Have you ever gone running next to a superhero? How about a school of fish? Or perhaps a gorilla? Bizarre costumes and a party atmosphere are staples of San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers footrace that takes place the third Sunday of May each year.
The popular West Coast event has been one of the world’s largest footraces for decades. The race became an annual even after the devastating 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as an attempt to lift the city’s spirits.
The 12k race course starts on Howard Street and turns up Hayes Street Hill near Alamo Square. After an exhausting incline, the course follows the panhandle, through Golden Gate Park, past the Conservatory of Flowers, and finally to Great Highway and Ocean Beach.
The 2013 race is scheduled for May 19th. Registration fees for adults cost $53 and child registration is $48. The fees include a cotton t-shirt, online training program, race bib with timing tag, and finisher’s certificate.
The starting line for the first corral is located at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, which is less than a half hour from the San Francisco airport. Although no street parking is available at the start or finish lines, shuttle services are offered from several locations throughout the city.
Several costume contests are held during the event, including Best Overall Individual, Most Creative Group, and Best Be-Zazzled Costume. Prize shopping sprees are awarded from $50 to $1,000 for each category. A two-day health and wellness expo sponsored by Volkswagen will also take place on May 17th and 18th, which is free and open to the public.
Although Bay to Breakers has been notorious for drunkenness and public nudity, alcohol and floats are not permitted and laws will be strictly enforced. Volunteers are always needed for both the expo and the race and all volunteers receive an event t-shirt as well. To register to race in the event, to volunteer, or to get costume ideas, visit the event webpage or send an email to [email protected].