San Francisco Bay to Breakers will still be a blast, but more reserved 

Thousands of runners will descend on San Francisco for Sunday’s 100th anniversary of the Zazzle Bay to Breakers, but the event will be less of a party than in years past — at least if race organizers have their way.

Strict bans on alcohol, an earlier start time and a new set of rules are set to curb the out-of-hand partyers who have characterized the race in recent years. The organizers, who have been trying to stop event patrons from drinking in the streets from dawn until dusk for years, hope these rules will be the answer.

According to the Bay to Breakers website, alcohol and floats are forbidden.

“This change was made to ensure everyone has a safe, fun and challenging 100th celebration race,” the website said. “These new regulations will not be reversed.”

In recent years, the 12-kilometer (7.46-mile) footrace has been transformed from a family-style get-together to an all-day party complete with floats and drinking from beginning of the race to the end. Previous attempts to create zero tolerance for alcohol have failed.

Additional police and security will be on-hand to remove any floats or drunken partyers. And organizers plan to deploy “sobering tents” along the course to offer people a place to sober up and find a ride home. Sobering-tent visitors will be offered juice as an alternative libation.

The tents themselves are an alternative to jail, as event spokesman Sam Singer said the event has put a strain on The City’s jails and hospitals in recent years.

An estimated 55,000 people are expected to run through San Francisco to commemorate the footrace’s 100 years.

The 12K race starts at The Embarcadero and winds its way through The City, including a climb up the Hayes Street Hill, past the Panhandle, through Golden Gate Park and ending at Ocean Beach. Elite runners and others who signed up to run the race will be released in waves. The first runners will start at 7 a.m., with the final group leaving the starting line by 8:30 a.m.

In addition to the alcohol ban and participant cap, race organizers announced that Bay to Breakers runners who break Bobby Vlught’s 1912 winning time of 44 minutes, 10 seconds and women who beat the 50:45 winning time of the first female winner, Dr. Frances Conley in 1971, will have their race numbers retired and receive a commemorative medal representing the 100th running of the race.


Best places to watch if you ...

Are with your family

  • Alamo Square: The runners slow down at the top of the Hayes Street Hill, and there is a playground for the kids when they get bored watching the crazy grown-ups in silly costumes.

Want to sit down

  • Conservatory of Flowers: Grab a patch of lawn and watch the crowds go by.

Want to see elite runners

  • The finish line: These athletes go by so quickly it’s easy to miss them at most points along the route. Better to park yourself in a spot where you can watch them come to a stop.

Want to see costumes

  • Footstock: The costume competition at Speedway Meadow is the place to check out the best-dressed runners after the race.

Want to see Elvis(es)

  • Around Seventh and Howard streets: The King, costumed superheroes and other colorful race participants have been known to congregate in the area — blue-suede shoes and all — before jumping into the race.




Getting there

  • Special-events fare: $10. Valid on all express and local Muni service except cable cars race day from 4:45 a.m. until 5 p.m. Passengers must purchase the Muni special-events sticker in order to ride express service on race day.
  • The 5-Fulton express bus will depart from Fulton Street and 47th Avenue, make stops to Masonic Avenue then travel express to First and Mission streets.
  • The N-Judah express bus will depart from Judah Street and La Playa, making stops to Cole and Carl streets, then travel express to First and Mission streets.
  • The N-Judah train will run from Judah Street and 19th Avenue to Embarcadero station.
  • Additional Muni rail service will run from West Portal to Embarcadero station, but will NOT stop at Civic Center, Powell or Montgomery stations.
  • Note: Express bus routes 1AX/BX, 8AX/BX, 31AX/BX and 38AX/BX will run on a modified schedule.

Getting home

  • In addition to the routes that serve Golden Gate Park, post-race express Muni service will be located on the north side of the park on Fulton Street only. Express buses will pick up passengers along Fulton Street at 30th Avenue. These buses will travel express to Davis and Pine streets downtown.


  • Service begins early at 5 a.m. and includes extra-long trains.


  • Getting there: Four special northbound trains will provide service to the race. The first will leave Mountain View at 5:10 a.m. and arrive in San Francisco by 6:08 a.m.
  • Getting home: Two express trains to San Carlos will depart San Francisco at 1:10 p.m. and 2:10 p.m.



Zazzle Footstock

Where: Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park

When: 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Costume contest: Judging is 9:30-11:30 a.m.


  • MCed by KGO (810 AM) chat show host Karel
  • DJ Sarah Delush
  • Cheer SF
  • The San Francisco Rock Project
  • Teatro ZinZanni
  • Geographer
  • Loquat
  • Boca de Rio


How to view results

  • Live race results will be posted to the day of the race, with official results posted by the end of the day.
  • Results will also be at
  • The San Francisco Examiner will publish a special commemorative edition listing the first 50,000 registered race finishers Wednesday.
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