San Francisco is gearing up for yet another lively rendition of Bay to Breakers! This wild, energetic footrace through SF’s most iconic neighborhoods has been a local staple for over 100 years and just keeps getting better. Get ready to run, walk, or dance your way to the finish line while enjoying live music along the route and plenty of unforgettable costumes. The race will kick off at 8am on Sunday, May 21, 2023.
Bay to Breakers 2023
Bay to Breakers begins at Main Street and Howard in the Financial District, cruising through Yerba Buena, Civic Center, the Lower Haight, the Panhandle, and Golden Gate Park before finishing at the Great Highway along Ocean Beach. Serious runners and casual walkers alike usually arrive in costume, making for a hilarious and heartwarming spectacle throughout the city. Thousands will turn out to cheer on the participants and we can expect some great bands and live entertainment along the route, although the lineup is still TBA.
Race registration costs $74.99 and includes a finisher’s medal, t-shirt, chip-timed results, water/aid stations, and the finish line festival. You can save money by registering with the Doordash Centipedes, in which groups of 13-15 people run the race tethered together with a bungee cord. Alternatively, pay a bit more for access to VIP perks like a pre- and post-race meal, gear check, and VIP area; or to add an extra 3K to your race via the “Breaker Bonus” which comes with a bonus medal and a free beer. A
Although it’s technically a race, Bay to Breakers is really more like a giant mobile party. Both participants and spectators turn out in droves for the music, festivities, and day drinking — in fact, SFist published a liquor store map along the route to help you keep the party going.
History of Bay to Breakers
Bay to Breakers began in 1912 as a way to raise the spirits of San Franciscans as they continued to rebuild following the 1906 earthquake. As such, it’s one of the world’s oldest footraces and even held the record as the world’s largest footrace for 24 years. In 1986 over 110,000 people participated as a result of the running boom of the ’70s and ’80s.
Although the race began as a serious athletic competition, the kooky costume element came into the picture in the ’80s. There will also be plenty of nudity at the race, as we are in fact in San Francisco.
The “centipede” running groups, in which runners complete the course tethered together, began in 1978 as the brainchild of UC Davis runner Douglas L. Peck. Bay to Breakers is now the official site of the World Centipede Running Championships.
Learn more about Bay to Breakers here.