Three Things You Don’t Know About the Bay to Breakers

1.  THE TOP OF HAYES STREET HILL _ISN’T_ THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE BTOB FUN-RUN. JUST CHECK THE ROUTE PROFILE:

“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:

2. THE BTOB FUN-RUN IS A 12K, AND YET IT’S NOT A 12K – THE CLAIMED “WORLD RECORDS” ARE NOT, IN FACT, WORLD RECORDS

“Race organizers and media have reported that the course records set by Sammy Kitwara in 2009 and Lineth Chepkurui in 2010 are also world records at the 12 km distance;[31] however, the International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics/track and field, does not recognize world records or world bests in either an indoor or outdoor 12 km.[32] The Association of Road Racing Statisticians, a non-regulatory group that collects road running data, does recognize world records in the outdoor 12 km provided that the race course meets certain criteria.[33][34] In order to rule-out the possibility of wind assistancein point-to-point courses, the ARRS stipulates that the course must have “not more than 30% of the race distance separation between that start and finish”, or 3.6 km for a 12 km race.[34] Given that the Bay to Breakers is run on a point-to-point course in which the start and finish of the event are approximately 10.5 linear kilometers apart, the ARRS recognizes two other marks as 12 km world records: Kenyan Simon Kigen‘s 33:46 in Portland, Oregon on May 19, 1985 and Chepkurui’s 38:10 at the 2010Lilac Bloomsday Run.[33][nb 2]

3. MOST PEOPLE _DON’T_ PAY THE ABSURDLY HIGH REGISTRATION FEE. MOST PEOPLE YOU SEE ARE “BANDITS”

HERE’S THE OFFICIAL ESTIMATE: “…more than in the hundreds but less than tens of thousands.” THE REAL NUMBER IS TENS OF THOUSANDS.

“The Bay to Breakers is known for the large number of unregistered runners, or “bandits”, who participate in the race. Ross Mirkarimi, a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, reported that over half of the 60,000 participants in the 2010 Bay to Breakers were unregistered.[19] San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom was among the runners in 2010 who did not pay the registration fee to obtain a race number.[19][22] Registered participation was 24,430 in 2010,[23] 43,954 in 2011,[24] 23,072 for 2012,[25], and approximately 20,000 for 2013.[26]

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