Tag Archives: Bay to Breakers

“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!