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Bay to Breakers: The Only-in-San-Francisco Race

Tighter Security at SF's Incomparable Party/Footrace in 2013

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Bay to Breakers: The Only-in-San-Francisco Race

Cute, clever and wacky get-ups are a Bay to Breakers tradition.

Photo courtesy of Bay to Breakers.

Led by a few speedy Kenyans and Ethiopians, thousands of runners (clothed, costumed, tied together, or not) are pounding San Francisco’s streets on Sunday, May 19, 2013, for Bay to Breakers, the city’s annual footrace-cum-mobile-Mardi-Gras.

For the 102nd edition of the signature event, whose presenting sponsor is San-Francisco-based craigslist, race registration is $58. And in a return to long-running tradition, it includes an official T-shirt.

Last year, the registration fee hit an all-time high of $57 and runners had to pay at least another $15 for a commemorative T-shirt, which led to a boycott by many Bay to Breakers stalwarts. Sponsor Zazzle had also been criticized for trying to rein in the drunkenness, property damage and debauchery that had escalated in the race’s recent years. Banning floats, wheeled contraptions, pets and unregistered runners smothered much of the only-in-San-Francisco zaniness and character of the race, B2B veterans grumbled.

But because of the bombings during the Boston Marathon in April, there’s little objection to yet tighter restrictions at the 2013 Bay to Breakers. More cameras, officers and police dogs will be monitoring the race, the San Francisco Police Department has announced.

Here are other things to know about Bay to Breakers, whether you’re running, walking or observing it.

OFFICIAL B2B PARTICIPANTS: REGISTRATION

  • Cost: $58 (plus $5 processing fee) for adults; includes race bib, certificate and T-shirt.
  • May 15, at 11:55 pm: Deadline to register online.
  • May 17 & 18: If space is still available, you can register in person at the Volkswagen Greater Body Expo, at the Concourse Exhibition Center (aka San Francisco Design Center). If you have not received your runner’s bib in the mail, you must pick it up at the expo.
  • May 19 (race day): No registration, runners' bibs or race packet pick up will be available.
  • T-shirts: Pick up at the expo on May 17-18 (strongly recommended), or at the finish line.

VOLKSWAGEN GREATER BODY EXPO
May 17 at 11 am-7 pm; May 18 at 9 am-6 pm
Register at the last minute (if space is available) and pick up race bibs, info and official T-shirts. This health/fitness/lifestyle expo also features displays, interactive games and snacks. Free and open to the public.
At the Concourse Exhibition Center (San Francisco Design Center), West Hall, 635 8th St., San Francisco 94103.

RACE-DAY RULES

  • No wheels (strollers, baby joggers, shopping carts, rollerblades, skateboards, bicycles, unicycles, wheelchairs, etc.)
  • No floats
  • No animals
  • No alcohol (a rule long on the books, but hard to enforce)
  • No unregistered (bib-less) runners (also hard to enforce)
  • Because of the Boston Marathon bombings, no backpacks, large bags or any type of container or carrier larger than 8-1/2" x 11" x 4" (about the size of two reams of paper).
  • Runners and fast-movers should stay to the left. Slower folks should stay to the right.
  • Runners must pass the intersection of JFK Drive and Chain of Lakes Drive in Golden Gate Park by 11:30 am. Runners who don’t will not be allowed to cross the finish line.
  • The finish line on the Great Highway closes at noon.

See next page for best places to watch Bay to Breakers, the costume contest and more ---->
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