One does not race Bay to Breakers. It’s a misnomer. Bay to Breakers is a San Francisco experience that goes back 101 years where a whole group of individuals come together to create an event unique within the running world.
Where else can you find naked people running an 8 minute mile right next to Goofy, the Flash, Batman, and Mickey Mouse?
This year was the first I’ve ever had the chance to experience this event. I don’t think it will be the last. Besides, next year I need to bring tortillas.
Yes, tortilla’s. Before the race… I mean ‘run’… people throw these around to keep themselves entertained.
I also need a costume.
The only challenge on Bay to Breakers is known as “Hayes Hill”. In some reports, I’ve seen it reported as an 11% hill, but my Garmin says it’s more like 6.5%. This short but steep hill reminds me of some of the hills during the Comrades Marathon – except Hayes Hill is easier because of the short length.
Otherwise, the course is a gradual up and down, ending exactly where it started after a climb of 525 feet – back at sea level. The name is appropriate – you start on the San Francisco Bay side of the Peninsula, and ends on the oceanside.
It’s not a race to set records, but thanks to my buddy Jen, who ran the race with me and paused to take photos every mile, I ran it much faster than I would have otherwise. My moving pace of just over an 8min/mile was definitely much faster than I would have expected to be able run, although some of the down sections were actually under a 7min/mile. Not bad for an old guy.