A metal arch hanging above the crest of Hayes Street Hill became dislodged just minutes before the Bay to Breakers race was set to begin Sunday, causing a nearly 25-minute delay.
Once the bolts had been re-fastened and the unstable arch secured, the 103rd running of the quintessentially San Franciscan 12-kilometer (7.46-mile) race kicked off at the Embarcadero at 8:25 a.m. before winding its way across the city to the finish line at Ocean Beach.
Geoffrey Kenisi of Kenya won the men's race with a time of 35:06 after surging ahead of the elite pack of runners near the Hayes Street crest. (An estimated 40,000 entrants were part of this year's race.)
By the time he'd rounded the final bend near Lincoln Way and entered the chute, Kenisi held a 200-meter lead ahead of second-place finisher Emmanuel Bor, also of Kenya.
Kenisi said afterward that he enjoys running on his own at the front in races, as opposed to tailing a pack of pace-setters. That dampened his chances at the course record of 33:31 (which doubles as the world record for the distance), but Kenisi's strategy still allowed him to win comfortably.
The lack of a world record certainly didn't bother Kenisi upon finishing. After breaking the tape at the line, Kenisi dropped to the ground to say a small prayer. Then, he bolted up and produced a little jig that had the entire gallery in an uproar.
“I was happy, so I did my dance,” he said.
Asked about the delay at the start of the race, Kenisi said the delay didn't affect him much and also shrugged off mention of the early-morning cold and fog.
“The course was very good,” he said.
Both the men's and women's winners earned a $3,000 prize. After Bor's second-place finish, Kevin Kipruto Kochei, also of Kenya, came in third.