Here’s the sports statistic San Franciscans look for most at this time of year: The arrest count for the Zazzle Bay to Breakers footrace.
Click on the photo to see more participants drinking throughout the race.
The colorful competition that starts at Howard and Beale streets, snakes through Golden Gate Park and ends on Great Highway is not only known for its many costumed runners, but also the partying “athletes.”
Growing unruliness in past years led to a zero-tolerance alcohol policy beginning with last year’s 100th anniversary race, with checkpoints set up along the course.
Despite the ban, there was still plenty of drinking Sunday. Police said 19 people were arrested, mostly for alcohol- and drug-related offenses.
The event was relatively calm, police said, with few major incidents for a race with about 40,000 registered runners and many other tagalongs who had not
Late in the day, a brawl led to a critical injury. A man was fighting for his life at San Francisco General Hospital on Monday after another man punched him in Golden Gate Park’s Sharon Meadow about 5 p.m., police said.
Police said the 30-year-old victim had been in an argument with one man when a second man struck him in the face with a closed fist, knocking him out.
The two suspects fled and no arrests have been made, police said.
Aside from the fight, many incidents involved relatively minor drunken tomfoolery. KRON4’s segment “People Behaving Badly” followed cops as they cited folks for urinating only yards away from available portable toilets.
“Before anyone starts saying the 2012 Bay to Breakers was calmer, apparently were living in a bubble,” KRON reporter Stanley Roberts said in the segment.
If the party was that wild, neighbors did not notice, said Ray Holland, the president of the Planning Association for the Richmond. The usual debris remained the next morning, Holland said, but he had not heard a single complaint from neighbors as of Monday.
“It seemed reasonable,” Holland said. The impact on the neighborhood is “a lot worse during large concerts and those types of events.”
Then again, he said, it can take a few days before complaints roll in.
The Bay to Breakers race always inspires lots of cheer — and chaos.