In the nearly 100 years that the Bay to Breakers race has been run in San Francisco, it has progressively become more and more a display of how far its participants can stuff the envelope as it pertains to tawdry, alcohol-fueled behavior as they brazenly flaunt the conventions of societal norms and what constitutes acceptable public behavior. Runners are allowed to show up looking as ridiculous as they like – as evidenced by three ladies above, who are dressed up like gigantic clitorises-es (clitori?). Or if costumes aren’t your bag, runners have been well-know to show up in varying stages of undress – even running the race butt-ass naked (as evidenced in the below, rather awkward photo. Further, if you require further evidence of what kind of naked anarchy that ensues, do a Google Image Search for “Bay To Breakers” but be forewarned: even with “Moderate Search” turned on, you will be quite surprised what shows up).
But all that is about to change come next year. The organizers of the race, which is held annually on the third Sunday of May, are attempting to corral and eradicate some of the most blatant violations of taste and decorum which generally occur at Bay to Breakers. Don’t get me wrong, you can still show up nude and let your freak flag fly (or flop, or sag, depending on your gender and/or level of physical fitness), but it’s time for the community to stamp its foot squarely down and say enough’s enough and put an end to the more off-putting activities which typically occur during the race:
That’s right: no more drinking!
But organizers of the notoriously bawdy San Francisco footrace, which marks its centennial next May, declared a last call for alcohol Wednesday, challenging the 92,000 people who descend on the 7½-mile course every year to show up sober.
After fielding complaints from residents along the route, losing a corporate sponsor and transporting 30 intoxicated people to the hospital this year, organizers of the nation’s 10th largest race were hoping to end the tradition of drinking, spokesman Sam Singer said.
Violators of the new ban will be arrested, cited and fined, said Angela Fang, the Bay to Breakers general manager.
“We want to have all the fun, the exuberance, the nakedness, but we don’t want anybody to get hurt,” said Singer.
Damn drunks stumbling around ruining all the nakedness and Caligula-inspired revelry. Yes, maintaining the free-wheeling, good-time-having nature of the event is crucial to preserve what the race stands for, which does indeed include gratuitous displays of public nudity. But here’s my question: drunk or sober, if you’re running down a paved street as naked as the day you were born, aren’t the chances of experiencing an uncomfortable injury quite high? I mean, the welts to one’s thighs alone should be enough to reconsider the wisdom of it all, let alone taking a nasty spill. Even the most minor case of road rash to your junk cannot be comfortable, right?
GALLERY: Racing naked is OK; racing drunk? Not OK [The San Diego Union-Tribune]