Photos courtesy of Bay to Breakers.
Devout runners racing around devout revelers. Creative costumes making slow steps alongside sweaty teams. Public parties and exposed bodies. Bay to Breakers hits the streets of San Francisco again on its usual third Sunday of May, this year on the 21st. The 12k visual onslaught kicks off at Main and Howard Streets and funnels the crowds down to Ocean Beach — passing through SoMA, the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park along the way.
To help participants make the 8 am start time with ease, all BART stations will open early (at 6am) and event trains will be on hand to get you where you need to go. If you’re coming from the Peninsula or San Francisco, walk from Montgomery Station toward the race kickoff; if you’re coming from the East Bay, walk from Embarcadero Station.
What’s in store when the iconic run/walk/dance/anything goes race commences? Here are five signature Bay to Breakers sights:
1. Flying tortillas versus flying flags mark the 8 am start of the shenanigans with the annual tortilla toss slinging everyone’s favorite edible saucers into the sky.
2. Costumes. And more costumes. Gorillas, salmon running “upstream” from the breakers to the Bay, group and couples costumes. It’s like Halloween come early.
3. Human centipedes are groups of 13 or more runners bound together by a bungee cord or other linking mechanism.
4. Local bands bump live beats all over the city — at house parties and on public corners.
5. With plenty of socks and tennies but nothing else as the costume of choice for a good bunch of participants, nudity abounds every year. (Note: Shoes and proper clothing are always required on BART.)