The Bay To Breakers is a foot race that is a great mixture of actual racing, light-hearted humor and self expression. Held on the third Sunday
in San Francisco, California
. There are many traditional elements of the race, for example, the "back of the pack", rampant nudity, humorous costumes and a large amount of runners actually trying to make it to the finish line before anyone else.
The Bay to Breakers holds the record for the largest footrace ever in the Guinness Book of World Records for the May 18th, 1986 run when more than 110,000 people participated in the race. "Participated" being the operative word.
A few records for the 7.5 mile race include:
Men's Record: 33:42 Ismael Kirui of Kenya, 1993
Women's Record: 38:23 Delillah Asiago of Kenya, 1995
Highest finish by a Woman 13th Jane Omoro 1998
Fastest Men's Centipede Time 37:39.6, Reebok Aggies, 1990
Fastest Women's Centipede Time 47:36, Reebok Aggies, 1990
To clarify, a "centipede" is another quirk of the Bay To Breakers in which a team of people run together, often in a large costume that works better with large numbers of people in it, for example, a centipede, snake or Daschund.
The starting point of the race is near the Bay Bridge at Stuart and Howard streets. The race goes up Howard to Ninth, turns right on Ninth and goes across Mission and Market to Hayes where the runners encounter the Hayes Street Hill, as it's called during the race. Then the runners trek through Golden Gate Park to the Great Highway and end up at the other waterfront in San Francisco.
The race has been held since 1912. This year will be the 90th Bay To Breakers and I'm hoping to run in it myself for the first time, possibly wearing a shirt with the phrase on the back "If you can read this Go Vegan".