Bay To Breakers organizers expect 40,000 participants in Sunday's colorful race
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KTVU) - The Bay to Breakers 12k race kicks off in San Francisco Friday with the Grand Opening of the free public Expo at a new location in Pier 35.
The race on Sunday will cut right through the middle of San Francisco and is famous for its centipede running teams and festive costumes, as well as the now-banned floats and alcohol kegs.
Organizers say they are expecting as many as 40,000 participants for the 2016 race, and added that registration has significantly increased in the past three years.
"I think people are starting to see the value of registering now, being able to get an Under Armor t-shirt, finishers medal, big party at the end. It has its perks for registering," said Chris Holmes, the General Manager of Bay to Breakers.
One new addition this year is the launch of a Zappos Bay to Breakers race app for mobile devices. The app will provide information on the race course, as well as allow users to find friends and get race results.
San Francisco police say they will have extra patrols and will be enforcing city laws on public drinking and nudity.
"Nudity is not allowed. Officers will ask people to either cover themselves up if they are exposed or be subject to citation," said Officer Albie Esparza, a San Francisco Police spokesman, "Coolers, floats, shopping carts, baby strollers are not allowed on the actually race course itself.'
Signs are already posted along the route warning drivers that parked cars will be towed Sunday.
Barriers will be set up lining the race course and neighbors say that is a feature that has made a big difference in recent years, keeping trespassers from crossing the line into private property. Neighbors say it also helps reduce past problems of trash, and other human waste, from ending up at people's doorsteps. On that point, organizers say they have ordered more than 1,000 portable toilets.
"We have more porta-potties than the New York City marathon which is three times as long as our race," Holmes noted.
The traffic from the starting line downtown to the finish line at Ocean Beach where a party will be held at the Great Highway, is expected to be as crazy as the famous Bay to Breakers costumes.
Thousands of people go through my street where I live toward the park and different locations, but if you try to get out maneuver through the city it's impossible. So it's better to stay home or go the opposite direction," said David Stark, a San Francisco resident who lives near Golden Gate Park.
Police say they also will be checking bags and backpacks and no one will be allowed to enter the course with a bag larger than a ream of paper.
Online registration ends midnight Thursday, but people can register on site at Pier 35 Friday and Saturday.