Bay to Breakers 2010: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly and the Funny

by Ekua on May 20, 2010 in California,local discoveries

It’s just before 8am on a mid-May Sunday morning in San Francisco. People celebratorily stumble down the streets as if it’s Saturday night. You see a group of people in coordinated gladiator costumes role playing as if it’s Halloween. As you walk towards the bay, you see little corn tortillas covering the ground as if several tortilla-filled trucks collided and spilled their contents all over the street. What the hell is going on? It must be Bay to Breakers.

Bay to Breakers (B2B) is San Francisco’s annual race from the bay to the ocean. After the real competitors take off, it is one of the city’s most notorious “WTF?” events where people congregate to celebrate and indulge in absurdity. After years of not making it to the event, I finally attended my first B2B this past weekend. Now that I’ve been, I concur with the masses that it’s a great idea to experience it at least once. Here were some memorable parts of Bay to Breakers 2010:

Naked people

The Bad:
You’ll see exhibitionists at any large event in San Francisco, but at B2B, they are sometimes running.

The Ugly:
Someone in a trench coat may appear to be dressed, but to your surprise, he will give you a full frontal reveal when he turns around.

Baby strollers without babies

The Good:
Baby strollers equipped with stereos and loudspeakers blaring upbeat music for everyone around to enjoy as they walk or run.

The Funny:
A baby stroller full of little jello shots to share with fellow revelers.

Bathrooms every block or so

The Good:
Most people are not at B2B to race, they are there to party. No one stands a chance against the Kenyans anyway. The people who plan the event know what most people are there for, so they put up Porta Potties every block or two along the way.

The Bad:
Even with bathrooms everywhere, the lines are incredibly long. And as you start to get close to the front of the line, someone in a viking costume might invite five fellow vikings to cut in line with him.

The race course

The Good:
The race is almost entirely flat except for one hill on Hayes Street that goes by the Painted Ladies of Full House fame. This allows the people who are not racing (the bulk of the participants) to put forth as little effort as possible and focus on what they came to do: party.

The Funny:
Many do not make it to the end of the race at the ocean. By the time you reach Golden Gate Park, crowds have dispersed and people have headed home to pass out or have gone somewhere else to continue the party.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alaina May 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Oh my goodness, this is hilarious! – Laughed Out Loud to myself many times. I really love the format you used in this piece! I’ll have to experience this one day… πŸ™‚

Did you have a costume??!!


Ekua May 23, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I didn’t have a costume! I didn’t have time to get one together before the race. Some of the friends I was with attempted to do a spoof of Jersey Shore but called themselves “Frisco Shore”. I’m known for crazy costumes so I will probably dress up for it in the future, but not having one this year allowed me to really enjoy the crazy stuff everyone else was wearing πŸ˜‰


Mary R May 26, 2010 at 10:34 am

What a fun event! You’re lucky to be near so many wacky adventures.


Ekua May 28, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Yes, there is always something interesting going in SF!


Camden Luxford May 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm

Oh wow sounds like a laugh! Great article, and that’s one more item on the to do list.


Ekua May 28, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Thanks! You should definitely check it out. The more, the merrier at B2B πŸ˜‰


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