Bay to Breakers: 100th Anniversary

Yesterday I ran Bay to Breakers 12K in San Francisco: Race #3 in my 2011 Raceolution – getting back on track!!!

Warning: This post may not be appropriate for children and/or if you are offended by naked people (mainly butts)

For those of you who don’t know, Bay to Breakers is an annual race in San Francisco that has been going on for ONE HUNDRED years.  When I heard this, I knew that I had  to participate in this years race – but that I had to do it my way.

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My way requires running it “for time” and then experiencing it afterwards.

So that’s what I did.  I woke up at 5:40, had a banana, pb and half a cookie (still not sure why the cookie, but it was delicious). And then headed the 1.5 miles to the start line.  (Yes, the mileage here is key.)

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I dressed as an Argentine soccer player.  I got high-fives all day and lots of “MESSIIIIIIIII” calls.  It was awesome.  And a great choice for a last minute outfit!

Once I got there, I waited around a bit for the race to begin.  At about 7:05 I crossed the starting line and started to run.  I was on great pace, until just after mile two: Hayes Hill.

At this point , my knee began to twinge.  I knew it wasn’t a good sign.  I continued on, but it just got worse, and worse.  So, I resigned myself from my 8 min/mile goal, and just started to take photos.

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Men in business suits, men in birthday suits (yes, they’re naked), men in suits of armor…

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One of the highlights of the race: the spawning salmon!  The start from the finish and run backwards through the race – then when they get to the start, they lay on the ground and squirm about – spawning!!!

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Where’s Waldo?!  I found him MULTIPLE times this race – here’s just one occurrence.

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Even though it wasn’t my best race, I still finished with a pace of about 9:37/mile.  Not too shabby for walking a lot after the 3 mile mark.

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The sheer quantity of water astounded me at the finish line – it was INSANE.

But post-race running, I wasn’t finished with the race.  After finishing the 7.5 mile run (I was up to 9 miles at this point), I grabbed my medal and headed backwards on the course.  Yes, I walked the course backwards.  Why?  Why, I was looking for my highschool friends, of course – THE MUPPETS!!!

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A bunch of my high school girlfriends came out to SF for the Bay to Breakers festivities, and I was soooo happy that I got to meet up with them all.  Though I didn’t fit into their ‘costume theme,’ I was thrilled to walk part of the course with them for about an hour and 1/2.  (Which added an extra mile to my second 7.5 mile course…)

Me (the Argentine soccer player) with Kermit and Miss Piggy.

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LOVE my high school friends.  And miss them dearly.  We’re scattered all across the US of A, so it was great to see them all!!!

After I hung out with them, I had to get back to reality (aka school work and grading), so I turned around and continued my way back through the course to pick up my stuff and head to the Bart, my car and home.  When I started thinking about it as I passed out on the Bart, I realized I had walked an insane amount:

1.5 miles to start
7.5 mile race
7.5 mile race back
1.5 miles to pick up stuff/train
1 mile with friends on course

Total mileage: ~19 miles.  I should’ve just run a marathon Winking smile

It was a great experience though, and I can’t wait to do it next year!  But next year I don’t know if I’m going to ‘run’ it or just ‘experience’ it.  It’s a tough call.

I’d leave you with my video, but they’re all incredibly inappropriate.  Not on my part, but just for the interwebs with the number of naked people that happen to run through them.  I’m pretty sure that yesterday fulfilled my quota for seeing naked people in public for life.  Which, btw, was zero.

Have you ever done a ridiculous race/experience like Bay to Breakers?  What is your take on it – Good/Bad/Indifferent?  I think it’s a fun experience, to have at least once.  I want to experience it again next year, but only because I LOVE how many people come out for it, and how excited everyone is – from serious runners to the drunk shennanigans that happen later on the course.   Everyone dresses up.  Its seriously incredible.  I also got a $25 credit from T-mobile for my family’s phone plan at the post-race party.  So that was a super bonus!

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10 thoughts on “Bay to Breakers: 100th Anniversary

  1. I ran it last year and realized that it takes a LOT of dedication to run it seriously. I, too, surrendered half way through and began counting naked people. I had 33 by mile 3. How is your knee after all those miles?

  2. I’ve never done a race like Bay to Breakers, but I’ve read about it before and it always sounds like so much fun! Someday I’ll get out there…

  3. this race looks so fun!! and way to get in NINETEEN MILES! all while in an argentine soccer outfit! truly impressive 🙂

    glad to see you had a fun time!

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