Bay to Breakers 2019 | Everything You Need to Know
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Howard & Main (SoMa) | Howard St. and Main St., San Francisco, CA
Submitted by the Event Organizer
The third Sunday in May brings us “Bay to Breakers,” the crown jewel of San Francisco events since 1912 with over 30,000+ people racing (and 100,000+ watching) from the Bay to the Breakers at the western end of Golden Gate Park in a costumed mass of everything we love about San Francisco.
Bay to Breakers is the oldest consecutively-run annual footrace in the world.
Where to pick up your racing packet: Runners may pick up their race packets at the 2019 Bay to Breakers Expo either Friday, May 17 from 11 am to 7 pm, or Saturday, May 18 from 9 am to 5 pm. The expo is free and open to the public.
Want to watch?
Best Places to Watch Bay to Breakers 2019
Spectators line the entire course, but some of the best viewing spots are:
- Pre-race: Climb atop a trash can near Embarcadero Station to get an over-the-top view of everyone in costume racing to the starting line.
- Rival house parties with DJs and dancing typically line Hayes Street before the hill and Fell Street near Ashbury across from the Panhandle.
- Along Alamo Square at the top of Hayes Street Hill: Amazing view of 30,000 people, all climbing Hayes Street.
- Finish Line on the Great Highway
- Free concerts: There are typically bands and DJs set up along the course – bands and locations will be announced closer to the race date.
Want to race?
To participate in the race, technically you have to register. But many people just show up anyway and become bandit racers. We won’t tell anyone. As long as you avoid the Howard Street starting area or the finish line, your chances of getting pulled out by the cops are probably slim. If you do register, you’ll get an Official Runners T-shirt, and Finisher’s Medal. The event is free to watch and is almost just as fun.
What’s allowed / What’s not allowed
Please note that supposedly more cops will be on hand to remove unregistered runners and hassle spectators for drinking in public and kick out floats. Use your brain out there. Read the FAQ.
– No Booze / Beer – Bay to Breakers says they have a “zero tolerance” policy for runners and spectators.
– No Floats & Carts – Sadly no more floats are allowed – no more strollers, skateboards, roller blades or bicycles either.
– No Racing without an official bib – We’re not sure exactly how they’ll enforce this, but organizers say they’ll try to boot everyone from the course who hasn’t paid to register.
– No Backpacks – For obvious security reasons, unless it’s tiny and clear plastic, no backpacks are allowed on the course.
– Yes to Nudity? – There doesn’t seem to be any official Bay to Breakers policy for 2019 regarding nudity on the course, and the city’s public nudity ban has a special exemption for “appropriate venues” just like Bay to Breakers.
2019 Course Route Map
With a starting point near the San Francisco Bay, a few blocks from The Embarcadero, the 12k race runs west through the city and finishes at the Great Highway where breakers crash onto the Pacific Coast’s Ocean Beach.
The 2019 “Finish Line Festival”
The Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers Finish Line Festival comes to life as runners cross the finish line alongside Ocean Beach following the race. Runners celebrate in front of this iconic backdrop, while connecting with thousands of other finishers enjoying live entertainment and food and beverages.
Want to Volunteer?
Bay to Breakers is in search of friendly individuals to help bring this amazing event to life. They have a number of opportunities both at the pre-race Expo event at Pier 35 and on race day. Apply to be a volunteer.
The race starts on Howard from Steuart to 9th Street., runs along Hayes from Market to Divisadero, on Fell from Divisadero to the Golden Gate Park, and on JFK Drive all the way to the Great Highway. The official course map is available on the Bay to Breakers website. Streets will be closed in the following areas at the times indicated:
The event will cause major reroutes and delays Sunday morning. If you’re not participating in the race as a runner or spectator, you are encouraged to avoid areas affected by the Bay to Breakers. Check out all the Muni, BART and Shuttle information.
Photo: Gareth / tourist2townie.com
Photo: Phloating Man / Wikipedia
Photo: Bhautik Joshi
Photo: Owen Byrne