While the Bay to Breakers race attracts throngs with its festive atmosphere, police and race organizers will keep this year's party safe and sane.
Alcohol has traditionally played a role in the race, from runners keeping themselves cool with a few brews to the massive, rolling tiki bar that has become a staple in recent years.
This year, however, race organizers have decided to ban mass amounts of alcohol.
“It's OK if people want to bring a personal supply,” race spokeswoman Denise Lamott said, but kegs and fully stocked bars will be nixed at checkpoints along the course.
“What they're trying to do is get rid of the completely hammered folks. No one's trying to limit anyone's fun,” Lamott said.
San Francisco Police Sgt. Bob Guinan said a major reason for the alcohol crackdown is that revelers surrounding bars and other unwieldy alcohol dispensaries slow the race down and prevent streets from opening on time.
Guinan said police will be opening streets as the tail of the race passes, and that they want to have the majority openby noon. He said 28 motorcycle officers and scores more foot patrols will provide security — on the race organizers' nickel, of course.
To try to make the noon deadline, this year's event includes a provision that if participants have not made it past the Footstock site by 11:30 a.m., they will be diverted into the Polo Field instead of being allowed to finish the course.