San Francisco: You Can Run Naked, but Not Drunk

City wants 100th anniversary of Bay to Breakers to be a sober one
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted May 14, 2011 2:37 PM CDT
Everyone from professional runners, weekend athletes, people in pink gorilla and other costumes, and groups that just want to have fun join in the annual ING Bay to Breakers Race.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – Tomorrow marks the 100th anniversary of the Bay to Breakers, a famed 7.5-mile annual race from San Francisco Bay to the waves (aka breakers) of the Pacific Ocean—but don't spike your Gatorade with champagne just yet. The race has long been a debaucherous one, complete with people clad in costumes or no clothes at all, many of whom lug booze along the course. In recent years, tavern-like floats shaped like Viking ships and tiki huts have buzzed alongside, allowing runners to get a buzz. But this year, the city is cracking down.

In 2010, runners left 47 tons of trash in their wake; 32 were carted off in ambulances, mainly for injuries related to alcohol. In an attempt to remedy that, tomorrow's race will start at 7am instead of 8am, no wheeled objects or unregistered runners will be allowed, and drunk runners will be placed in a "sobering tent." Nudity? Still totally OK. Televised public service announcements drive home the city's message: "We're serious." But so are the boozing runners, the Wall Street Journal reports. One has made a sequined mobile bar that attaches to his chest; he'll be serving tequila shots. "Drinking alcohol on the racecourse while running is the foundation of this race's popularity," he says. "I am going to uphold the tradition."

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |