The 104th Bay to Breakers run — or frolic — from the downtown to Ocean Beach on Sunday lived up to its rich history of colorful costumes, nakedness and general eccentricity, all in the name of San Francisco-flavored fun.
This year’s annual race course-long party brought the usual animal and banana onesies, Waldos and people wearing nothing but backpacks — but also the latest trends in The City.
For example, one group of ladies came up with the idea to wear Uber signs around their necks and mini inflatable pools around their waists — a play on words for UberPool, the mobile app-based ride service’s relatively new carpool option. Another group wore Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry’s jersey with chef hats and aprons to represent his Chef Curry nickname.
Though drinking in public during the event has been banned, some participants carried beer cans or alcoholic beverages in camelbacks anyway, to which many San Francisco police at the popular Hayes Street Hill leg turned a blind eye.
It seemed like about half of the people on the race course had been drinking, said Oakland resident Jerson Sapida, 34, who embraced libations by building a portable beer pong table with ping pong balls for anyone to throw. “It’s fun to have something you can engage in,” Sapida said as a stranger took a shot at the cups. “It’s all about making friends in The City, it’s what makes San Francisco, San Francisco.”
Rowdiness and garbage around residences by the Panhandle, where many runners or walkers hang out, has greatly diminished in the last couple of years, said Bonnie Spindler, 55, who owns a house on Fell Street and used to hose down revelers who urinated on her fence. Now she hires a bouncer to ensure only friends come into her home, and also a DJ to give revelers something to dance to.
“I just go with it,” Spindler said. “It’s easier than fighting it.”
San Francisco Police Department spokespeople could not be reached for comment Sunday on how many, if any arrests took place. But Sgt. Luis DeJesus, on patrol at Golden Gate Park, said, “Seems fine to me. It’s not a rowdy event. It’s a race.”
Some 50,000 people registered for the race and nonregistered participants were not tracked, according to Wasserman Media Group, which has owned and operated the race, and increased the number of portable toilets by 20 percent and cleaning crews since 2014.
“It’s gotten tamer but the crowd doesn’t go away,” said Sapida’s friend Jose Gutierrez, 38, of Vallejo, who took Bay to Breakers to be his bachelor party of sorts. “The costumes are as good, if not better than last year.”