Bay to Breakers on Approach

The West's most outlandish run turns 101 next month.

JUST A HUNCH... But we're going to make an outlandish, semi-easy-to-challenge assumption here and say that a lot of the brave and bold runners who run in San Francisco's extremely photographable Bay to Breakers race spend more time on their costumes than the race itself. It's a 12K race, meaning that the very fastest athletes can take it in under an hour. (Side note: We rarely see photos of them wearing costumes, so you're trading time if you want to trot along and get props from the crowd.) Many of the costumes, just from looking at past albums, are pretty elaborate, whether they involve a full body painting or multiple balloons stuck to pretty much every surface on one's form. Those take longer than an hour or two, we'll guess, so today we pause to cheer the people who run up and down San Francisco's hills in a bouquet of body-close balloons. And we pause to remind you to register if you are going to: Bay to Breakers is on Sunday, May 20.

(cr: Bay to Breakers)

A FEW OTHER FACTS: It's year 101 for the run -- first one was in 1912. Two? You really don't have to be outrageous. If you just want to run the nearly seven and a half mile from the Embarcadero (or close to it) to Ocean Beach, wear your traditional runner's gear. And three? Yep, there are wild tales from the race, so don't be surprised to see some serious skin and occasional high jinks. And three? The first costumed runner was Captain Kidd. Have a guess as to the year? We would have landed on the early '60s but Bay to Breakers says it was 1940. Meaning you have over 70 years of outfits to outlandish, so get planning.

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