Bay to Breakers reached its 105th year of running. I was lucky enough to get to run and represent Smarty Pants Vitamins! (Disclaimer, I received a free race entry from them, no other compensation with given). If you are looking for some tasty, gummy vitamins, check them out.
The race itself is always an experience. I ran it four years ago and was excited to run it again this year. One of my awesome friends, Amanda, came with me and ran her first race ever! Since she is coming off knee surgery, and I had run a half marathon the day before, we took it easy.
I headed to San Francisco early Friday morning for Packet Pick-up at Pier 39. It was a breeze for me. I had our race packets within a few minutes, there were no lines. I then proceeded to the expo where there were plenty of vendors giving aways snacks, gear and sampling products. This expo is one of the best I have been to for swag.
I would definitely recommend going early. As I was told that Saturday there was a line blocks down the street just to get in the building to get your packet. People had to wait hours just to get in! Avoid the lines and get there early!
Since I live two hours North of San Francisco, we woke up at 4am in order to drive to Marin County to catch the shuttle to the Bay to Breakers start line. This is the easiest and most convenient way from the North Bay to get to the start of Bay to Breakers and avoid crazy San Francisco traffic and parking. We arrived with plenty of time to spare and hopped on the charter bus just after 6am. The bus departed at 6:20 to get us to the start.
Upon arriving we had a bit of time to spare so we snapped photos, used one of the many Honey Bucket’s on course and headed to our corral 45 minutes prior to the start. This is where the fun began.
Tortillas (thrown like frisbees) were flying high in the air and beach balls were also tossed around. Let the party begin! While I was representing Smarty Pants Vitamins, and racing in their singlet, others had dressed up in very fun costumes. Still others had chosen to go in their birthday suit. Brave!
This race definitely doesn’t have a lack of crazy.
And so it begins
Promptly at 8am the race began and we began our trek across San Francisco. We really couldn’t have asked for a better day in San Francisco. The sun was out and we were warm at the start.
We dodged in and out of the crowds and tried to run as best we could without tripping on the many walkers and costumed runners. At some point we decided it might just be better to join them, than to try to dodge everyone.
Something interesting to look at to the right!
As it was Amanda’s first race and first time ever running 7.4 miles, we started running and then implemented the run/walk method. Run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile.
We also, of course, had to stop for numerous photo opps! Needless to say, this Bay to Breakers race was more about the experience than getting a personal best. And I really preferred it that way. It made for an awesome time for both of us and a great first race for Amanda.
The last few miles were a bit of a struggle, but when we saw the finish line we sprinted in! Luckily, the last few miles are downhill – good course choice! 🙂 Success! We crossed the finish line and snagged that race medal.
The Smarty Pants VIP Booth
As a perk of running for Smarty Pants we avoided the madness and crowds at the finish (40,000 people ran) and were treated to brunch at a special VIP area just for the Smarty Pants team. It was awesome. I loved the fruit, cheese, and of course vitamins! They also had some fun lawn games to play.
Treated like the VIP’s were are!
Enjoying the San Francisco sun with some lawn games.
After enjoying ourselves here for a while, we then headed back to the bus to be chauffeured back to our car. The bus was efficient and soon were were back North of the bridge and on our way to breakfast and shopping at Nike!
Bay to Breakers Race Rating
This race is always exciting and full of energy. I know I will be back for many years to come and hopefully bring many more friends to run as well! The swag (shirt, medal, expo, free race photos) are great! And the race itself is a fairly easy run, with just a few hills. The finish is almost all down hill – thank goodness!
I give it an A for organization and experience. Definitely a must-do race. I hope I see you there next year!