Bay To Breakers To Ban Booze, Bandits

City residents, officials support changes for 100th edition of popular road race.

From: Running USA

The organizer of the Bay to Breakers road race has received support from San Francisco neighborhood groups, San Francisco city hall and police officials for its banning of alcohol consumption and floats for next year’s historic 100th edition, set for Sunday, May 15, 2011.

“We cherish the fun aspects of the race that have made it unique worldwide — runners dressed in costumes, centipedes, group running — that add to the excitement of a professional internationally important 12K footrace,” said Angela Fang, general manager of the Bay to Breakers race. “But we are officially eliminating alcohol and floats in order to ensure public safety. These measures are imperative to the preservation of this event.”

“Starting this year, we will add additional police and private security to enforce the new rules,” Fang continued. In addition, she said the race will limit the number of people who can run the race and will only allow registered runners on the course.

“If you have always wanted to run the Bay to Breakers race, this will be the year to do it,” said Fang. She added that a number of enhancements and special events will be announced in the coming months.

A large crowd is anticipated for the 100th running, which was established in the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake by civic leaders who wanted to boost morale and promote the image of the recovering city. In 1964, the race was dubbed “the Bay to Breakers”.

The inaugural Cross City Race, held January 1, 1912, was won by student Bobby Vlught, who crossed the finish line in 44 minutes, 10 seconds. By contrast, the 2010 women’s race winner, Lineth Chepkurui of Kenya, made history finishing in 38:07, a world record, and the men’s winner, Sammy Kitwara of Kenya, became a back-to-back race champion in 34:15.

Bay to Breakers 12K is one of the world’s largest and oldest footraces, held annually in San Francisco, California. The name reflects the traditional course which takes tens of thousands of participants from the northeast end of the downtown area near the Embarcadero (the “bay” side of the city) to the west end of the city and the “breakers” of Ocean Beach. The 7.46 mile (12 kilometer) race features world class athletes in addition to costumed runners and “fun-loving” folks out for a great day of running and walking through San Francisco.

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