Race Report: Bay to Breakers

May 2011

Result: 51:28 (12k)
Place: 461 (of 43,414)

This will be a short one because of everything else that’s going on these days.

I woke up a little before 5 am this morning to get the super-express Caltrain to the 2011 Bay to Breakers. I had missed the race last year, but it’s been on my to-do list since moving out west and the 100th running seemed as good a time as any.

While waiting for the start I witnessed the somewhat bizarre tradition wherein racers throw tortillas into the air, a la graduation mortarboards. The great- grandson of the winner of the first Bay to Breakers in 1912 rang the starting bell and we were off through the streets of SOMA.

Things got sorted out after about a mile and I settled into a pretty good pace. At one point I narrowly avoided a Centipede that was preparing to make a sharp left hand turn.

The 2.5 mile mark and the Hayes Street hill arrived quickly. I decided not to completely attack the hill and aim for a more even effort, which worked out pretty well.

The hill served to thin the pack out pretty well and we headed towards the panhandle. By this point I realized that at regular intervals, I would hear one of two things from the spectators - “Elvis!” and “Hey, she’s naked”. Two of the people in my immediate vicinity were 1) in a full-on Elvis costume, and 2) completely naked. The shouts continued for the rest of the race.

The weather, despite the forecast, turned out to be beautiful, which highlighted what was already a great course. With about a mile to go a view opened up of the Pacific Ocean (and, yes, the breakers), which gave a nice little energy boost to the finish. I’m still waiting on pictures but will post them once they’re up. This one is pretty good - here’s me and Elvis.

After finishing I made my way back along the course to watch Bay to Breakers part II: the party.

I was happy with the time but I’ve pretty much been training through this race, as the Dipsea next month is the real target. If I were to post the same time there as I ran today, it would fare very well - there’s just the matter of the vastly more challenging course to contend with.