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Bay to Breakers Live Stream San Francisco Race Online

World Events, May , Bay to Breakers

Event Information:

The Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace which takes place in San Francisco, California on the third Sunday of May. The name reflects the fact that the race starts at the northeast end of the downtown area a few blocks from The Embarcadero (adjacent to San Francisco Bay) and runs west through the city to finish at the Great Highway (adjacent to the Pacific coast, where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach). The complete course is 7.46 miles (12 kilometers) long. The event is well-known for many participants wearing costumes, and a few engaging in varying degrees of public nudity.

Robert J. Vlught, a student at St. Mary's College and newspaper copy-boy, won the first annual Cross-City Race on January 1, 1912 in a time of 44:10.[3][5][6] In 1965, the name of the race was changed to Bay to Breakers.

Started as a way to lift the city's spirits after the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake, it is the longest consecutively run footrace in the world. During World War II participation sometimes slipped below 50 registrants, but the tradition carried on. With 110,000 participants, the Bay to Breakers race held on May 18, 1986 was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest footrace. That record number was partly the product of the running boom of the 1980s; currently the average participation is between 70,000 and 80,000. Race organizers estimated a field of 60,000 participants in 2008, 33,000 of whom were registered. The San Francisco Examiner publishes a list of the first 10,000 finishers the day after the race each year.

Large numbers of participants walk the route behind the runners. Some participants dress in elaborate costumes or wear nothing at all (except footwear), thus lending a party atmosphere to the event. One festive tradition is the tortilla toss, during which crowds of runners waiting to cross the start line throw tortillas at one another to pass time (similar to balloon-batting at rock concerts).

Other oddities are always on the scene, including traditional characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, as well as other unique characters spawned for the race. At least 40 pairs of Blues Brothers participated in the 1985 edition. Every year, some runners dressed as salmon run "upstream" from the breakers to the Bay. The route is typically dotted with various local bands performing. At the end of the race is "Footstock," a gathering where participants and spectators can enjoy musical performances by various musical acts.

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