How They Lie About Bay to Breakers Every Year, and How BtoB is Handling Floats This Year

Oh, it’s happening again already this year. It’s the falsehood about the Hayes Street Hill being the highest point on the Bay to Breakers course.

Here’s your route profile, starting from the SoMA near the bay going all the way to the breakers of Ocean Beach. See that big incline just before mile marker three? That’s the vaunted Hayes Street Hill. (And actually, the highest part of Hayes Street on this part of the course is near Pierce, not “at Fillmore and Steiner” and not “between Fillmore and Sutter.”)

And actually, that part of Hayes peaks at around 260 feet, not 215:

Now, here’s your winner. It’s the 270-something foot high saddle on JFK Jr. Drive betwixt Prayer Book Cross and Stow Lake / Strawberry Hill, where “Kennedy” is written:

Looks like somebody made a boo boo a while back and then it got repeated over and over. Oh well.

Now, on to new bidness. How much better are the organizers of BtoB handling things this year compared to last year? A whole bunch, it would appear. Maybe the lesson is that you should call PR man Sam Singer before you drive into the ditch instead of having him try to pull you out afterwards

Anyway, the new rules for 2010 are getting a better reception than the new rules BtoB try tried to enact last year. Entering a float will run you and your pals $250 – that’s the news that came down last week.

All right, that’s that. Haven’t seen any groundswell against this new rule so it looks like that’s that.

Get all the deets after the jump.

And finally, here’s what you should do at B2B 2010. Just party with the mellow cops of the SFPD while they handle their boring job detail.

As seen in 2009. Fell Street:

Pandhandle putt putt:

And, a moment with Sarge:

As promised, all the deets after the jump.


Float Start Gates Announced for 99th Annual ING Bay to Breakers Race Set for May 16, 2010 in San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (March 29, 2010) – Floats can enter the 99th Annual ING Bay to Breakers 12K race both at the starting line of the race along the Embarcadero as well as a second location near San Francisco’s Civic Center, race organizers announced today.

Floats will have two entry point options: the Start Line between Howard and Folsom on Main and a second location near the Civic Center on Polk between Hayes and Grove. The float course will then follow the race route to Conservatory West Drive, just past the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park – where floats must exit the course. The float course from start is 4.5 miles in length and from the Civic Center the float course is 2.55 miles in length. 

All float applications must be received no later than April 30, 2010. Floats and “Floaters” can register at Unregistered/unauthorized floats will be removed from the course. 

This year there is a new $250 per float entry fee, which includes entry wristbands for 20 participants (i.e. riders on the float or walkers associated with float). Each additional participant with the float will be $15 per person and must be pre-registered and included within the float registration.

Float guidelines include:

  • Floats must be no longer than 12 feet.
  • Floats cannot be taller or wider than 8 feet.
  • Floats cannot be motorized.
  • Floats cannot have Mylar balloons or other potential hazardous objects that conduct electrical currents (due to Muni overhead lines).
  • Shopping Carts are not allowed on course.
  • See the full set of guidelines online at

On Your Mark, Get Ready to Run (and Float) Sunday May 16

This year marks the 99th annual running of the race, which has already set record numbers of early registrants for the May 16th race day, considered by many to be the most unique race in the world

For runner/walker registration, go to:

“The ING Bay to Breakers 12K is more than a race – it’s a phenomenon that unites best-in-class athletes, spirited participants and jubilant spectators in a fun public celebration,” said Angela Fang, General Manager of the race. “With our centennial anniversary on the horizon, we look forward to another fantastic year for runners in a race as unique as San Francisco itself.” 

It is essential that all racers, participants, and floats register for the race. The fees help cover the cost of police, emergency services, portable restrooms, recycling, and support local high school athletic programs. Registered race (non-float) participants receive their official time, a commemorative 99th anniversary T-shirt and an official race participation certificate. 

ING Bay to Breakers is a USA Track and Field certified 12K (7.46 miles). Starting at the base of the

San Francisco Bay, the course rises steeply along the City’s famous Hayes Street Hill. Around the 2.5-mile mark participants climb an 11.15 percent grade between Fillmore and Steiner streets, bringing them to the highest point in the race, approximately 215 feet above sea level. The remainder of the course gradually flows alongside the Panhandle and through Golden Gate Park and ends at the Pacific Ocean. 

Last year’s winner of the race was first-time participant Sammy Kitwara of Kenya. He made race history amid more than 62,000 participants, world-class athletes, weekend runners and enthusiasts of all ages. Finishing in 33:31, Kitwara beat Ismael Kirui’s 1993 time by 11 seconds. Kitwara’s performance earned the $25,000 ING Battle to the Breakers prize, the $7,000 First Place prize, the $5,000 ING Hayes Street Summit prize for the first male to reach the course’s highest elevation point, and a $3,000 bonus for breaking the course record, for a total prize purse of $40,000. 

Registration information:

Early Registration (Ends March 31): The early registration fee is $44 for adults and $39 for children under 18 years. Early registrants have the option of picking up their packets at the ING Greater Body Expo (May 14 – 15) or having their race packet mailed to them for an additional fee of $9.99.

Standard Registration (April 1 – May 14): The standard registration fee is $48 for adults and $44 for children. Standard registrants must pick up their race packet at the ING Greater Body Expo. Online registration will be available until May 12.

Expo Late Registration (May 14-15) Late registration is available at the ING Greater Body Expo. The late registration fee is $55 for adults and $50 for children. There is no registration or packet pick up on the day of the race. 

Underscoring the race’s growing popularity, organizers last year implemented a series of enhancements to ease congestion at the start line. Runners were allowed to select a starting corral based on their estimated finishing time, this proved to be an overwhelming success and will be utilized again at this year’s race. 

Runners who wish to apply for a seeded position may still do so by following the instructions on the

website. The deadline for seeded applications is April 15; space is limited and is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

A Race for Good

ING Bay to Breakers 12K is proud to support numerous beneficiaries in the Bay Area, including the

ING Run for Something Better a national campaign that funds free, school-based running programs and introduces kids to the benefits of physical fitness and healthy lifestyle choices; Breathe

California, which works to reduce the impact of lung disease through prevention, education, advocacy and patient services; and other local organizations. Additionally, race registration fees help support local San Francisco high school sports. 

About ING Bay to Breakers 12K

Celebrating its 99th year, the ING Bay to Breakers 12K is one of the world’s largest and oldest footraces, held annually in San Francisco, Calif. 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. For more information, visit 

About ING

ING is a global financial institution of Dutch origin offering banking, investments, life insurance and retirement services to over 85 million residential, corporate and institutional clients in more than 40 countries. With a diverse workforce of about 110,000 people, ING comprises a broad spectrum of prominent companies that increasingly serve their clients under the ING brand. In the U.S., the

ING family of companies offers a comprehensive array of financial services to retail and institutional clients, which includes life insurance, retirement plans, mutual funds, managed accounts, alternative investments, direct banking, institutional investment management, 3 annuities, employee benefits, financial planning, and reinsurance. ING holds top-tier rankings in key U.S. markets and serves over 14 million customers across the nation. For more information, visit 

ING Bay to Breakers 12K 2010 Sponsors

ING Bay to Breakers 12K 2010 sponsors to date include title sponsor ING; Volkswagon, Hyatt Regency San Francisco, Big 5, Crystal Geyser, STAR 101.3, 103.7 The Band, Barefoot, Salonpas, Michelob Ultra, KRON 4, and The San Francisco Examiner. 

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2 Responses to “How They Lie About Bay to Breakers Every Year, and How BtoB is Handling Floats This Year”

  1. Mike says:

    You should show their faces. We, as a city, are broke. And these guys just party on over time dime.

  2. […] “the highest point in the race”. They’re actually wrong. Wonder Mike at SFCitizen points out that the highest altitude one reaches on the course is actually in Golden Gate Park by Stow Lake, […]