San Francisco’s Bay toBreakers is the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world, a staple to the City by the Bay since May 1912. With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12 km race runs west through the city and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto the Pacific coast’s Ocean Beach.
A quintessential San Francisco experience for 103 years, the race is interwoven into the fabric of the city and is a true reflection and celebration of life between the breakers and the Bay.
The quirky race this year featured lots of impressive costumes from a dinosaur and Wonder Woman to a duo dressed as jellyfish. Of course some, as per the race’s unwritten tradition, opted for no clothes at all.
Just three days before the race was to begin in San Francisco, the Bay Area got hit by a storm that drenched communities north, south and east of the city. Rare thunder and lightning scared many people. Hoever San Francisco sits like a pearl in the centre and Mother Nature protected us… not a single drop of rain fell on the city.
The weather forecast said it would be 51 Deg F (10 Deg C) overnight, and from 53 Deg F (11 Deg C) during Sunday, with no rain, but cold. With 50,000 registrations for the race and over 30,000 participants on the day the race is one of the largest footraces in the world. The course has gentley rising ground at the start, then approximately two miles of stif hill climbing and finally an extended down slope for last 2 miles or so.
The cold certainly kept many traditional nudists away. A palpable wind chill made even dressed onlookers feel cold with the general overcast conditions, no sunshine peeking through and low light levels.
Police generally turned a blind eye to drinking and nudity, and the colorful costumes of all kinds and general eccentricity made for a fun themed race as usual.
By Leif Heilberg
From TAN Issue #68