Weekender: This Weekend’s Top Five Events

Happy weekend, cats and kittens. Here’s what our critics will be doing, and think you should be, too:

Oakland Running Festival

Whether you commute by car, bus, rollerblades, or any other form of wheeled transport, you’re likely to find yourself outnumbered on Sunday, Mar. 25, when more than 9,000 runners are expected to take to the streets for the third annual Oakland Running Festival. The marathon, which for the first year kicks off and concludes at Snow Park (19th and Harrison sts., Oakland), features a 5K race, four-person relay, kids fun run, and half and full marathons (the latter of which takes contestants on a comprehensive trek through neighborhoods ranging from Fruitvale to Temescal and Montclair). First race starts at 7:30 a.m., $15-$250. 510-371-5273 or OaklandMarathon.com. — Cassie Harwood

Mission Creek Oakland Benefit
Last September’s Mission Creek Oakland — the East Bay-offshoot of the long-running San Francisco Mission Creek Music & Arts Festival — injected new life into the independent and underground music celebration. As artists and musicians have been gradually priced out of San Francisco, Oakland has reaped the benefit, and thus it follows that Mission Creek Oakland would be bigger and longer than its West Bay originator. The month-long affair was all the more impressive considering the practically nonexistent budget organizer KiyomiTanouye was working with. To gear up for 2012’s event (which the Express will co-present), Mission Creek Oakland will hold a fundraiser on Friday, Mar. 23, at Vitus (201 Broadway, Oakland), featuring AJA, Some Ember (electro pop from Man/Miracle frontman Dylan Travis, shoegaze trio VIR, and Field Trips, whose lo-fi, psychedelic, beachy songs sound like something you’d discover on some dusty cassette from the late-Sixties. 9 p.m., $5. VitusOakland.com — Kathleen Richards

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