All You Need to Know About Bay to Breakers
By: Johnny Funcheap
This story is brought to you by the great people over at the Funcheap. Funcheap is an events discovery website for San Francisco. We hand pick the best free & affordable things to do in our unique city. Lucha Libre Photo: Bhautik Joshi
Bring your costumed, your semi-naked body and participate in one of the largest races in America – one of the most strange and “San Francentric” events of the year.
The third Sunday in May brings us “Bay to Breakers,” the crown jewel of San Francisco events since 1912 with over 30,000+ people racing (and 100,000+ watching) from the Bay to the Breakers at the western end of Golden Gate Park in a costumed mass of everything we love about San Francisco.
Bay to Breakers is the oldest consecutively-run annual footrace in the world.
103rd Annual Bay to Breakers
Sunday, May 18, 2014 | 8am to 12:30pm
Howard St. / Hayes St. Hill / Golden Gate Park / Ocean Beach
- FREE to Watch
- $59 to Race - But save $5 if you register to race using code FUNCHEAP5.
Where to pick up your racing packet – It’s too late to have your bib mailed, so racing packets must be picked up at the Bay to Breakers Expo at the San Francisco Concourse & Exhibition Center (635 8th Street) either Friday 11am to 7pm, or Saturday 9am to 5pm. The expo is free and open to the public and features 50+ vendors.
Best Places to Watch Bay to Breakers
Spectators line the entire course, but some of the best viewing spots are:
- Pre-race: Climb atop a trash can near Embarcadero Station to get an over-the-top view of everyone in costume racing to the starting line.
- Rival house parties with DJs and dancing typically line Hayes Street before the hill and Fell Street near Ashbury across from the Panhandle.
- Along Alamo Square at the top of Hayes Street Hill: Amazing view of 30,000 people, all climbing Hayes Street. Unfortunately, there’s no costume contest for 2014, but the organizers promise there’s a new “surprise” at the Hayes Street Hill this year.
- Finish Line on the Great Highway
- Free concerts: There will be bands and DJs set up along the course – bands and locations will be announced closer to the race date.
New for 2014
More Porta Potties!
Organizers say there will be 1,000 porta potties along the course for 2014 – up nearly 20% from last year. So there’s slightly less of an excuse for you to relieve yourself in public.
Want to Race?
To participate in the race, you have to register. But the event is free to watch and is almost just as fun.
>> Save $5 - Register to Race using code FUNCHEAP5
It’s $64.61 ($59 plus $5.61 ticketing fee), but you get a race bib with a timing tag, a nifty UnderArmor Tee shirt and a medal if you finish by 12:30pm. Runners perks.
Salmon Photo: Kendrick Hang
What’s allowed / What’s not allowed
Please note that supposedly more cops will be on hand to remove unregistered runners and hassle spectators for drinking in public and kicking out floats. Use your brain out there. Read the FAQ.
No Tortillas – The starting line tradition of tossing stale tortillas in the air is not allowed for 2014. Clearly, tortillas are a civic menace.
No Booze / Beer – Bay to Breakers says they have a “zero tolerance” policy for runners and spectators.
No Floats & Carts – Sadly no more floats are allowed – no more strollers, skateboards, roller blades or bicycles either.
No Racing without an official bib – We’re not sure exactly how they’ll enforce this, but organizers say they’ll try to boot everyone from the course that hasn’t paid to reigster.
No Backpacks – For obvious security reasons, unless it’s tiny and clear plastic, no backpacks are allowed on the course
Yes to Nudity? – There doesn’t seem to be any official Bay to Breakers policy for 2014 regarding nudity on the course, but because of SF’s general public nudity ban, the cops could bust you anyway if they’re feeling testy.
After the race, party with the runners at the “Finish Line Festival” at the Ocean Beach parking lot near Lincoln Ave. It’s a great spot to relax in the sand after a hard run, watch the finish line, get freebies from plenty of vendors, have a post-race drink at the Sierra Nevada beer garden or kick back and enjoy a free after-race concert.
- Ocean Beach Parking Lot near Lincoln
- Free and open to the public, not just for racers
- Awards Ceremony | 10:30am
- Finish Line Festival Concert | 11am to Noon
Want to Volunteer?
Get a T-shirt and snacks for helping out with Bay to Breakers as an official volunteer whether it’s helping hand out water to runners, distributing t-shirts at the expo, or distributing medals to finishers. Apply to be a volunteer.
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For route information, schedules and other transit information, visit www.511.org.