Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace that spans across the entire San Francisco penninsula. It starts at the edge of the bay and ends at Ocean Beach. Hence the name, Bay to Breakers.
The race was started in 1912, as a way to lift citizens spirits after the earthquake of 1906. Now, nearly a century later, Bay to Breakers is the longest consecutively running footrace in the world. Though numbers have changed throughout the years, the average participation currently is between 70,000 and 80,000 people! As you can imagine, this event is quite a sight to see.
Below is a picture of the massive crowd at the starting line:
Throughout the decades, the race has accumilated more of a party
atmosphere. Many participants walk the route behind the race, often
times carrying with them large quantities of beer. Some people push
decorated shopping carts holding kegs, and others even build floats for
the event. It is also a tradition to wear ellaborate costumes, or
sometimes nothing at all (except shoes, of course!) Yes, it has
certainly become more of a parade/ party, than just a race.
Some participants enjoying the festivities:
Speculators stand all along the course to watch the insanity. But, the best viewing can be found in Alamo Square at the top of Hayes street, near the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, or at the finish line on the Great Highway. Once the race ends, the party has just begun. Viewers and participants gather together for "Footstock" which is the celebration concert that takes place in Golden Gate park at the end of the race.
This year's race will take place on Sunday, May 17th. It is very easy to get from the Green Tortoise Hostel to any of the viewing locations. Or, join up with the GT crew to party along the route! Hopefully you don't mind getting up early (the race starts quite early in the morning). But it is definately worth it for the experience. Bay to Breakers is just another great reason to come to San Francisco!
For more info, or to sign up to run, visit the official website: http://www.baytobreakers.com