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Never Elsewhere: Welcome to SF’s Bay to Breakers

Posted by Angela Tsay on

Welcome to our monthly installment of Never Elsewhere – your monthly cyber roadtrip to a place where we live, love, work, or play. This month we’re traveling across the Golden Gate Bridge to our sister city of San Francisco for their 103rd annual Bay to Breakers race.

Each year on the third Sunday of May, hoards of individuals – seemingly motivated by physical challenge and the opportunity to get a little weird – take the streets and make the 7.46 mile trek across the city of San Francisco, hills and all. The race begins a few block from The Embarcadero and ends at the Great Highway hence the ever fitting name. And, in true San Francisco fashion, anything goes. Participants race in anything from their birthday suit to elaborate homemade costumes, some running for racing sake, some coming out to stroll the streets, spectate, and just be a part of an ongoing history.

Some would say that over the years, Bay to Breakers has morphed into exactly the event it was intended to be, though perhaps on a much larger scale than originally intended by the founders. Started in 1912 to lift the spirit of residents after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Bay to Breakers is the longest consecutively run footrace IN THE WORLD! Though the number of participants has dropped to as low as 50 individuals during World War II, the consistent keeping on of the race has paid off in the long run. On May 18, 1986, the race drew 110,000 participates and earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest footrace. Though it has since been surpassed as the largest footrace by the City2Surf event in Sydney in 2010, Bay to Breakers remains a California Bay Area staple.

More than just a race, the Bay to Breakers course also gives participants the opportunity to survey some of San Francisco’s most iconic scenery – all the way from the Bay to Ocean Beach. Some crowd-favorite spots the course touches include:

– The SOMA District via Howard Street

Hayes Street Hill

– Alamo Square Park (Near the Painted Ladies)

– The Panhandle and Golden Gate Park

– The Conservatory of Flowers

de Young Museum

Ocean Beach

It turns out Bay to Breakers only covers a fraction of the 49 square miles that make up San Francisco. That means there’s tons left to explore! So, what are some of your favorite San Francisco locations and icons? We just might head there next…


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