Bay to Breakers 2018
Bring your costumed, your semi-naked and your beer (try to be discreet) and participate in one of the largest races in America – also one of the most strange and “San Francentric.”
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.
107th Annual Bay to Breakers
Sunday, May 20, 2018 | 8 am to 12:30 pm
Howard St. / Hayes St. Hill / Golden Gate Park / Ocean Beach
FREE to watch; $69.99 to race (18 years old & up)
Where to pick up your racing packet: Runners may pick up their race packets at the 2018 Bay to Breakers Expo either Friday, May 18 from 11 am to 7 pm, or Saturday, May 19 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 2018
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, Finisher’s Medal and free hi-res race photos. 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 reigster.
– 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 2018 regarding nudity on the course. And the city’s public nudity ban has a special exemption for “appropriate venues” just like Bay to Breakers.
2018 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 2018 “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. 2018 entertainment includes 14-piece Michael Jackson tribute band, “Foreverland.”
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 availble on the Bay to Breakers website. Streets will be closed in the following areas at the times indicated:
Starting Line Area
Closures from Saturday at 7 p.m. to Sunday at 4 p.m.
- Main: between Mission and Folsom
- Howard: between Embarcadero and Beale
- Steuart: east of Mission
- Spear: between Mission and Folsom
Closures on Sunday from 3 a.m. to 10 a.m.
- Howard: between Beale and 3rd St
- Beale: between Mission and Folsom
- Fremont: between Mission and Folsom
- 1st St: between Market and Folsom (Muni allowed from Market to Mission)
- 2nd St: between Mission and Folsom
- New Montgomery: between Mission and Howard
- Hawthorne: between Howard and Folsom
Closures on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Steiner: between Grove and Hayes
- Baker: between Oak and Fell
Closures on Sunday from 5 am to 1 p.m.
- Divisadero: between Grove and Oak
Closures on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Cabrillo: between 48th & La Playa
- Balboa: between 48th & Great Highway
- Pt. Lobos: between 48th & Great Highway
Closures on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Howard: between 3rd & 9th
- 9th: between Howard & Market
Closures on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
- Hayes: between Market and Divisadero
Closures on Sunday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Fell: between Divisadero & Stanyan
Closures on Sunday from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Great Highway: between Balboa & Pt. Lobos
Finish Line Festival Area
Closures from Saturday 7 p.m. until Sunday 4 p.m.
- Lincoln: westbound, between Great Highway and 48th
- Lincoln: eastbound, between Great Highway and La Playa
- Fulton: westbound, between Great Highway and 47th
- Fulton: eastbound, between Great Highway and 48th
- La Playa: between Cabrillo and Fulton
Closures from Saturday at 9 p.m. to Sunday at 4 p.m.
- Great Highway: between Sloat and JFK
- Multiple entrances to Golden Gate Park for the race period
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.
Lines and routes that operate parallel to the course
- The N, 5, 7, 31, 38 and N Owl and will experience crowding and delays.
- There will be added service to and from the race on the 5X, 5R and NX.
- There will be added morning N Line Metro service east of 19th Avenue.
Routes that cross the course
- The 19, 22, 24, 27, 33, 43, and 47 will be divided into 2 sections, with no sevice between sections. You will have to walk to get from one side of the race to the other, or take an alternate route.
- The 8, 10, and 12 will reroute around the course via The Embarcadero.
- The 30 and 45 will not serve south of Market. Use the 8, 10, or 12 routes to access SoMa.
- The 49 will not serve north of Mission and South Van Ness. You will have to walk to get from one side of the race to the other, or else take alternate routings, to reach the 47 for Van Ness service.
- You can cross the park on the 18, 28, 29, or 44 routes. Expect delays due to heavy ridership and traffic.
Routes that normally go to the Ferry Building
- The 21 will not operate until Hayes street is clear of the race. Use the 5 instead.
- The 31 will only go to the Temporary Transbay Terminal. The 21 will also reroute over most of its route.
Market and Mission Street routes and lines
- The Muni Metro Subway will open at 6 a.m.
- Shuttles will run from West Portal to Embarcadero
- Regular Muni Metro service will begin at 8 a.m.
- BART will open at 6 a.m.
- Adult “A” Pass holders may use BART between Market Street stations and Mission District stations to cross the course for no charge.
- All others may use BART to cross the course at their regular BART fare.
- Some routes on Market and Mission — 6, 7, 9, 14, 49, K-L-M Owls — will only go to Market, 10th or 11th Street.
Photo: Gareth / tourist2townie.com
Photo: Phloating Man / Wikipedia
Photo: Bhautik Joshi
Photo: Owen Byrne