From the Bay (Almost) to the Breakers

Who: Tom Cruise Wannabes

What: San Francisco Bay to Breakers

When: May 20, 2012

Gear: Running Shoes, Sunglasses, Backpacks, and Costumes

I’m definitely not the first person to run around San Francisco without my pants on. But it was still one of those rites of passage that needed to happen. And the San Francisco Bay to Breakers was the perfect place to check this item off my bucket list.

The party started at 7 a.m. when we woke up to someone ready to go and yelling outside our window. There are many who take the Zazzle Bay to Breakers seriously and actually run the 12K race from the Embarcadero at the San Fancisco Bay to Highway 101, where the waves break onto Ocean Beach. But most of us wander the course in costume with beverage in hand. Make no mistake — running or wandering, this event gets started early.

Our group decided on a theme of Whiskey Business, which was perfect for my goal of walking the streets of SF without a pair of pants. Paying homage to The Man (aka Tom Cruise), we popped our collars and wore tube socks and shades.

The streets of San Francisco were quiet, until we crested the hill above Hayes Street. A river of people who were dressed to the occasion meandered down the hill. DJs played from the apartments above. The sun blessed San Francisco with its presence that morning and everyone was in good spirits. Rainbows, gnomes, astronauts, Twister players, naked men (obviously), feathers and fur and face paint, even Kermit the Frog made an appearance.

The cross-city race began in 1912 as an event to lift the spirits in San Francisco after the city was destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. The race was dubbed Bay to Breakers in 1965, and in 1986 became the world’s largest footrace with 110,000 participants. It’s no longer the largest race, but it still attracts thousands of runners and unregistered “bandits.” This year, Sammy Kitwara from Kenya won the race with a time of 34:41, and Mamitu Daska from Ethiopia took first place among women with a time of 39:03.

I have no idea how long it took me to reach the finish line. But I do know that I made it to Golden Gate Park and found a sunny patch of grass to rest my feet and head. The San Francisco Bay to Breakers is definitely still lifting the spirits of its residents and visitors.

Deuter Race X
MSRP: $68.95

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