Friday, May 20, 2011

100th Running of the Bay to Breakers

Ah, Bay to Breakers. One of San Francisco's finest events, and also one of the most ridiculous. Nobody knew what would happen this year: ING pulled out after last year's debaucle - trash and urine and a plethora of drunken idiots made the community rather unhappy with the race, and ING didn't want to put up with it any longer.

After months without a sponsor, Zazzle, an unknown, decided to put their name on the 100th running of the race. I'm not going to lie, I was really skeptical about it. What could a company like Zazzle possibly know about running a huge race like Bay to Breakers??? Well, as it turns out, they knew a lot more than most other race sponsors, or they at least lucked out in hiring the right people.

All the talk about cleaning up the race had people freaking out in the weeks before the event. People were working out new ways to hide their alcohol and to avoid the "drunk tanks" along the course (excessively drunk people would be made to hang out in the tents and sober up before being sent on their merry way). People complained about not being able to party, about the early race start, and about the lack of floats allowed on the course.

Upon arrival at the race start (which was very easy, thanks to special early buses), several Road Runners gathered near our corral to take pictures and say hi before the race. Things seemed to be pretty normal, but this is usually the case. Most of the drunkies don't make it that far downtown before heading onto the race course.
JV helps me attach my tail
As Head Coach of the Road Runners - I had to dress as a Road Runner! Beep! Beep!
JV and Steven. It was JV's 7th Anniversary, so she went as a blushing bride.
Running 101ers, ready for their first race!
SFRRC members before the race
JV, Steven and I had returned from the RRCA National Convention the previous night, and vowed to complete our whirlwind weekend by running the race together. As we headed into the start corral, the tortilla tossing began, and (my only complaint) we got stuck in a strange bottleneck between Corral A and the sub-seeded corral. We ended up much farther back in the start than we should have, which resulted in a lot of bobbing and weaving through the crowd.

With Cameron, JV, and Steven in the start corral
JV's first proposal of the day - he wanted to snap a photo with her!
Alllllmost across the start line
Otherwise, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, taking in the costumes, and running on a drunk-free course (which had been blocked off with metal barricades). The thing that impressed me most is that they finally took my idea of adding port-a-potty urinals - basically, a handicapped port-a-potty without a door, converted into a pee trough. How do you keep people from peeing in the neighbors' front yards? Make sure they have somewhere to go! And it sounds like it went off without a hitch. The Kenyans did their thing (actually, Moroccan Ridouane Harroufi won in 34:26, and Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui was #1 woman for the third year in a row in 39:12), the neighbors were happy, people had fun, and hopefully the race will continue well beyond its 100th year.

The best part? Upon reaching Ocean Beach, we were treated to a rainbow over the water. And a downpour. Fortunately, it was over quickly! We walked up to Footstock, collected our medals and some post-race goodies, and then headed on home. Workout done by 10:00am, and not a drunk in sight by the time we made it out of there. Success!
Rainbow at the finish!

Very cool B2B medal!
JV gets ANOTHER proposal!

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