Bay to Breakers 12K Run and Costume Party
Running. It’s a lifestyle, so they say, although it often seems like one that involves a whole lot of effort. And while there is certainly something to be said for either participating in a run or going to cheer on someone you know who is participating, it often feels that the moments of excitement are few and far between. Unless, that is, you happen to be witnessing or participating in the Bay to Breakers run in San Francisco.
Born as a way to buoy the spirits of San Franciscans after the massive earthquake and fire that destroyed most of the city on April 18th, 1906, Bay to Breakers was first conceived as the Cross City Race, and it was first held on January 1st of 1912. At that first race, there were 218 registrants. Out of that number, only 186 showed up to the race itself, and on that first day, 121 people crossed the finish line.
In the intervening years, the race has changed dramatically. As well as being christened Bay to Breakers, the event draws a few more people. Actually, it is considered to be one of the single largest foot races on the planet: 50,000+ runners, 100,000+ spectators, and a Guinness Book of World Records award for the largest number of race participants (110,000) in 1986.
Bay to Breakers is known for its uniquely challenging course to be sure, but it is perhaps even more known for something else. As we said in the beginning, this is a unique event, and that didn’t just refer to its size. The soul of Bay to Breakers is to be seen in the way people run the race. Or, more specifically, what they are wearing as they are running.
Costumes are the order of the day in Bay to Breakers, and a large number of the thousands and thousands of participants will be wearing outlandish costumes as they charge from the Embarcadero to the Great Highway (literally, going from the bay to a the scenic point where breaking waves from the ocean come to crash onto the beach).
Bay Breakers will take place on May 20th. If you are a runner, the entry fee is $69.99 (don’t forget to choose a costume!) If you aren’t a runner, the watching is free but be sure to arrive early to get a good spot to view the event.