Bay to Breakers Race: Show Me Yours

The words “Show Me Yours” are real attention grabbers. That’s what pops up when you open the Bay to Breakers Web site. This is the race in San Francisco where being a great runner isn’t exactly the point. Having a sense of humor and a taste for the off-beat is. And this is one mega, off-beat event. Between the spectators and the participants more than 160,000 people will hit the streets to run the distance between the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay on Saturday, May 20.

This race, always the 3rd Saturday in May, has been around for 95 years so it’s had some time to perfect the frivolity mixed with athleticism combo. Originally started as a way for people to get over the devastating earthquake of April 18, 1906, Bay to Breakers is a way for San Francisco to celebrate how it’s a city like no other. Here’s the one time it’s okay to run naked if that’s your thing. From some of the photos I found on Flicker, that’s exactly some people’s thing. Wild costumes are other options-or regular running gear. It doesn’t matter what your pleasure is, only that you come out and join in. And, according to the description, you really don’t have to run. There are so many people in the race, it might be hard to pick up speed anyway.

If you are in the race, you need to wear a timing chip on your shoe. This is the first year these have been used. It’ll keep track of when you cross the finish line. I was in a race that used these. Pretty cool. I remember needing to step hard at the starting point to activate it. If you really want to jazz up your footwear, donate $10 and you’ll get an orange pair of shoelaces. All proceeds go to school-based fitness programs for kids.

To register, click here. For a lively account of the race from C.W. Nevius, a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, click here.