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Can Oakland Go the Distance?

After a 25-year hiatus, the Oakland Marathon returns next week with an eye-popping new route and a menu of race choices.

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While Goldman gives final directions to the training group, a latecomer trots over to join in. It's Matthew Riutta, the 39-year-old who's determined to run a marathon before he turns forty. He's had an ankle injury, but found a great physical therapist and still plans to run the race.

Riutta's determination hasn't wavered. Persistence and a little luck — those are the ingredients for success in a lot of realms, including long-distance running. If Riutta, his fellow runners, and the race organizers remember that, they — and the Oakland Running Festival — should be fine. As the saying goes, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

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