Bay to Breakers is one of the most festive running races on the SF calendar, whether you're a spectator or participant. Regardless your experience level, preparedness is key to having an enjoyable experience. The following are our top suggestions for a successful event day:
Plan Your Outfit
Bay to Breakers has been known to play host to some of the most memorable race day costumes, or lack thereof. Part of the fun of the event is coming up with a creative masterpiece for you and your friends to showcase for all of San Francisco to see.
Tip: Remember that you’ll be wearing your creation for 7.5 miles! Be sure you’re prepared to get hot and sweaty, and wear something that allows you to go the distance. You might be cold in beginning, but once you’re ascending Hayes Hill, you’ll be wishing you were wearing something "race" appropriate.
Strive for lightweight, breathable, and above all comfortable!
Weather conditions this weekend are expected to be a typically cool and overcast San Francisco day, but don’t let that fool you into thinking you won't need to hydrate. Being properly hydrated can lead to a better performance if you’re after that new personal best.
You can start hydrating as early as 72 hours before the event. During the race, there are typically water stations along the way. It’s important to grab water at the aid stations before you think you’ll need it.
A good suggestion would be to carry a hydration belt with you so that you’re able to sip on water in between the provided refreshments.
Make sure you give yourself enough time to arrive to your corral and make any last minute restroom visit as It’ll take some time to make your way through the crowd. Once you’ve made it into your corral, you’ll want to stay there until your wave starts.
Don’t miss your start! Be prepared for road closures and congestion if you plan on driving yourself into the city. We’d strongly suggest following the transportation guide that is located on the Bay to Breakers website.
If you’re dead set on driving yourself to the event (or have no option but to be driving in the city), park on the west side of the city far from the finish area. If you pack your car with a cooler, and maybe a change of clothes, you can enjoy a Sunday afternoon with a packed lunch on the beach!
Save Up for Hayes Hill
You can’t win a race within the first few minutes, but you can surely have an impact on how well you finish based on how you treat the first part of the race. The good news is that you’ll run into Hayes Hill fairly early on in the race, make sure you leave yourself with enough energy in your tank for both before and after the climb.
It’s important to pace yourself and know both your strengths and weaknesses. You’ll have a few rollers after Hayes until you’ve made it nearly halfway through Golden Gate Park. Once you’ve intersected Crossover Drive, let the gradual downhill take your momentum into the finish line.
At the end of the day it’s not about how you placed, or how fast you ran - it’s about the journey to the finish line. Enjoy the city views, great weather, and the true San Francisco experience. Bay to Breakers is an event that you’ll talk about for many years to come. Best of luck out there!
If you need any last minute race gear, select in-store pickup at checkout by Friday and have your gear in time for the big day Sunday morning.