This past Sunday I ran the 101st Bay to Breakers, the quintessential San Francisco foot race – or, as the B2B website puts it:
Boston has its Marathon… Pamplona has the bulls…
New Orleans has Mardi Gras…
San Francisco has the historic Zazzle Bay to Breakers 12k.
Even better, I ran it with my oldest brother, who was visiting from Montana for the week. It was the first B2B for both of us, so that made it cool as well. Having just started running last September, it was a great way for my brother and I to spend some time together in a different venue (he’s been a runner for a long time.) [you’ll note that there is no joint photo here. I realized after the fact that I never had anyone snap one of us for posterity! what can i say, i’m a dude…]
The course, which I assume has been the same year after year, is a point-to-point from the Bay side of the City, through various districts, neighborhoods, and Golden Gate Park, to the seaside part of San Francisco. The infamous Hayes Street Hill is the part that many people fear/dread – in the end, it seemed a bit of hype to me, though if I were running it drunk or in costume, that may be different.
The weather was excellent! It was a clear day and it a bit cold at the start; but, as people gathered, the light breeze disappeared. As the race started, the weather only improved. I was concerned that once we got to the “breaker” side, things would cool down considerably, but that didn’t seem to happen. It was an awesome day.
This being my first B2B, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As for transportation, we opted for the park and ride shuttle transport, which was actually great. We were picked up at 0530 at the Millbrae Bart Station and dropped off about 2 blocks from the star line. Our return trip went well too – scheduled to depart at 1200, we actually were able to leave at about 0930 (since there was 15 people waiting and a smaller buss available. Thanks Bauer Transport!)
We hung out at the start line, watched people, and even got to experience the traditional B2B Tortilla Toss activity:
As for mid-race sights, we saw about various superheros, Dr. Seuss characters, bride and grooms, and about eight nude runners (6 male, 2 female). The course management was great, with volunteers and police keeping things moving – they even had two checkpoints where they kicked non-registered runners off the course. There were a ton of porta-potties on the course as well. The buffalo at Golden Gate Park were all hiding, so I couldn’t snap a photo of them for my wife!
The post-race expo was pretty disappointing – most of the activity (bands, people, sights, etc.) took place on the course. The “Final Mile” was pretty much some SWAG tents, a merchandise tent, and one food tent – I have to admit, I expected more. Maybe things picked up later in the day… We picked up our race shirts (somehow, I ended up with two!), walked around a bit, then caught the early shuttle back to Millbrae.
All in all, it was a good race that, because of its notoriety, will be annual event for me going forward.
- Garmin time: 1:27:11 at an 11:27/mile pace.
- Official time: 1:27:07 at an 11:41/mile pace.
This was less of a “race” and more of a run – something to be experienced. Early on, my brother told me that he was OK with my running ahead, but I told him that it was about doing this together, so I ran/walked with him. Knowing that I would do this anyway, I only did a light carb load the day before and didn’t even GU up prior to or during the race – thus, I finished with a ton of energy…
Overall, it was a great morning. It was cool to participate in a longstanding SF tradition – one that I will do annually, if possible. My brother is already planning to come back next year – maybe we’ll even do costumes!
Post-race meal was a great lunch at El Burro – I think I downed a basket of chips!
- San Jose Giant Race (5 mi) on June 16th
Training Journal – 5/25/12:
- Current plan: Half-marathon program
- Today’s session: 6 mi at race pace (8:22)
- Comments: Windy morning run! I did 6.62 @ 7:58 – with most of the run into ~15mph, shifting winds. BOOYAH!!