40,000 Runners Expected to Pack San Francisco for Bay to Breakers

Riya Bhattacharjee

About 40,000 people have registered to participate in the 106th annual Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco Sunday, staffers said.

The race starts at 8 a.m. at Howard Street near the San Francisco Bay, finishing up at the breakers at Ocean Beach. As ever, a multitude of wild costumes and running groups are expected, as well as serious contenders.

"About 40,000 people are signed up to run," said Michael Fusaro. "We expect around 150,000 spectators."

According to the website, it's not too late to register. Late registrants can't do so online, but can do so at the event expo.

The expo lasts through 5 p.m. Saturday at Pier 35. Runners can pick up their race packets at the expo, which is open to the public and features an array of fitness gear, technology and nutrition.

Participants can sign up for a guaranteed parking pass with Parking Panda by visiting the Bay to Breakers website, Fusaro said.

Whether you're part of a centipede - a linked group of 13 or more - or a seeded runner, there are plenty of options for getting to and from the race.

BART will run special trains before the race starting at 6 a.m. Sunday at 20-minute intervals, Caltrain will run four special northbound trains to the race starting at 5:50 a.m. and the San Francisco Bay Ferry will add special morning service departing at 6 a.m.

Shuttles will run from the North Bay, the South Bay and the East Bay at 6:30 a.m. The North Bay Shuttle picks up runners at the Mill Valley Park & Ride lot, the South Bay uses the Millbrae Park & Ride lot and the East Bay shuttle uses the Emeryville Park & Ride lot.

The shuttles will return to their original pickup locations after the race.

Folks driving through the city are advised by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency that there are only two options to travel north or south across the course of the race. These are at the Embarcadero and Crossover Drive, which connects 19th Avenue to Presidio Boulevard and 25th Avenue through Golden Gate Park.

One of the characteristics of the event, which began as the Cross City Race on January 1, 1912, according to the website, is the wild costumes. In the past, participants in the 7.46-mile race have worn things such as pickle costumes or donned chicken suits - or nothing at all beside running shoes.

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