When: Sat., March 5, 9 a.m. 2011
Better hope for sun this weekend, because Oakland Streets and Ladders is the rare outdoor event that offers something for everyone: For urban explorers, it's a chance to act out all their Amazing Race fantasies without having to board a plane, sign a confidentiality agreement, or eat fish guts; for serious athletes, it's a heart-pumping, hilly test of will that provides a much-needed shake-up to the tired road-race template; and for Oakland geography nerds, it's a way to get to know the city in a less dry, less didactic way than a group tour. Here's how it works: teams of one to five people convene at Dimond Park (3860 Hanly Road, Oakland), where they're given a brief how-to and a list of "checkpoints." From there, it's a 5, 10 or 25K free-for-all through the hills of Oakland and Piedmont, with the win going to the first team in each age category to reach every checkpoint - in any order. The 25K also has an optional duathlon component. Saturday, Mar. 5. Registration open at 9 a.m., $5-$40. 510-681-6181 or TerraLoco.com.