Friday, May 25, 2007

Goofin' at the 2007 Bay to Breakers

Last Sunday, I joined 60,000 people for the freakfest known as the 2007 ING Bay to Breakers in San Francisco, CA. Our good friend Kristin "Kik" Armstrong was in town, and she wanted to see the meyhem up close! Although I was still sore from the Silver State 50-miler the day before, I figured I could make it through 7.49 miles and get some good pics. Kik and I donned our Tiki/Mai Tai costumes (complete with rasta and pink wig, respectively) and jumped into the start on a gorgeous San Francisco morning.

(Matching tikis)

The start corral was sheer craziness, setting the stage for the whole run. Thousands of tortillas filled the air - I'm not sure how this tradition was started, but it's been there all three times I've done Bay2Break. Here's a video so you can get the idea:

Costumes were everywhere, some fun, some downright shocking. As the countdown to the start began, about a dozen people next to us stripped to their skivvies and donned their "Bare to Breakers" hats. Whoa! I hope they used sunscreen. Kik was very impressed with their display of freedom, and a bit jealous I think. (note to self - feed Kik about 10 beers before the race next year, get her a Bare to Breakers hat, and see what happens)

(The Bare to Breakers team gets into costume - just say no to crack!)

As the gun went off, runners and walkers made their way through downtown San Francisco. Residents were happy to blast their favorite music, and the whole thing felt like Carnivale. We lucked out on the weather - it was sunny and 60 degrees, meaning a comfortable run for us, and no "shinkage" for the streakers! We all knew that Footstock, the party at the end, was waiting just a short run away.

(And we're off!)

At mile 1, we passed about 20 Elvi (plural for more than one Elvis) blasting our Blue Suede Shoes and drinking enough to make the ghost of Vegas-Elvis proud.

(The running Elvi)

The costumes were so impressive, Kik and I were constantly pointing out our favorites. Scooby Doo, a caveman couple, SpongeBob SquarePants, mustard and ketchup, Borat (complete with crazy swimsuit), six runners connected as a crewing boat - it was better than Halloween! Our tiki costumes didn't even stand out.

(Mandy was going to have no problem getting carded at the Footstock beer gardens)

At mile three, we turned the corner and stared down the only big hill on the course, Hayes Hill. It's a tough little grind, but probably the most active party on the course. I was pleased that Kik had the bright pink hair and had no trouble tracking her through the crowd.

(The runners line their way up Hayes Hill; I follow the pink)

At the base of Hayes Hill, we ran into the "spawning salmon". These folks dress as salmon and run the course backwards, spawning their way against the stream. The visual effect is hilarious. The salmon took a short break from spawning to dance to a funk band at the base of the hill, and I caught them on video:

Kik led us up the hill, as "Movin' On Up" was blasting from one of the apartments. We turned a couple of corners and found ourselves on a nice downhill glide into Golden Gate Park. Kik and I were all smiles, but it was clear that this run was a challenge for some of the crowd. We did our best to cheer them on as we passed the rust colored de Young Museum.

(Heading through Golden Gate Park, past de Young)

There were many bands along the way, and some had the most classic names. There was a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover band called "Petty Theft", who was quite good. Soon we heard the surf tunes of "Meshugga - the Chosen Surfers".

(MeShugga, the Chosen Surfers)

We caught up with the Incredibles...

(Baby Dash gets a ride from Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl)

...and before we knew had reached the finish.

(Follow the pink to the finish)

We grabbed some water and headed up to Footstock, where we were joined by Christi, Sophie, and our friends the Shepards. Christi wore a wig of her own to join in the fun. We shared some beers, met some crazy people, and enjoyed the sun.

(Christi and Sophie join in on the fun at Footstock; photo courtesy of Lindsay Shepard)

Probably not the best numbers I have ever posted - 7.49 miles, 1 hour and 31 minutes. But we did count 43 naked people, and that's a number I will never forget! I'm glad I squeezed in one last crazy race before taking some time off to recover, and was able to share it with my good friend, Kik. Until next year...

- SD

[Below is a longer video if you're looking for more of the freakfest]


  1. I hope you guys don't mind that I went light on text, heavy on images/video on this one. It was really just about having fun, and you had to see it to believe it. But I'm welcome to feedback if you don't like the format...

    Thx, sD

  2. Scott I like the format. I think for a race like this more pictures and less words is very appropriate. But you left out the pictures of the really hot naked guys. Hmm... It is rather amusing that you know how many naked runners there were!

    I considered this race this year but hopefully will make it out to the crazy fest next year!

  3. oh what fun - love the format!

  4. Thanks for the great report. I was in the Bay Area on vacation but wasn't able to work out a way to run B2B. I do plan on running it next year!


  5. Fun! Although I am not sure about running bare for the guys...but pictures are great:) Sounds like a blast and party, we need that too, may be sometimes much more than good finishing times. Awesome, Scott!

  6. Good feedback. Is the video working for everyone? I had some troubles uploading to YouTube, but Revver seems to have better quality video. Let me know if you've having any technical issues.

    Thx, SD

  7. Love the format! Fun! Fun! Fun! I will have to run this race next year.

    p.s. Video works fine!

  8. Great stuff Scott, totally enjoyed the post. Wish I was there it looked like a blast.

    By the way reading this blog has helped to inspire me to compete (Cape Brett Challenge). I entered a 15km trail run a couple of weeks ago (with 1000 metres of climb) and came 7th! Eventually I hope to hit marathons and beyond.

    Thanks for keeping up posting with such enthusiasm for the sport, be it naked guys in San Fran to running round and round and round for hours.

    Cheers, have one on me while you recover.

    Dale, New Zealand

  9. The video is great, Scott! Just when I thought I was keeping up with the blogging world by adding pictures, you're stepping it up to the next level! Your times will certainly suffer even more. ;-)

  10. Dale -

    Congrats on your finish! Sounds like you have a natural talent for the trails. Thanks for visiting!


  11. omg, the fish dancing made me cry I was laughing so hard. isn't bay to breakers great? some years it's not as visual as others, but it looks like you got a good one. sorry i missed it this year.

  12. Scott, great report! This was the first year in 3 that I missed out on the race, and reading your report made me wish I had gone after all! It really is just such a cool experience, and definitely one of the more entertaining runs out there :)

    The videos worked just great (ah...the salmon, I love the salmon!) and the picture format is lots of fun as well

    Not a race to PR in, but more a race to just have an awesome time.

    Glad you enjoyed yourself out there!

  13. I really must do this race. It looks like so much fun!
    Although, from all reports you might have had enough fun for all of us!
    Toran MacLeod

  14. Hey Scott,
    Posting in this entry because I feel that it would not be appropriate to comment in your newer post. I was just going to say that I'll look out for you. I'm sure you'll be crowded by plenty of people after the race. You might even finish the 50K before I finish my 25K. Good luck this weekend.

  15. Oh yeah, love the race report but not the naked people. LOl.


I LIVE for comments! Please add your thoughts, let me know you stopped by, etc., and be thoughtful of others. Always best if you sign your name, of course.

Latest Excursions