Bay to Madness… I mean Breakers….

For any of you who haven’t had the pleasure of witnessing the absolute insanity that is San Francisco on Bay to Breakers weekend, I encourage you to change that. Not to say that you will necessarily find it to be a great experience, because you very well might not, but it is just something that everyone HAS to witness at least once in their lifetime. Because, frankly, I have never seen ANYTHING else like it. So add it to your bucket list and buy a ticket to the city by the bay for the third Sunday in May. You won’t regret it… or maybe you will…

When I say I have never seen anything like Bay to Breakers, I mean it. The event is absolute madness. When I began my race at 8 am sharp, it was crowded, of course, but essentially like any other running race. Okay, so there were some interesting folks out lining the streets and a whole lot of boom box action, as well as some tequila slamming, but still… it resembled a running race, at least from the view I had in the seeded division. Myself and those around me were fighting full-force to get to that finish line and paying little attention to the surroundings as they quickly passed. But, as I would come to learn on my way back along the course, for the rest of the 65,000 people on the course behind me — plus the WHOLEEEE lot of other people who didn’t register for the “race” yet decided to “walk” (a.k.a. booze cruise) the course anyways — it was NOTHING like your traditional running race.

Costumes ranged from bananas to watermelon to avatars to rockstars to complete randomness to complete nudity, in more cases than one. Intoxication levels, too, were all over the board… and often off the charts. Needless to say, people were enjoying the day. I don’t think a description can really do the scene justice, but if I had to try I would say: imagine cramming 400,000 people into an eight-mile stretch of city, adding equal parts alcohol and totally wacky costumes, music and charades and a complete lack of control or concern for pretty much anything, and you have a slight understanding of B2B… though you still can’t really conceptualize it.

I’m glad I witnessed the madness, because it was so unbelievable. Last time I ran the race, I parked on Mission at about 7 a.m. (from Truckee), ran, took my shuttle back, and hopped right back in the car and drove home. So, I was blissfully unaware of the insanity that had ensued the rest of the day. But, this time, I went from sisters’ place on Hayes down to the start in a cab, ran my butt off, and walked the full 4.5 miles back because I didn’t want to spend the money on a cab (you know you’re broke when…). And, it was interesting to say the least. Again, I am glad I witnessed it. But, after about an hour of actually allowing myself to be in the thick of the masses, I was BEYOND over it. Couldn’t wait to get off my feet, inside, comfortable and away from the crazies. And when the liberation finally arrived, it was every bit as sweet as I imagined. Ultimately, that is just not my kind of scene. But, maybe it will be yours! Everyone else sure seemed to dig it… so, check it out!

Race wise, I am pretty pleased with how things went. I felt really, really good, and I was totally givin’ ‘er. I never let myself let up for an instant. My legs felt stronger than they have, and faster as well. Yet, cross the line, and come to see I was about 45 seconds slower than when I ran the race two years ago. Disappointing, naturally, but still… a really good day. Next time, I’ll blow it out of the water! 🙂 And based on how my body felt, I am really encouraged for where things are going. One highlight that’s definitely worth mentioning: when I ran this race two years ago, I ran behind a woman in a very distinct, thong-focused outfit. After staring at her butt the full 7.43 miles, she ended up beating me. And yes, it made me angry. “Thong lady,” as I deemed her, had beaten me. Though, I could tell by her physique, which was ever-so-available-to-see, that she was a legit runner. But still… she was running in a thong! Well, imagine my surprise when at mile 1 this year, I found myself behind the EXACT same lady in the EXACT same outfit and EXACT same thong. This time, I only saw her butt for about a half-a-mile… I took that thong lady down! Sorry to say, though, that I did get beat by one naked guy. Totally naked! Next year, he’s going down…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s