ING Bay to Breakers: Runners ready to flood city’s streets 

Approximately 60,000 participants — some elite runners, others wacky-costumed characters looking to mix good times with a bit of exercise — are gearing up for the 99th ING Bay to Breakers on Sunday, the historic San Francisco footrace that spans 12 kilometers from downtown to Ocean Beach.

The unconventional and storied race is set to take off at Howard and Beale streets at 8 a.m., make its way over the Hayes Street Hill and then snake through Golden Gate Park before reaching the finish line on the Great Highway.

The course hasn’t changed from last year, but there will be a few key differences in the 99th event that athletes should note.

First, runners won’t have to worry about the 85-degree weather that had them sweating and panting along the racecourse last year.

Temperatures at the start line will hover around 50 degrees, and highs for the day are expected to climb only into the mid-60s, said Steve Anderson, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service. There’s no rain in the forecast, and patches of morning fog and low-lying clouds could clear by afternoon, he said.

“Not hot, but not too cold,” Anderson said.

Bib pickup is relocating. The ING Greater Body Expo takes place today and Saturday at the East Concourse of the San Francisco Design Center on Seventh Street.

Also, for runners wanting to celebrate after crossing the finish line, the annual ING Footstock also has changed locations. It will not be held at the Polo Fields in Golden Gate Park, but in another park location at Martin Luther King Jr. and Bernice Rogers drives.

But the heart of the race will remain the same. There will be world-class athletes from around the world, amateur runners, walkers, and seas of costumes and floats bringing color to the event.

“Costumed runners have been part of the event for decades now and weave tightly in fabric that makes up one of the most unique and beloved footraces in the world,” Race Manager Angela Fang said.

Bay to Breakers is the 14th-most-run road race in the world, and the fourth-longest consecutively run, organizers said.

It’s not too late!

Last days to register: Today and Saturday

Cost: $55 for adult, $50 for children under 18

Where to register: ING Greater Body Expo, East Concourse, San Francisco Design Center, 620 Seventh St.

Gather essentials

Pick up your race bib at the ING Greater Body Expo:

When: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. today, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday

Where: East Concourse, San Francisco Design Center, 620 Seventh St.

What to do at expo: On-site race registration, race packet pickup, T-shirt pickup, transportation sales available; there’s no race packet pickup before expo or on race day

Also at expo: Ultramarathon man Dean Karnazes will be signing autographs in Volkswagen Booth between noon and 2 p.m. today

The after-party at ING Footstock:

When: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday

Where: Along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Golden Gate Park; Anheuser-Busch Beer Garden and Barefoot Wine Bar at Bernice Rodgers Drive will be pouring from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Decked out

Details of costume contest:

When: 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Where: Conservatory of Flowers, Golden Gate Park

What to do: Stop by for photo shoot in your wackiest outfit

Costume awards categories*:

  • Best California
  • Best green
  • Most creative
  • Best current event 

To find out if you won: Winners will be announced on ING Bay to Breakers website after race

* Prizes also given for “other worthy costumes”

What you need to know on race day

Start: 8 a.m., Howard and Beale streets

Recommended arrival time at start: No later than 7:15 a.m.

Course length: 12 kilometers

Highest point in race: 215 feet above sea level (Hayes Street Hill)

Finish: Great Highway and Lincoln Way

Registered participants expected: 33,000

Volunteers: 1,500 to 2,000

Racecourse closure: 11:30 a.m.

Finish line closure: Noon

Timing results: Will be posted at; top 10,000 timed finishers to be published in The Examiner souvenir edition on Monday

Texted results: Available via text message for first time this year upon registration; text option will provide registrants with three messages, including Hayes Street Hill time, finish time, results message



Special events fare: $10 adult, $9 youth and senior. Valid on all express and local service, except cable cars, until 5 p.m. Service starts at 5:45 a.m.

Getting there: The 5-Fulton express bus will depart from Fulton Street and 47th Avenue, make local stops to Masonic Avenue, then travel express to First and Mission streets. The N-Judah express bus will depart from Judah and La Playa streets, make local stops to Cole and Carl streets, then travel express to First and Mission streets. The regular N-Judah light rail will run from Judah Street and 19th Avenue to the Embarcadero station. Additional Muni service will run from West Portal to the Embarcadero station, but will not stop at Civic Center, Powell and Montgomery stations.

Getting home: In addition to the local Muni routes that serve Golden Gate Park, post-race express service will be located at the north side of the park on Fulton Street only. Express buses will stop on Fulton Street at 47th and 43rd avenues. These buses will travel express to Davis and Pine streets downtown. This will be the fastest Muni service to downtown. Post-race express service will end at 2 p.m.


Getting there: Service begins at 6 a.m. and includes extra-long trains from all East Bay stations, Millbrae, Daly City and all stations between Daly City and San Francisco. Stations open around 5:40 a.m. Trains will run at 20-minute intervals prior to 8 a.m.

Getting home: Service will follow a regular Sunday schedule.


Getting there: Four special northbound express trains will be in service. The first train departs the Santa Clara station at 6 a.m. and runs express to The City, arriving by 6:54 a.m.; the next three trains will depart from San Jose Diridon station at 6:05, 6:10 and 6:15 a.m. Trains will make limited stops and arrive in San Francisco by 7:30 a.m.

Getting home: Two express trains to San Carlos will depart San Francisco at 2:10 and 3:10 p.m. The trains will make all regular local stops to San Jose Diridon.

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