View Full Version : Boozy SF Footrace Attempts Dry Run for Centennial

05-14-2011, 10:23 PM
Over the past 100 years, San Francisco's Bay to Breakers footrace has evolved from a wholesome, modest-size athletic event into a rowdy spectacle featuring tens of thousands of runners and spectators - some costumed, others nude and many rip-roaring drunk.
A detailed Bay to Breakers Booze Map provides directions to liquor stores that will open in time for the 7 a.m. race, while a Berkeley brewery is setting up nine "pit stops" at bars along the 7.5-mile route from the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific Ocean. And for the technophiles in the race, the SaveB2B Twitter feed will offer up-to-the-minute tips on how to avoid the police checkpoints scattered throughout the course.

"It's gotten a little crazy in the past, but in San Francisco, it's just kind of what we do: we have a good time," said seven-time race participant Mariza Snyder.

The 31-year-old Oakland resident said she plans to run -and drink - this year alongside 20 friends.

"I'm definitely not happy about the new regulations, but I'm not really fazed by it. We're just going to do whatever we do anyway," she said.

In addition to the alcohol policy, changes to this year's race include a ban on floats, an earlier start time, a 55,000-person cap on registration, and a pledge to kick non-registered revelers off the course.

Nudity _ and runners dressed up as human genitalia _ will still be tolerated, and if past years are any indication, there will be plenty.

Organizers and city officials say the crackdown is necessary after a noticeable increase in alcohol-related ambulance requests and nuisance crimes such as vandalism and public urination in recent years.

It has long been illegal to have open alcohol containers in public, but in the past the city turned a blind eye to liquor-filled water bottles and floats that were essentially "large Trojan horses filled with kegs," said Sam Singer, a spokesman for entertainment company AEG, the race organizer.

"We've been seeing Bay to Breakers become alcohol-infested," said David Perry, whose public relations firm was hired by the city to promote the new rules, which he admits have not been popular. "When people say this is an anti-party campaign, I say no, this is a public-safety campaign."