On May 15th, thousands of runners and walkers will participate in the 104th annual Zappos.com Bay to Breakers. This 12K race starts at 8am at Main and Howard Streets in San Francisco and finishes with a festival at the Ocean Beach parking lot on the Great Highway.
Since its inaugural race in 1912, almost 2 million people have completed the race, many decked in wild and crazy costumes. In fact, Bay to Breakers has been voted among the top 10 most iconic races in the United States. Encompassing all that is wild and wonderful about San Francisco, Bay to Breakers is so much more than just a foot race. It celebrates culture, traditions, athleticism and individualism all in one. There are outrageous costumes (including birthday suits), quirky traditions (like the centipede, in which a minimum of 13 runners are linked together), tortilla tossing and live music.
Bay to Breakers, also known as Bare to Breakers for its large number of unclothed participants, is also renown for the significant number of bandits it attracts. Unregistered participants, bandits 'crash' the race and often significantly add to it's total participants. It is definitely something to see and an event that people participate in year after year, be they serious athletes or those who love don their favorite costume. All ages are welcome and discounts are offered to active military, veterans and their family.
The Expo kicks off on Friday, May 13th and continues on Saturday the 14th at Pier 35 located at 1454 The Embarcadero. Race packets can be picked up with valid ID and order confirmation number. Open to the public, the Expo features the latest in fitness technology, gear and nutrition.
Bay to Breakers was originally called the Cross-City Race and began in an effort to lift the city's spirits as it rebuilt from the 1906 earthquake. Eventually renamed, the race gained its first taste of fame in 1986 when it gained a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the World's Largest Footrace for having 110,000 participants, including the infamous bandits.
If you've never participated or seen Bay to Breakers live and in person, its most definitely something to add to your bucket list!