Following Laura's example, here is my race report for the ING Bay to Breakers 12K that I ran on May 18th, 2008. (Do I win a prize for the most delayed race report?) It's been sitting in my draft folder forever and I just never had a chance to wrap it up... until now!
As I mentioned when I first signed up, Bay to Breakers is a HUGE event in San Francisco. I've heard anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 people participate. For most people, it's a huge party where everyone dresses up in costumes with their friends and booze it up while they walk the 12K as part of one massive parade of nonsense. My friends and I took this approach for six years in a row and always had a blast!
This year, I decided to change things up a bit and actually try running the thing. I wasn't sure how it would go since the race is so packed (with drunk and/or naked people, no less) plus there was that steep hill on Hayes Street. My friends were suprised that I planned to run it - in fact, one of my good friends that did the six previous B2Bs with me even asked, "Do people actually run that?"
Well, I was gonna go find out! Luckily, my friend Renu joined me for the race - her first B2B experience! We decided to dress up as 80's girls - it was the easiest, last minute costume that met our requirements for something lightweight (we were in a heatwave at the time), easy to run in, and cheap!
[Note: This is as far as I got in my original draft ... so the rest of it comes straight from my memory which is why there isn't much info. Oops - sorry!]
B2B is fun but like many other point to point races with a huge number of participants - it is a huge pain to get there and get back. Actually, it's not that bad to get there. But a lot of trains were packed on the way there. It was pretty cool when we finally arrived - you can see huge packs of people in all their crazy costumes. And the floats! People really go out of their way.
We got into our start corral and participated in the tradition of tortilla tossing. You wouldn't think they would hurt but when they smack you in the head, it kind of does!
It took us about 16 minutes to get to the start line after the race started... and then took us a little longer to weave around all the walkers. It was fun to see people's costumes on the course.
(I was a little disturbed by these old folks. I guess I appreciate their "spirit" but I wouldn't want my grandparents running around with these shirts!)
One of the highlights is seeing the running salmon that always run the race from the finish to the start:
After mile 2, we got to the dreaded Hayes Street Hill:
I planned to walk part of it but Renu motivated me to run most of it. It wasn't too bad.
We still saw some fun costumes once we were past the hill, but eventually it got less entertaining when it was just us runners.
The race was still pretty crowded which surprised me since I thought the race was mostly just party people. Unfortunately, there were still a lot of naked runners. Yikes!
It was pretty nice and quiet toward the end and we finally crossed the finish line. We hung around Footstock for a little bit and then eventually got in the crazy long lines for the Muni back to the start. If I ever do this again (which I probably won't), I would definitely try to have a car somewhere near the end. Or arrange for a pick-up.
Clock Time 1:38:39
Chip Time 1:22:41
Race Pace: 11:06
Overall Place 8162 / 22439
Gender Place 2767 / 11518
Division Place 856 / 3017
To amuse myself, I found the results when I did the party version of this race back in 2002. Here are my results from then:
2002 Bay to Breakers Results:
Clock Time 3:39:03
Race Pace: 29:22
Overall Place 30590 / 31351
Gender Place 15041 / 15501
29:22 race pace??? Is that not the most ridiculous thing you've ever seen or what? I think this can be attributed to making lots of stops to dance on the roofs of people's houses, keg stands (not me, my friends), bathroom breaks, and other nonsense.
As a final "treat", I now present you with a history of my B2B costumes over the years - enjoy!
2001 - The "Pink Slips" : Lay offs were in its hey day at the time... it was hilarious to see a bunch of big guys walking around in pink lingerie (size XXL, of course)!
2002 - Running of the Bulls: My friend and I actually made that paper mache bull that doubled as a large styrofoam cooler for our booze. Labor of love, I tell ya!
2003 - Mr. Personality Rejects: Does anyone remember this show? We actually saw another group that had a similar theme and they even had the host, Monica Lewinsky. (Well, not the real Monica.) Anyway, it was cheap and easy for a last minute costume.
2004 - Doctors and Nurses I had a dance competition that morning so I had to join this one halfway through the course at the panhandle. I learned that B2B isn't quite so fun when you're stone sober and all your friends are drunkity drunk.
2005 - Flight Attendants: I got completely separated from my group at this one and even got lost in Golden Gate park trying to find them once the course was re-routed.
2006 - Schoolgirls: Had fun with my friends but I think we all learned that maybe six in a row are enough B2B experiences for us.
2007 - No B2B for me - had a last minute business trip in Asia instead.
2008 - 80's: Totally rad!