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TALK BACK: Sober or sloshed, how was this year’s Bay to Breakers?

Organizers of the 100th running of San Francisco’s zany Bay to Breaker’s race promised a toned-down and sober athletic event free of the keg-carrying floats and frat party atmosphere that plagued the annual tradition for years.

At first glance, Sunday’s event turned out calmer than in years past: fewer drunks, less public urination and a calmer crowd. 

If you took part in the “only in San Francisco” event, how was it for you? Did you see fewer sloshed twenty-somethings crowding the race route? Comment below! We want your observations on this year’s event.


  • Trisha F said:

    It may have been calmer on the race streets, but they over ran the adjacent streets. People were urinating and defecating all over Hayes Valley. Fell St became a mess. I have talked to many people who have had people doing this on their property- even throwing up. I’ve always been a supporter of B2B. But it’s out of hand now.

  • Humidor Sam said:

    A river of alcohol is what is was certainly in years past. I walked through a bit today in GGP near Conservatory of Flowers and did not see the usual drunken revelry. There were some people, mostly guys, passed out here and there and some obvious drunk folk, but it definitely seemed toned down. Just a lot of young people having fun and acting silly.

  • Adam said:

    I am from Los Angeles and come up for this event every couple of years. There have certainly been more crazy years, and I was worried about all the talk from AEG of turning this into just another race like any other (boring). I did miss the floats this year, but for the most part there was a lot less public urination and flagrant intoxication than I’ve previously seen. To the residents and neighborhoods of San Francisco that host this event, thank you so much for putting up with the mess and the crowds to allow an event unlike any other in the world and so uniquely San Francisco.

  • Eric said:

    I’ve been coming to this event for quite a few years now and have always really enjoyed it. It is a race like none other….that is what sets it apart from the rest and really what keeps people coming back year after year. I had really been looking forward to the 2011 anniversay year event fully expecting to have some great stories to tell at the end of the day. All in all though I left B2B today feeling cheated and to be honest wished that I had stayed home.

    I am well aware that the public intoxication and floats that were part of the event in years past potentially could pose a hazard to the safety of those people or other participants….and that in this day and age fear of litigation seems to rule all. That being said….everyone I’ve talked to said 2011 was a dud for Bay to Breakers. Let’s be honest….do must of us sign up for this event to run 7+ miles? No, we sign up to be a part of one of the largest parties the city has annually.

    Is public urination, vomiting, and disorderly conduct something that should be tolerated? That is for you to decide. But let me as you this….how long do you think Mardi Gras in New Orleans would be around if law enforcement starting getting strict and prohibiting alcohol during that city’s largest tourist week? In other words B2B organizers….don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Oh, and try not making the race t-shirts 2 mile from the finish line next time. Just a thought.

  • Ash K. the Pretty Good said:

    My idiot manager, Kevin, ran the race for the first time ever (I think it was the medal that clinched the deal for him), because his doctor and pancreas had a little chat with him about his massive gut and fondness for sugar as a food group. He took them seriously, and everyone benefits, including his seamstress and downstairs neighbor.

    He reports the following on his run: one little kid running faster than him, about seventy-five people over sixty years of age besting his time (it’s all about him, no?), three naked men having no business being naked, one naked woman who committed no aesthetic offense, very nice people running around him, very few people having heard/understood the “walk to the right” instruction (which in all fairness was only stated once or twice at the start, and never reinforced), several police officers answering his inquiry about obnoxious drunks that they’d be along in about an hour, nearly perfect weather despite the usual hubris of the meteorologists (if 50% of my tricks didn’t work, I’d be a mentalist instead of a magician; if 25% of them worked, I’d be merely a mental case); nice people passing out water but who seemed to think runners would stop to get it from the table (are you all taking notes? thank you – he’s VERY opinionated), no trash cans for disposal of the food packaging for the first several hundred yards, and a good time had by the vast majority of the participants, only made possible by the focused effort of clearly competent professionals whose job it is to predict and handle human nature.

    He’s also wondering why about 12,000 of the registrants didn’t show up, and asked me if I did anything to them. Sorry folks: professional secret.

    Ash K. the Pretty Good, Magician