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May 20, 2019

Where to Cheer on Runners During Bay to Breakers

Bay to Breakers is a race the entire city of San Francisco comes out for, even if people aren’t running. The race, which has been a tradition since 1912, brings out some of the best people-watching opportunities, from centipede runners to off-the-wall costumes that people think up. You don’t want to miss them. Here are the best places to watch the best of the Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers on May 19, 2019. (And, if you're inspired to run or walk the course yourself, sign up here)

The Starting Line (Howard and Main Street)
As runners are about to embark on their 12 kilometer journey through the city, watching runners wait their turn at the starting line is a tradition not to miss. Crowds of runners waiting to cross the start line with their corral group will throw tortillas at one another to pass the time. Get there by 7:30 a.m. to give them a warm send-off.

Hayes Street Hill (Hayes Street, from Gough to Steiner Street)
The infamous Hayes Street Hill is perilous to runners, but a fantastic place to cheer them on. The hill starts at mile two and is approximately two-thirds of a mile. Along this steep climb, you’ll hear plenty of music from house bands and DJs spinning records, which will allow you to show off your sweet dance moves.

The Panhandle
Right before the entrance of the Golden Gate Park, sits a narrow green strip of land with bike paths and picnic areas, called the Panhandle because of its shape. As runners make their way through the home stretch (they’re halfway done at this point), the Panhandle is great area to watch from the sidelines with a blanket and bites at hand.

Ocean Beach (The Finish Line)
As runners cross the finish line with a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean, they will, no doubt, hear the loudest cheers of all. Stick around once the last corral group crosses the finish line for the live bands and the celebration, as the Finish Line Festival kicks off. 

NOTE: No alcohol and no wheeled devices (including floats) will be allowed on the race course during the Alaska Airlines Bay to Breakers. Violators will be removed from the race course immediately and will not be issued a refund.

Photo by Bhautik Joshi / CC BY-NC-ND


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