Tighter security will remain in place for the 101st running of San Francisco’s Zazzle Bay to Breakers race this Sunday morning, as police on Tuesday pledged to “enforce fun.”
The 12-kilometer costumed scamper across The City had devolved in past years, at least among some, into a festival of sloppy drunkenness and public urination, prompting race organizers last year to adopt a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol. That and a ban on floats will remain in place this year as an estimated 40,000 to 50,000 celebrants take to the race course.
“We want to urge participants and spectators alike to follow the rules on race day,” said race director Angela Fang. She said those rules include, “Have a great time” and, “Respect The City, respect the neighborhoods through which this race runs, and respect the race itself.”
More than 360 officers will be deployed along the race route to help “limit behaviors that detract from the positiveness of the event,” such as public intoxication, rowdy house parties that spill onto the race course and public urination, police Deputy Chief Denise Schmitt said.
Other officers will patrol surrounding neighborhoods. Police also are cautioning local businesses not to serve alcohol to overly intoxicated celebrants. The race takes place from 7 a.m. to noon, though Schmitt said there will be an increased police presence into the evening.
Police will “enforce fun, and restrict the stuff that detracts from the fun,” Schmitt said.
One change involves the post-race celebration, which will be held closer to the finish line after some complained of having to walk a long way after completing the race.
Jarie Bolander of the North of Panhandle Neighborhood Association said the atmosphere of last year’s race had more of a community-oriented feel, with fewer violent confrontations or disrespect for neighbors.
“It’s definitely turning a corner,” Bolander said. “I hope it just continues this way.”