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10 Bay to Breakers Survival Tips

Costume shops are emptying out, liquor's being loaded up, and respectable runners are hitting the pavement in eager anticipation for San Francisco's main claim to fame. Bay to Breakers is back for 2014!

But before you slather on that body paint and open up your costume box, it's always a good idea to run through that mental checklist before getting swallowed up in the costumed crowd. Read on below for our 10 golden rules to get you through another round of Bay to Breakers, safe and sound.

1. Don’t dress warm. You read that right. Do not dress warm
Here’s how it always goes down at B to B. At 8am it is still cold but by about 9am you start climbing the Hayes Street Hill and the temp starts rising. As you finish your first bottle of champagne you are going to start regretting the fact that you brought that big fleece and now your drunk ass needs to carry it the rest of the way.

2. Avoid drinks that require a lot of ice to taste good.
Yeah yeah, we all know that Bloody Mary’s are a great Sunday morning cocktail but if you have ever found yourself staring down a ¾ empty Solo glass of warm tomato juice and vodka, you know this is not the day for that. Stick with things like beer, vodka/cranberry and champagne.

3. Get yourself a costume.
What ever you come up with will be fine but don’t be the tool who shows up in jeans. Bay to Breakers is for the freak in all of us so don’t be afraid to show the world just how freaky you are.

4. Think about your transportation home before you start the race.
There is nothing worse than getting sloshed then walking 7 miles only to realize that you are out at the ocean with no way of getting back home.

5. Pace yourself.
You may think that you are almost done when you take that right turn off of Howard St and cross over Market to head through Hayes Valley but trust us when we say you are just getting started. Wait until you enter the confines of the park before you really go full throttle. This way you can at least crash in the bushes.

6. Be prepared for naked dudes.
Not much to say here but that. They come out big for B to B and it’s OK to look, just don’t stare too long.

7. Stop at a few parties along the way.
The real fun happens at the pit stops. DJs, bands, house parties, random gatherings… Every one offers new ways to get you in trouble which is really what B to B is all about.

8. Go in a group.
No one likes drinking alone. Find a group of friends to get silly with and rev it up like you don’t have to go to work on Monday. B to B only comes along once a year so do it proper.

9. Don’t be a total idiot
While Bay to Breakers is for sure a relaxed environment, John Goodman puts it best, “This isn’t Nam, there are rules”. We are still in public so keep that in mind when you are taunting the police officer on the horse.

10. Enjoy yourself.
San Francisco is probably the only city in the country that can pull off an event like Bay to Breakers year after year. It is a testament to the open culture that we have here in our city. Get out there and have some fun, some day it might not be here to enjoy.

Find out more information about Bay To Breakers on Bay to Breakers Preview or visit their website. The race starts at Howard and The Embarcadero at 7am and you can jump in pretty much anywhere after the runners come through. See you out there!


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