Skip to main content

Bay to Breakers – An “only in San Francisco” event

Yesterday was the 102nd “running” of Bay to Breakers, a 12K race that takes you from the Embarcadero (Bay) to Ocean Beach (Breakers).  This was my first race since moving out to SF and the longest I have run to date.  I’ve been doing a 10K training program, for no particular reason other than it keeps me motivated, and I was scheduled to run 6 miles, so B2B came at a perfect time.

I had asked on Facebook if I should run for a time or enjoy the experience; I tried to do both.  I started in the E corral, which is where all of the madness typically happens with all of the walkers.  Upon arriving via BART and making my way to the start line, the Bay Bridge was in full view.  This never gets old.  It was a gorgeous day to run!

I moved my way to the front of the corral to avoid as much of the huge crowd as possible. 

The crowd was well behaved due primarily to increased security required by the Boston Marathon bombings.  There were quite a few completely wasted people, some just drunk and others looking completely strung out on drugs.  Honestly, I think they were on their way home from a long night out and happened to get swallowed up by the crowd.  I crossed the start line around 7:15am.

The first 2-3 miles were super crowded, making it challenging to get a good pace going.  Once I got to the top of Hayes Street Hill (a hill that looked a thousand feet high when I was at the bottom, yet was apparently only a 128’ incline), the runners started to thin out and making up lost time became easier.  Here’s the view from the top of the hill.  I wanted to get a picture looking back down the hill at the mass of people, but I was looking right into the sun, so the picture didn’t turn out.

To keep you inspired along the way, lots of bands are hired by home owners and by the race itself, but there are also many impromptu bands including this drum line.  The depth and pace of the drums got my feet moving faster.

Costumes.  Now here’s where it gets interesting.  Actually, I didn’t see as much crazy stuff as I expected.  Talking to some people after the race, they said those are usually the last people to start, walk the entire race, and many don’t even enter the race.  It’s more or less a giant street party when they come through.  There were lots of interesting costumes (see some here), and other folks completely lacked any costume.

After Hayes Street Hill, the remainder of the race is downhill into Golden Gate Park.  The view at the end of the race is nothing short of spectacular.

At the end of the race, I found people to snap a couple of pictures for me.  I celebrated my finish with a visit to the beer garden.  You do have to hydrate post-race after all.

 

My goal was to finish under 1:07:30, a 9 minute pace.  I worked hard the last two miles to get there, and barely beat my goal.  Perhaps a half marathon is in my future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Fort William Marathon: The Best Kept Secret in Racing

Earlier this year I had been training hard for the Limassol Marathon, through ice and sleet and snow, only to have what I considered a disappointing race. I struggled to recover mentally, but I knew I had another race on the horizon...the Fort William Marathon. This event was my first marathon back in July 2015, shortly after the family made the move to London. The main difference this time, though, was that we're three kids lighter with Michael and the twins all back in the US for some time with their friends.

I hadn't thought much about running this race again until Chris, the race organizer, reached out to me to offer me a complimentary spot. This was incredibly generous and given how much I liked the race the first time, there was no way I was going to refuse. Granted, Chris made this offer well before the race in Cyprus.

The posts-Limassol blues stuck around for much longer than I'd expected. I was really down on myself, questioning why I put in the effort and the tr…

A 103 Minute Gelato Tour of London

My friend Eva got into town yesterday and I happened to mention a few weeks ago about the amazing gelato tour that Beth and I did back in September 2016. Now, if you know Eva, she's a massive fan of gelato, and she's vegan, and each of the stops on the gelato tour had vegan flavors. And she can eat...A LOT!

Since I didn't have a whole lot to do at work yesterday, we decided to make our own little gelato tour, hitting my three favorite stops from the five stop tour Beth and I did.

We took the bus from St. Paul's to Savoy and began to walk to our first stop. Wait, what's that in bright orange up on the right? OMG! It's a big groups of Reese's employees giving out free peanut butter eggs! I so wanted one of their jackets and hats, but settled for a silly picture.


One we went to our first stop, Gelatorino in Covent Garden. This was the last stop on the tour Beth and it's authentically Italian. It remind me so much of all of the gelatorias we went to in Tus…

Race Recap: London Winter Run

Back in August when we signed up for the London Winter Run 10K, it was sunny and warm. Perhaps the race organizers do this intentionally so that people don't think about how freaking cold it can get in the depths of winter in London. Between the winds and the temps, it was a pretty brutal morning for a race with temps around 37ºF / 3ºC and winds at a gusty 12mph. However, in central London anywhere near River Thames, the winds are often much higher and race day was no exception.

The route through central London is likely what attracted 16,449 runners.


The race begins at Trafalgar Square, famous for often being the center of political demonstrations and anti-war protests.


The route heads east past the Savoy Hotel and London School of Economics, out to the Bank of England before circling back past St. Paul's Cathedral.


From there, the route heads back west to the finish, passing the London Stock Exchange and Somerset House. In the last, downhill straightaway, we passed Horse Gu…