Foothill Flyers Race Reviews
Bay to Breakers 12K
3rd Sunday in May, San Francisco, CA, 8:00 AM Start.
App and info: call 415-808-5000 ext 2222, or click on Bay to Breakers above.
This event is a good excuse to spend a weekend in San Francisco. The 7.5 mile race/moving party starts in the Embarcadero section of San Francisco and ends in the Polo Grounds of Golden Gate Park. 50,000+ people participate - the first runner is finishing about the time that the last runner is starting. There are contests for the best costumes and centipedes - you see everything. In fact, the most fun is to walk it on the right side so you can see as much as possible rather than run on the left side. The neighborhoods really turn out for this too. In the middle of the race there is Hays Hill, the top of which you can look forward and back to see a sea of runners filling the street in both directions. The race is almost always warm at the start and cold at the finish as you run toward the ocean fog or marine layer. So bring a nylon shell with you. Get to the start area at least an hour early or you will be a long time crossing the start line after the gun goes off.
The night before has a great party with multiple bands and foods from area restaurants. Then when you finish in the Polo Grounds (Footstock) there is more food and music as you look for friends - agree to meet near one of the lettered grandstands.
It is best to arrive on Friday afternoon or evening. It is quicker and cheaper to fly from the LA area into Oakland airport and then take the BART to San Francisco than to fly into San Francisco airport and get a taxi or bus. Transportation in San Francisco is very good so you don't really need a car - in fact parking is scarce. Plan your return flight for after 3 PM to give you enough time after the run to enjoy Footstock and get on one of the return busses.
Saturday morning usually finds us getting on the Powell / Hyde cable car at Powell and Market about 7:30 AM and being first into the Buena Vista restaurant for breakfast. The Buena vista is at the end of the line at Hyde and Beach near Ghiradelli Square and Fisherman's Wharf. They are the originators of Irish Coffee and have the best sourdough toast. After breakfast you can tour the area and then take a taxi to packet pickup and the expo. The expo is one of the best so bring money for new shoes, clothing, etc.
This is one of those events you have to experience at least once in your running career because there is nothing like it.
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