Bay to Breakers

I can honestly say that it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

I’m refering to the Bay to Breakers race that is held annually in San Francisco. It’s a 7-mile race from the bay to the ocean, and it is one of the most highly anticipated events in the city.

I wrote about this race last year, but simply by hearsay. This year, I witnessed the race with my own two eyes, and I can honestly say it was the weirdest thing I have ever seen. Ever.

The race starts at 7am with the serious runners. Then around 8ish, the second group shows up, with no intent of running or even finishing the race. This second group is there to party. The racers in the party group show up in crazy costumes. They drink beer, smoke weed, and pray to still be standing at the halfway point.

My husband and his coworkers joined the party aroung 8:30 dressed as american dinosaurs. I didn’t run; I just stood on the sidelines and took pictures. I saw a group wearing Tetris pieces, four gals dressed as KISS, and several hammers dancing to “Can’t Touch This”. One of the best costumes by far, was a group of guys donning salmon costumes, and they were, you guessed it, running up stream!

Yeah, the costumes are out there, but the weird things were mostly related to the consumption of alcohol. I saw more naked people than I’d like to admit. I saw people drunk off their behinds and making a ruckus. I saw a man urinating in the street.

The most profound observation I made about this race is the complete chaos that it causes around the city. There were no buses to be had. All morning. The roads were blocked off downtown so driving was out. I had to get a taxi to take me halfway to the race and then I walked 1.5 miles to reach the runners.

So, I am really glad that I got the opportunity to witness this iconic San Franciscan tradition. This was a hectic and exciting day. More hectic than exciting, really. If I was to describe my Bay to Breakers experience in six words I would say,
I am never doing that again.

P.S. By the time I went to church at 11:00 (my church is located along the race route), the street was completely clean as if nothing had ever happened. Nice work street cleaning team!!!


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