Bay to Breakers: When San Francisco Gets Off Its Ass and Runs
San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 6 of 31 › view all entries
Bay to Breakers is the world's longest consecutively running footrace in the world. In true San Francisco fashion, it's not like other races. Sure, there's the usual athletes with their shorts and numbers, but add to that: naked people, giant pirate ship floats, kegs on wheels, flying tortillas, people dressed as superheros, people dressed as aliens, people dressed as Elvis, people dressed as political figures, people dressed as lunchmeat, people dressed in drag, people dressed as salmon going the opposite way of the race (upstream, get it?), people dressed in every other costume, party floats with dancing gay dudes and techno music, and spectators passing out booze instead of water bottles. It's kind of half race, half parade, with a dash of naked-old-people.
The race goes from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach. If you're actually seriously racing, you can pay to get a number, but most people just get dressed up and jump in. You can also pitch a stand by the race route and watch the party go by.
Last year, we brought a table, chairs, food and booze out to the sidewalk outside my friend Yelp-Celebrity-Ed's house. Halfway through the race, we realized we had forgotten music. We got an extension chord from some random people and ran the wire all the way into Ed's 2nd floor apartment. Unfortunately, by the time we got the system hooked up, the big gay techno dancing floats were coming by and they completely drowned us out.
I took the first picture while standing on a chair on the sidewalk. I like it because I managed to get in a whole bunch of different elements of Bay to Breaker at once -- the actual runners, the salmon, and, yep, smack in the middle -- a floppy old nudist.