatross pub, our snowboard shop, REI, Cafe Fanny, Acme bread company, and Tokyo Fish Market. If I go up Gilman which I'll sometimes do, I'll pass Lalimes (a yummy restaraunt much like Chez Panisse) and Monterey Market.
Mile #5 – 6: This is basically Solano Ave in Albany. Solano Ave I haven't explored much but lots of restaurants and they also have a Zachary's pizza here and a movie theatre. I think it's Albany's main street. The restaurants are all over the map, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, French, etc. Lots of stuff on this street.
Mile #7: This is Marin Avenue. It's about 680 feet of climbing in one mile, so from 300 foot elevation to 980 foot elevation. It's a 22% grade. I've yet made it to the top, about two blocks away. Jerry Rice would be proud.
Mile #8-9: Rather uneventful, it's all downhill through the million dollar homes in Berkeley to UC Berkeley.
Mile #10: Running through the UC Berkeley campus is interesting. It's funny to see how young college kids look. I didn't realize it, it's almost like they're in high school to me. Most kids are walking around with their iPods and the dress of UC Berkeley students ranges from Gap-like to scary strange.
Mile #11: I could run down College Avenue which would make this post even longer because of all the cool stores and restaurants on College Ave in the Elmwood and Rockridge districts. Instead, I make a beeline over to the Claremont Hotel and go downhill on Claremont Avenue.
Mile #12: Well this is the home strecth. Claremont is pretty uneventful. Lots of million dollar homes down to half a million dollar homes at the bottom of the street. I pass by the DMV, a couple of Eritrean owned coffee shops, go undereath an overpass (Highway 24) and head home.