2017 Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers: World’s Largest Costume Contest

There’s nothing more electrifying or nerve wrecking than the wake of race day. And while most competitors will typically perform their pre-race rituals by having a nutritious breakfast, warming up, and putting on their basic athletic attire, we here in San Francisco like to do things a little differently.

Toss away that worn down T-Shirt and slip into that tacky Superman costume from last Halloween, because it’s time to suit up for the Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers!

Runners on Howard Street. Photo: Jay Galvin, Flickr, Creative Commons.
Runners on Howard Street. Photo: Jay Galvin, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Every 3rd Sunday in May, thousands of enthusiastic runners and spectators from around the globe make the annual trek to THE largest and longest standing footrace to ever take place over a given course in the world.

Undoubtedly one of the most challenging and beautiful courses, runners make their way from the Embarcadero, through 9 of the City’s finest neighborhoods, ending up at Ocean Beach. Spanning 7.46 miles of scenic cityscape and rolling hills, participants gain an in-depth feel and greater appreciation for San Francisco.

Runners at the Ocean Beach end point. Photo: Kevin Krejci, Flickr, Creative Commons.
Runners at the Ocean Beach end point. Photo: Kevin Krejci, Flickr, Creative Commons.

The Bay to Breakers first came to life in 1912 as a way to boost San Franciscan morale after the devastating 1906 quake. For the past 106 years, it has retained it’s uplifting spirit, fashionably emanating the unique and flavorful nature of the City.

As the world’s largest unofficial costume contest, Bay to Breakers offers excitement to runners and spectators alike. With an array of live entertainment and events taking place throughout the city, it’s hard to resist the lure of race day.

2010 Bay to Breaker Winners. Photo: irene., Flickr, Creative Commons.
2010 Bay to Breaker winners. Photo: irene., Flickr, Creative Commons.

Though Bay to Breakers is mostly fun and games, it is crucial to be as prepared and informed as possible in order to make the most out of your experience. As such, 49 Miles has done the legwork and sifted through the logistics to help you navigate race day:

Getting There
Parking and driving in general on race day will be hectic as streets will be blocked off along the course. Carpooling and use of municipal transportation is strongly recommended.

Find Bart/Muni/Caltrain information here: www.baytobreakers.com

For those of you who plan to drive, Bay to Breakers has partnered up with nationwide leader in online parking reservations, Parking Panda, to help drivers purchase a guaranteed parking spot near the festivities. Visit their website and download their mobile app and secure your spot before they’re all gone.

1967 Fashion, picture taken in New York. Photo: John Atherton, Flickr, Creative Commons.
1967 Fashion, picture taken in New York. Photo: John Atherton, Flickr, Creative Commons.

Last-Minute Costume Idea: Summer of Love
This year marks the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s Summer of Love and this year’s race pays homage to the iconic Bay Area event with everything from their official Summer of Love themed runners’ T-shirts to the finisher medals registrants will receive at the finish line. Keep inline with the theme and put together your freshest and most creative late 60’s – early 70’s fits.   

Find more costume inspiration here: www.popsugar.com

Compliant Bags
If you plan to bring a bag to store munchies or drinks, it must be clear and no larger than 8.5” x 11” x 4”. Compliant bags can be purchased at Alaska Airlines booth at the Bay to Breakers Expo on Friday and Saturday. If you don’t want to trek to the expo, and have Amazon Prime, you can order a B2B-approved bag here (http://amzn.to/2q1bqpf). Just don’t miss your delivery.

Conceal Beverages
Like all other city wide festivities like the SF Giants World Series Parade or other comparable celebrations, Bay to Breakers is supposed to be as family friendly as possible, meaning public intoxication is strictly prohibited. Enjoy your alcoholic beverages discreetly and responsibly by concealing your beverages in these witty and creative containers.

Find out how to conceal beverages here: www.buzzfeed.com

Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers Expo
1454 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA
Being hosted at Pier 35 in the days prior to race day is the Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers Expo. Vendors will be showcasing the latest innovations in fitness technology, gear, and nutrition. Though online race registration has closed, late registration can be done in person at the expo, but be forewarned transactions will be CREDIT CARD ONLY. Registered runners may pick up their race packets at the expo. This event is open to the general public.
Hours: Friday, May 19th: 11AM – 7PM, Saturday, May 20th: 9AM – 5PM

Finish Line Festival    
Ocean Beach Parking Lot, San Francisco, CA
Head out to Ocean Beach after the race to network with other runners, enjoy live entertainment, and the many food and beverage vendors.
Hours: Sunday, May 21st: 8AM – TBD

Unofficial Bay to Breaker House Parties
Fell Street & Oak Street, San Francisco, CA
In addition to the official Bay to Breaker course entertainment ,which in the past have included sponsored performances by various groups like the Cal Raijin Taiko, the Church of 8 Wheels, and Groovy Judy, residents along the course on Fell and Oak Streets have hosted house parties that spectators may be able to join in for a small cover charge at the homeowner’s discretion.
Hours: N/A

Finish line costume. Photo: Jere Keys, Flickr, Creative Commons.
Finish line costume. Photo: Jere Keys, Flickr, Creative Commons.

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