Each May, the Bay to Breakers Footrace is a Bay Area Tradition
The annual Bay to Breakers footrace in San Francisco is the longest continuously run footrace in the world. The inaugural race was run in May 1912 as a way to increase civic pride and boost the spirits of residents after the disastrous Earthquake in 1906, which leveled much of San Francisco. Today, the event is one of the highlights of the year for Bay Area runners and many people plan a visit to the area around the third Sunday in May each year to participate in this fun, competitive and challenging race.
The race features serious, world-class athletes competing for cash, bragging rights and the chance to win one of the major races in the U.S. The race is also purely San Francisco in that it features runners, heck, entire teams of runners, dressed up in flamboyant costumes as they slog along the 7.46-mile course up some of the steepest hills in the city. The race is called Bay to Breakers because it begins right by San Francisco Bay near the Embarcadero in the northeast corner of the city and runs across San Francisco through Golden Gate Park and on to the finish line where the waves of the Pacific Ocean break on Ocean Beach.
If you want to participate in the Bay to Breakers, registration information is available through the race’s official site at http://zapposbaytobreakers.com/. If hanging out with friends and family while eating, drinking and generally having a great time watching the racers is more your thing, park yourself anywhere along the route and get ready to have a blast. If you know someone along the route who has a balcony or deck above street level, that’s even better, as it gives you a better vantage point to observe the runners and revelers.
Whether you choose to run or not, you’ll definitely want to head to the finish line in Ocean Beach and enjoy the Finish Line Festival, where runners celebrate their achievements and everyone enjoys the food, drink, live music and other festivities. There are lots of booths hosted by local merchants, Bay Area organizations, footwear and running gear manufacturers and others to browse while you’re celebrating the event with thousands of others. The Finish Line Festival also offers some of the most hilarious people watching you’ll ever see, with the aforementioned costumed runners rehydrating with the occasional adult beverage.