You know me: I like the idea that fitness should be a natural part of my day – and outside of the gym as often as possible. So of course I love the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race that has been taking place annually since 1912! This year, the race took place on May 21st, and of course I was there :).
If you’re wondering what’s in the name: “Bay” because it starts on the Bay of San Francisco, and “Breakers” because it ends up on the ocean, where the waves break.
More than 100,000 people attend, ranging from pro level runners (12 km in 33 min), less pro runners, or people just walking the full 12k (which, yes, can take hours). The peculiarity of this race? 95% of participants do not take themselves seriously. The focus is not on overtaking others and winning, but rather on simply being active and having a good time! Most of all, people dress up – the crazier, the better! From marines and pilots, to Elvis Presley or the Care Bears, the crowd was full of insanely creative homemade costumes.
Personally, I didn’t get too wild this year – just a lace dress and a hat :).
Nudity is also allowed (in a country where going topless is still banned in some states) and you can see men and women running naked!
There are tons of street bands, kids of all ages, and a host of animals from dogs to turtles.
The walk is marked by a fun and crazy atmosphere: hugs from strangers, loads of photobombing, music, and locals who open their homes and offer drinks on their porches. It’s a true festival, plenty of madness, and an amazing team spirit (let’s just say the world is divided into two: those who attend the Bay to Breakers and those who do not).
We cross the finish line to a gorgeous view of Ocean Beach, food stands, live music, and the joy of dipping our feet into the water which is overwhelmingly ice-cold! Of course, we don’t ruin our fitness efforts by eating too much junk or drinking the sugar-packed “sports drinks”.
We head back home on foot, which means we walked 17k total with some nice hills! Of course we end with a good stretching session :).
I invite you to come and do Bay to Breakers with me next year! We’ll make a LeBootCamp team! Wild outfits in the plans.
PS: Check out more photos on my Instagram @valerieorsoni! I also snap these kind of events on my Snapchat @valerieorsoni.