OAKLAND (KPIX) — For the first time in its history, the route of the Oakland Marathon took runners halfway across the Bay Bridge and several runners said that’s why they joined the race this year.

“The only reason we ran a marathon was because we wanted to go on this bridge, we didn’t train,” Tirzah Given told KPIX.

About 1,300 runners tackled the 26.2-mile-long course. Runners said the combination of beautiful weather and the sight of the newly-iconic east span bridge tower helped keep them motivated.

“The scenery is real big because we’re out here for five hours. It’s pretty boring so you’ve got to have the scenery,” said runner Tom Heim.

Runner Dennis Gelvin agrees. “There’s not too many marathons that run a scenic route across a bridge and this has just been fantastic so far.”

The Oakland Marathon is in its tenth year. Organizers have tried other routes, directing runners into the Oakland Hills and Jack London Square, and they now hope to return to the bridge if Caltrans gives its blessing.

For participants, the new route was an unqualified hit.

Tirzah Given was succinct: “Running a marathon sucks but going over a bridge is really pretty.”

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