“New” Bay 2 Breakers…Love it or Hate it?

16 May

I don’t know about anyone else, but I had a GREAT time yesterday at the 100th edition of Bay to Breakers!  I went as part of the SFSMILES crew (that’s the start-up non-profit that I am involved in, in case you haven’t read some of my earlier posts about us).  Dressed in our wackiest mix of red, black and white to match our logo, we marched the streets of San Francisco with thousands of others, our SFSMILES banner proudly in hand, completely stoked and ready to spread the word about our one-year-old charity.

I have to give it up to this year’s race organizers and PR team (congrats to David Perry, who was hired by Zazzle to promote this year’s new- and much opposed- rules), they did a great job of keeping the event more organized, clean, and dry (sans alcohol, that is).  That being said, it still seemed like there was an abundance of revelers openly drinking in the streets, and many race-goers (myself included) who managed to slip in an out of the race rather freely, despite being unregistered and secured in for the most part, behind barricades.  There were only a few small hurdles we had to overcome, such as staff checking registration numbers on the way back in from the port-a-potties-something we easily avoided by simply slipping through an open gap in the gate a few yards down.   Also, I did refrain from carrying alcohol in my backpack, for fear of the dreaded check-points that had been so highly publicized  in the weeks leading up to the race.  However, a few blocks after joining in around Hayes and Scott Streets, it became clear that I had absolutely nothing to be worried about, and could easily have swung by a corner store for a fifth of Jameson, had I really wanted to.

So… much nudity as usual (wouldn’t be SF without several sightings of wrinkled old hoo-hoos!), and the same unique, outrageous, inventive costumes that have donned race-goers for years.  What was missing in my opinion, were the team floats!   I have to say, this was a shame.  It was hard for me to imagine a B2B without these fun little spectacles, and once it actually happened, there was definitely an ominous void in their place.  (It is also much more difficult to get any attention as a group; it’s kinda hard to stand out in a wild costume when everyone else and their mother is wearing one as well!)


All of that said, I personally didn’t  miss any of the super sloppy drunkenness (probably because there was still a lot of it going on) or vomiting in the streets that have always been less than desirable side-effects of B2B.  San Franciscans were just as spirited, fun and crazy as they have always been, and I think yesterday’s race proves that they always will be- no matter what rules are imposed upon them!


7 Responses to ““New” Bay 2 Breakers…Love it or Hate it?”

  1. Ivan Lima May 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    In comparison to others, especially the fact about the missing floats, I would say “hated it”.

    I agree with you that no matter what, San Franciscans will make it fun, but there was something missing. It felt more desolate. I remember being able to look out into a downhill around Hayes Valley, and see an ocean of people, with floats everywhere, as if boats in the distance, music blasting from every which way, and being three sheets to the wind. Not this year. But it was cleaner; streets were not lined with public urinators, the passed out drunk count was down, and the smell of vomit did not permeate the air. Could that be called a Bay to Breakers in SF, however, or just another marathon with costumes?

  2. Ivan Lima May 17, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    I think nudes are just in SF, though. Not confirmed. Just can’t search for nudes at work. 🙂

    • yoitslivia May 17, 2011 at 2:35 pm #

      Well looks like u did your research! 🙂 OK, I guess I feel that if getting sloshed is the only reason some people participate in something like B2B, then screw ’em! I think San Francisco is more original than that… Also, the race wasn’t DRY by any means. There were plenty of people openly partying in the streets, and if you want to be really discreet, just throw your booze in a sports bottle and you’re good to go. It’s the people who are out of control, inconsiderate, and in some extremes, are brought to the hospital for alcohol poisoning, who give the race a bad name. And there seemed to be less of that this year, which is fine with me.

      • Ivan Lima May 18, 2011 at 12:06 pm #


      • yoitslivia May 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm #

        I just love debates 😉

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