Bay to Breakers
|Bay to Breakers|
Participants in the 2010 race
|Date||Third Sunday in May|
|Course records||Men: 33:31 (2009)|
Women: 38:07 (2010)
Bay to Breakers is an annual footrace in San Francisco, California typically on the third Sunday of May. The phrase "Bay to Breakers" reflects the fact that the race starts at the northeast end of the downtown area a few blocks from The Embarcadero (adjacent to San Francisco Bay) and runs west through the city to finish at the Great Highway (adjacent to the Pacific coast, where breakers crash onto Ocean Beach). The complete course is 7.46 miles (12.01 km) long. 
Bay to Breakers is well known for many participants wearing costumes.   The 1986 edition set a Guinness Word Record for being world's largest footrace with 110,000 participants, until that was surpassed by the 2010 City2Surf event in Sydney.   Attendance in 2015 was reported at roughly 50,000.  That year, Zappos.com signed on as the multi-year title sponsor of Bay to Breakers; the name of the race became Zappos.com Bay to Breakers. As of 2017 the title sponsor of the race is Alaska Airlines.
Started as a way to lift the city's spirits after the disastrous 1906 San Francisco earthquake, it has been run for more consecutive years over a given course and length than has any other footrace in the world; although other footraces are older and have been run for more consecutive years, their courses and lengths have changed over time.  During World War II participation sometimes slipped below 50 registrants, but the tradition carried on. With 110,000 participants, the Bay to Breakers race held on May 18, 1986 was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest footrace.  That record number was partly the product of the running boom of the 1980s; currently the average participation is between 70,000 and 80,000. Many participants do not register; of the estimated 60,000 participants in 2008, 33,000 were registered.  The San Francisco Examiner, a former sponsor of the race, published a list of the first 10,000 finishers the day after the race each year.
The route is typically dotted with various local bands performing. At the end of the race is a Finish Line Festival, a gathering where participants and spectators can enjoy musical performances by various musical acts.
In February 2009, city officials and race sponsors announced changes to the race regulations. The regulations included an official ban on floats, alcohol, drunkenness and nudity.  The changes were made to assuage the concerns of San Francisco residents along the parade route, who say the race has gotten out of hand in recent years.  The news sparked outrage amongst many Bay Area residents who said the changes would destroy much that has made the race a national treasure for most of the last century. 
2020 will see a virtual race run for the first time as a live human race won't be held. Officials cite the COVID-19 pandemic as grounds for moving the race to online.
Bay to Breakers is owned and operated by Wasserman. In 2010, ING completed 5 years of sponsorship.  In 2011, online retailer Zazzle signed a deal to sponsor Bay to Breakers for 2 years.  After Zazzle dropped out as a title sponsor in 2013, the race was picked up by Craigslist.  In 2014, ZOZI, the B2B2C platform for the $125B global tours and activities market, signed a deal to sponsor Bay to Breakers. 
On February 12, 2014 Bay to Breakers announced a partnership with athletic apparel company Under Armour to provide race participants with hi-tech runner's shirts.  All registered participants receive perks like the Under Armour T, as well as an MVP membership to Map My Fitness, Finisher Medals, Race Bib with Timing Tag, on course entertainment and access to the Finish Line Festival. On February 18, 2015 Zappos.com became the multi-year title sponsor of the event. As such, the event was renamed "Zappos.com Bay to Breakers". 
On March 30, 2017 Alaska Airlines became the title sponsor of the race in an effort to connect with the Bay Area community and events, in the same year expanding service to 13 more cities from the Bay Area. 
The Bay to Breakers is held on a USA Track & Field certified point-to-point course.  USATF notes that the course is "wind dependent", therefore, a USA Track & Field record can only be set when it can be shown that there is no significant tailwind. 
The initial course started at the Ferry Building along Market Street to Golden Gate Avenue before turning onto Divisadero Street.  In 1968, the start was moved from Market Street to Howard Street and the ascension to Divisadero moved to Hayes Street.  In 1983, the course was shortened from 7.51 miles to an official 12K (7.46 miles).  The current course turns west along Hayes Street and up Hayes Street Hill near Alamo Square. This is the only major incline in the race. After the hill, the race runs along the panhandle and then west through Golden Gate Park, past the Conservatory of Flowers, all the way to the Great Highway and Ocean Beach. The Great Highway will also host a Finish Line Festival, a postrace recovery and reunion area.
Bay to Breakers is one of the most popular footraces in the United States. Large numbers of participants walk the route behind the runners, and many dress in costumes, while other wear nothing but shoes, thus lending a party atmosphere to the event. Participants have developed a number of unique, festive practices for the race. One festive tradition is the tortilla toss, during which crowds of runners waiting to cross the start line throw tortillas at one another to pass time (similar to balloon-batting at rock concerts).
Other oddities are always on the scene, including traditional characters such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man, as well as other unique characters spawned for the race. At least 40 pairs of Blues Brothers participated in the 1985 edition.  Every year, some runners dressed as salmon run "upstream" from the breakers to the Bay.  
Bay to Breakers features a special team division called "centipedes". Teams of 13 or more runners will travel the full 12k course together linked by a bungee cord, or any other safe mechanism. An additional runner, a floater, usually the team captain, is allowed to run along untethered to pace the team or substitute for a drop out runner. Despite the novelty, the centipede race is very competitive. Bay to Breakers is the official site of the World Centipede Running Championships. 
While the founding of the "centipede" is commonly attributed to Dwayne "Peanut" Harms, who was an original member of the first-ever "Pede" and a member of the UC Davis men's track team, ("Aggies"),  in 1978, Douglas L. Peck, also a UC Davis runner, founded a special division of the race in which 13 runners are connected as a unit. Peck also ran as "Head Pede," i.e., he was the leader of the centipede. 
Race organizers and media have reported that the course records set by Sammy Kitwara in 2009 and Lineth Chepkurui in 2010 are also world records at the 12 km distance;  however, the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics/track and field, does not recognize world records or world bests in either an indoor or outdoor 12 km.  The Association of Road Racing Statisticians, a non-regulatory group that collects road running data, does recognize world records in the outdoor 12 km provided that the race course meets certain criteria.   In order to rule-out the possibility of wind assistance in point-to-point courses, the ARRS stipulates that the course must have "not more than 30% of the race distance separation between that start and finish", or 3.6 km for a 12 km race.  Given that the Bay to Breakers is run on a point-to-point course in which the start and finish of the event are approximately 10.5 linear kilometers apart, the ARRS recognizes two other marks as 12 km world records: Kenyan Simon Kigen's 33:46 in Portland, Oregon on May 19, 1985 and Chepkurui's 38:10 at the 2010 Lilac Bloomsday Run.  [nb 1]
‹See Tfd› = Course record
|Date||Men's Winner||Country||Time||Women's Winner||Country||Time|
|January 1, 1912||Bobby Vlught||United States||44:10|
|January 1, 1913||Bobby Vlught||United States||40:59|
|January 1, 1914||Oliver Millard||United States||40:46.6|
|January 1, 1915||Oliver Millard||United States||41:39|
|January 1, 1916||George Wyckoff||United States||42:33|
|January 1, 1917||Oliver Millard||United States||41:29.6|
|January 1, 1918||Edgar Stout||United States||42:41|
|January 1, 1919||Harry Ludwig||United States||42:45.4|
|January 1, 1920||William Churchill||United States||40:56.6|
|January 1, 1921||Charles Hunter||United States||40:27.6|
|January 1, 1922||William Churchill||United States||42:56|
|January 1, 1923||William Churchill||United States||41:56|
|January 1, 1924||William Churchill||United States||41:52|
|January 1, 1925||Vincenzo Goso||United States||42:59.6|
|January 1, 1926||Frank Eames||United States||42:13|
|January 1, 1927||Frank Eames||United States||42:55.8|
|January 29, 1928||Pietro Giordanengo||United States||43:05|
|January 27, 1929||Pietro Giodanengo||United States||43:05|
|February 2, 1930||Manuel John||United States||43:10|
|February 1, 1931||Jack Keegan||United States||44:28|
|February 7, 1932||Ray Cocking||United States||43:19|
|February 5, 1933||Jack Keegan||United States||43:31|
|January 28, 1934||John Nehi||United States||42:12|
|March 3, 1935||Leo Karlhofer||United States||43:50.6|
|March 1, 1936||Joe McCluskey||United States||40:37.2|
|March 14, 1937||Norm Bright||United States||39:52|
|March 6, 1938||Ed Preston||United States||41:15|
|March 12, 1939||Ed Preston||United States||41:14|
|March 10, 1940||Ed Preston||United States||42:12|
|March 2, 1941||Frank Lawrence||United States||42:39|
|March 15, 1942||James Haran||United States||43:53|
|October 10, 1943||Joseph Wehrly||United States||45:01|
|April 30, 1944||Fred Kline||United States||43:15|
|May 6, 1945||Fred Kline||United States||43:25.1|
|April 7, 1946||Fred Kline||United States||44:28|
|March 23, 1947||Merle Knox||United States||43:52|
|April 18, 1948||Fred Kline||United States||44:27|
|May 1, 1949||Merle Knox||United States||42:58|
|May 7, 1950||Elwyn Stribling||United States||42:57|
|May 6, 1951||John Holden||United States||46:09|
|May 4, 1952||Jim Shettler||United States||45:34|
|May 3, 1953||Jesse Van Zant||United States||42:05|
|May 9, 1954||Jesse Van Zant||United States||42:15|
|April 24, 1955||Jesse Van Zant||United States||43:32|
|April 29, 1956||Walt Berger||United States||44:56|
|May 12, 1957||Jesse Van Zant||United States||44:02|
|May 11, 1958||Wilford King||United States||41:17|
|May 24, 1959||Wilford King||United States||41:30|
|May 22, 1960||Don Kelley||United States||41:59.8|
|May 21, 1961||Jack Marden||United States||41:30|
|May 20, 1962||Jim Shettler||United States||41:25.3|
|May 19, 1963||Herman Gene Gurule||United States||40:15.7|
|May 17, 1964||Jeff Fishback||United States||38:32|
|May 23, 1965||William Morgan||United States||38:02|
|May 22, 1966||Eric Brenner||United States||41:10.6||Frances K. Conley||United States||1:00:7|
|May 21, 1967||Tom Laris||United States||38:42|
|May 26, 1968||Kenny Moore||United States||38:15|
|May 25, 1969||Kenny Moore||United States||38:40||Mary Etta Boitano||United States||1:01:12|
|May 24, 1970||Kenny Moore||United States||39:29||Joyce Swannack-Gibbs||United States||58:08|
|May 23, 1971||Kenny Moore||United States||36:57||Frances Conley [nb 2]||United States||50:45|
|May 21, 1972||Kenny Moore||United States||36:39||Cheryl Flanagan||United States||44:47|
|May 20, 1973||Kenny Moore||United States||37:15||Cheryl Flanagan||United States||45:20|
|May 19, 1974||Gary Tuttle||United States||37:07||Mary Etta Boitano||United States||43:22|
|May 18, 1975||Ric Rojas||United States||37:18||Mary Etta Boitano||United States||46:04|
|May 16, 1976||Chris Wardlaw||Australia||37:28||Mary Etta Boitano||United States||49:20|
|May 15, 1977||Paul Geis||United States||37:28||Judy Leydig||United States||47:28|
|May 14, 1978||Gerard Barrett||Australia||35:17.4||Joyce Swannack-Gibbs||United States||47:02|
|May 20, 1979||Bob Hodge||United States||36:50||Laurie Binder||United States||43:07|
|May 18, 1980||Craig Virgin||United States||35:11||Laurie Binder||United States||42:20|
|May 17, 1981||Craig Virgin||United States||35:07||Janice Oehm||United States||41:47|
|May 16, 1982||Rod Dixon||New Zealand||35:08||Laurie Binder||United States||42:28|
|May 15, 1983||Rod Dixon||New Zealand||35:01.3||Laurie Binder||United States||41:24.7|
|May 20, 1984||Ibrahim Hussein||Kenya||35:11||Nancy Ditz||United States||42:32|
|May 19, 1985||Ibrahim Hussein||Kenya||34:53||Joan Samuelson||United States||39:55|
|May 18, 1986||Ed Eyestone||United States||34:33||Grete Waitz||Norway||38:45|
|May 17, 1987||Arturo Barrios||Mexico||34:45||Rosa Mota||Portugal||39:16|
|May 15, 1988||Arturo Barrios||Mexico||34:58||Lisa Ondieki||Australia||39:17|
|May 21, 1989||Arturo Barrios||Mexico||34:40||Ingrid Kristiansen||Norway||39:14|
|May 20, 1990||Arturo Barrios||Mexico||34:42||Jill Boltz||England||39:19.5|
|May 19, 1991||Thomas Osano||Kenya||33:55||Susan Sirma||Kenya||38:27|
|May 17, 1992||Thomas Osano||Kenya||33:57||Lisa Ondieki||Australia||38:36|
|May 16, 1993||Ismael Kirui||Kenya||33:42||Lynn Jennings||United States||39:14|
|May 15, 1994||Ismael Kirui||Kenya||34:03||Tegla Loroupe||Kenya||39:10|
|May 21, 1995||Ismael Kirui||Kenya||33:58||Delilah Asiago||Kenya||38:23|
|May 19, 1996||Thomas Osano||Kenya||34:35||Elana Meyer||South Africa||38:56|
|May 18, 1997||Joseph Kimani||Kenya||33:51||Jane Omoro||Kenya||39:56|
|May 17, 1998||Simon Rono||Kenya||33:58||Jane Omoro||Kenya||38:57|
|May 16, 1999||Lazarus Nyakeraka||Kenya||34:11||Catherine Ndereba||Kenya||38:37|
|May 21, 2000||Reuben Cheruiyot||Kenya||34:54||Colleen De Reuck||South Africa||38:42|
|May 20, 2001||James Koskei||Kenya||34:19||Jane Ngotho||Kenya||40:35|
|May 19, 2002||James Koskei||Kenya||34:03||Luminiţa Talpoş||Romania||39:15|
|May 18, 2003||James Koskei||Kenya||35:11||Lyudmila Biktasheva||Russia||39:22|
|May 16, 2004||Benjamin Maiyo||Kenya||34:50||Albina Ivanova||Russia||39:56|
|May 15, 2005||Gilbert Okari||Kenya||34:20||Asmae Leghzaoui||Morocco||38:22|
|May 21, 2006||Gilbert Okari||Kenya||34:20||Tatyana Hladyr||Ukraine||39:09|
|May 20, 2007||John Korir||Kenya||34:44||Edna Kiplagat||Kenya||38:55|
|May 18, 2008||John Korir||Kenya||34:24||Lineth Chepkurui||Kenya||39:22|
|May 17, 2009||Sammy Kitwara||Kenya||33:31||Teyba Erkesso||Ethiopia||38:29|
|May 16, 2010||Sammy Kitwara||Kenya||34:15||Lineth Chepkurui||Kenya||38:07|
|May 15, 2011||Ridouane Harroufi||Morocco||34:26||Lineth Chepkurui||Kenya||39:12|
|May 20, 2012||Sammy Kitwara||Kenya||34:41||Mamitu Daska||Ethiopia||39:03|
|May 19, 2013||Tolossa Gedefa||Ethiopia||35:01||Diane Nukuri-Johnson||Burundi||40:12|
|May 18, 2014||Geoffrey Kenisi||Kenya||35:06||Diane Nukuri-Johnson||Burundi||40:15|
|May 17, 2015||Isaac Mukundi Mwangi||Kenya||35:25||Jane Kibii||Kenya||40:04|
|May 15, 2016||Isaac Mukundi Mwangi||Kenya||35:23||Caroline Chepkoech||Kenya||40:36|
|May 21, 2017||Philemon Cheboi||Kenya||34:48||Buze Diriba||Ethiopia||39:48|
|May 20, 2018||Philemon Cheboi||Kenya||35:41||Jane Kibii||Kenya||40:27|
|May 19, 2019||Gabriel Geay||Tanzania||35:01||Caroline Rotich||Kenya||39:28|
‹See Tfd› = Course record
|Date||Men's Centipede Winner||Country||Time||Women's Centipede Winner||Country||Time|
|May 20, 1990||Reebok Aggies||USA||37:39||Reebok Aggies||USA||47:36|
|May 18, 2008||ASICS Aggies Men||USA||38:05||ASICS Aggies Women||USA||47:47|
|May 17, 2009||ASICS Aggies Men||USA||40:27||ASICS Aggies Women||USA||50:51|
|May 16, 2010||LinkedIn Centipede||USA||37:58||ASICS Aggies Women||USA||48:44|
|May 15, 2011||LinkedIn Centipede||USA||37:00||ASICS Aggies Women||USA||49:06|
|May 20, 2012||Team LinkedIn||USA||36:44||Impala Racing Team||USA||46:37|
|May 19, 2013||ASICS Aggies Centipede Men||USA||40:03||ASICS Aggies Centipede Women||USA||48:17|
|May 18, 2014||ASICS Aggies Centipede Men||USA||40:19||ASICS Aggies Centipede Women||USA||47:59|
- Race records from the Association of Road Racing Statisticians indicate that Joseph Kimani of Kenya also ran a 33:31 at the Arts Fest River Run in Evansville, Indiana in 1997;  however, it was also held on a point-to-point course that USATF has noted as "wind dependent" and not "record eligible".  
- According to race organizers, Frances Conley was the first official female runner in 1971. 
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- "ZOZI Signs On As A Key Sponsor of 2014 Bay to Breakers Race". Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
- Wendell, Erin (February 12, 2014). "Under Armour Partners with Bay to Breakers As the Official Performance Apparel and Footwear Provider". PRWeb. PRWeb. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
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- Cook, Catherine (March 30, 2017). "Zappos.com Signs on as Title Sponsor of San Francisco's Iconic Bay to Breakers Race". Retrieved April 10, 2019.
- "Certified Course Map". USATF. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
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- The San Francisco Cacophony Society. "Spawn! Home of the Breakers Bo Bay "Upstream" Salmon". San Francisco: The San Francisco Cacophony Society. Archived from the original on October 28, 2010. Retrieved January 19, 2011.
- Supersano, Melanie (August 8, 1991). "Grads find success through antennae". Record-Courier (Gardnerville, Nev.).
- Aldax, Mike (May 16, 2010). "ING Bay to Breakers: Women's world record broken; Kitwara wins second straight for men". San Francisco Examiner. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
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- "Arts Fest River Run 12 km". Association of Road Racing Statisticians. January 17, 2006. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- "Certified Course Map". USATF. Retrieved October 21, 2012.
- "Course Records". ING Bay To Breakers. Retrieved May 17, 2010.
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