Bay to Breakers

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February 8, 2018
Bay to Breakers takes over the streets of San Francisco

How to Prepare for Bay to Breakers

A time-honored tradition happens every third Sunday of May in San Francisco. It’s called the Bay to Breakers, the oldest consecutively run annual footrace in the world and a tradition that people from far and wide come to the city to participate in. Here’s the guide to make sure you’re prepared to have fun running the Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers' 12 kilometers, from bay to breaker.

Sign up and Pick up Your Gear Before the Race Starts
To participate in the race, you’ll have to register beforehand, which you can do online. Once you’ve registered, pick up your race packets at the 2018 Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers Expo taking place Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19, 2018.

Create or Buy a Creative Costume
What makes Bay to Breakers a uniquely San Francisco experience? Thousands of runners join with families, weekend runners and walkers in costume. You’ll see traditional costumes, from your favorite comic book hero to off-the-wall costumes, like salmon running “upstream.” Get your inspiration.

Carb Up the Night Before
The race is a lot of fun to run, but so is preparing for it the week before. Many people think it’s best to carb up the night before. Nutritionists actually recommend it’s better to start the carb up a week out. In San Francisco, your options are endless. Try all these delicious places.

Where to Stay and How to Get to the Race
With the thought of running 12 kilometers, the last thing on your mind is how to get to the race. Our advice - book a nearby hotel or take public transportation or a Lyft or Uber.

BART will open approximately two hours early (6 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. on a normal Sunday). Even with the early opening, give yourself a 30-minute cushion. From San Francisco: Take Muni or BART to the Embarcadero Station. From the East Bay/Berkeley: Take BART to Embarcadero Station. 

Learn more on recommended transit options, including Muni and Amtrak suggestions.

Get to Know the Route
The Bay to Breakers starts at the bay and ends at the breakers. In between there are plenty of hills and colorful sights to see as you run the course. Make sure you’re prepared for the infamous hills like the Hayes Street hill and the run through Golden Gate Park. See the route.

Enjoy Yourself
Bay to Breakers is a race just like San Francisco: fun-loving, easy-going and colorful. Don’t take yourself seriously. It’s a race, but not one where you need to make it to the finish line as fast as you can (although some will). Take a look around and listen to live music and the cheers of thousands of spectators lining the route.

Party Afterwards
Once you cross the finish line at Ocean Beach, celebrate with thousands of other finishers and spectators enjoying live entertainment and food and beverages.

Plan for Your Next Race
Bay to Breakers is the most famous footrace in San Francisco, but it's not the only one. The Giant Race at AT&T Park is coming on Sept. 9, 2018. And for real serious runners (or spectators), there's the challenging San Francisco Marathon on July 22, 2018. Make 2018 the year to Run San Francisco!

NEXT: WHERE TO CHEER ON THE RUNNERS

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