A Newbie’s Survival Guide to Bay to Breakers


In just a few days, one of San Francisco’s most epic public annual events will be hitting the streets, and all the Bay to Breakers virgins out there will need a primer. This is not just some highly organized cross-city race that has been occuring on an annual basis since 1912, it’s much more than that – it’s a celebration! A celebration of drinking booze at 8:00am and a reason for girls (and guys) to wear slutty costumes on a day other than Halloween. Before you get ahead of yourself, there are some guidelines you must follow to make your Bay to Breakers experience one for the ages. Hit the jump for the guide!

Costumes. The wilder, the better. If you show up in traditional running garb you will be shunned by the masses for being a square bear. Group costumes are highly encouraged, which also makes it easier to stick with your friends. Also, less is more. Keep in mind you’ll be doing a lot of walking, so stick to comfortable clothes and skip on the bulky cotumes. But please do not go completely nude, leave that to those long in tooth. For whatever reason, old people love showing up nude. I do encourage taking group photos with them, however. 

Booze. The more, the better. After drinking mimosas for breakfast, stick to drinks you can enjoy throughout the day. So 86 the shots of Jose Cuervo and stock up on the light beer, lest you want to be puking in an alleyway in front of thousands of people by 10:00am. Booze transportation is just as important, and it must be able to keep the beer cold. Tug along a cooler, push a shopping cart, or pull a keg in a Radio Flyer, get creative. 

Carl and Rey with a fresh pack of brewskis


Music. The louder, the better. If you have a ghetto blaster, you will want to carry it with you to blast some jams. Not just for yourself, but for all of those around you! No one likes to drink and walk around without having something to drunkenly sing along to. You don’t need to supply music, though. There is so much loud music to be heard, just follow the sounds until you find people playing your kind of tunes and stay by them. Be sure to also stop by one of the many parties along the way to meet some cool people, dance, and have some more drinks!



Transportation. If you even make it to the ocean at the end (the ‘Breakers’ part), you are stuck with the task of figuring out how to get home. Cabs won’t even dare to go there, and you’ll be waiting to get on MUNI until dusk. Seriously, look:


This one’s just funny.


Food. Have a hearty breakfast, but then save your next meal for a post-Bay to Breakers celebration when you can really stuff your face at one of the many fine restaurants in this city. Stick to a cheap, hot, greasy, fulfilling meal. Otherwise just bring along some snacks but stick to the booze.

Me shotgunning a beer instead of eating

Photos. Do bring along a camera to capture all the wild, funny, crazy, weird, and random moments that are sure to occur. Plus, all your friends will love your “Bay to Breakers – OMG so much fun!” photo album on Facebook the next day. New school rule: Tweet your journey! Take photos and share them with all your lame friends who are missing out on the fun! Cheap plug: follow me on Twitter at @genejo!


Last but not least, just have fun! Don’t think too hard, just do. That’s what Bay to Breakers is all about, anyway. Believe it or not, there are lots of people that actually run the entire thing and take it very seriously, so treat them with respect. Good thing they go first and are way ahead of the pack so you shouldn’t have to worry. But for the other tends of thousands of people, they are all there to have an awesome Sunday sharing drinks and laughs with friends, and maybe even making new ones along the way. Remember to clean up after yourselves and have a safe and fun day on May 17th!

Good times!


5 Responses to “A Newbie’s Survival Guide to Bay to Breakers”

  1. 1 Carlos

    Damn, I wanna go but can’t. Great blog you have here.

  2. 2 Rey

    i can’t freaking wait and i am totally going to tweet and “Take photos and share them with all your lame friends who are missing out on the fun!” now for my cheap plug: follow @reyfer

  3. Hi,this is really a well shirt,I like the nice style and the tones.bill

  4. 4 Rom

    why does alyssa look like cheryl burke in the last picture. haha

  1. 1 Bare i San Francisco…. « Ina Maria

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