Held annually in the beautiful port city of San Francisco, California, known for its Golden Gate, Chinatown, cable cars and Zazzle, Bay to Breakers constitute one of the oldest and most famous footraces in America.
Bay to Breakers is the sixth oldest footrace in America and is in its 101st year. It’s held in the 3rd Sunday of May with the next edition scheduled on 15th May 2016.
The name signifies the traditional race course followed by tens of thousands of participants all over the world which initiates from north east corner of downtown from Embarcadero which represents the “bay” side of SFO and culminates at the west end of the city at Great Highway where the “breakers” crash into the Ocean beach. The 7.46 mile (approx 12 km) race was adjudicated to be the largest footrace in the year 1986 by Guinness Book of World Records for its staggering 110,000 participants.
The race has been made famous by world renowned athletes, live music acts, and also by participants running with funny costumes, sometimes even to the extent of running nude, thus lending a festive atmosphere to the event.
In the year 1906, San Francisco was rocked by a devastating earthquake which along with the subsequent fire caused unprecedented damage to the city and it was widely imagined that the city would never be the same again. The cross country race was first held on January 1, 1912, later christened to Bay to Breakers in 1965, was one such event orchestrated to lift the morals of the San Franciscans. It stands testimony to the city’s audaciousness and unimaginable efforts to rebuild its tradition.
Bay to breakers has thus raised more than a race and is a celebration of the true grit and spirit of San Francisco and thus is a quintessential part of the city’s history and culture.