Ran my 12th #BayToBreakers race in 1:59:54 on Sunday 2024-05-19.

After a comedy of transit struggles to get to the start line, I jumped in with Corral C runners (my bib was for Corral B) and started with them.

Great seeing the Midnight Runners crab rave cheer gang in Hayes Valley before Hayes Hill.

Made it into Golden Gate Park, and eventually saw Vivek and David Lam making their way back from the finish.

Just before the bison paddock, I saw Paddy & Eleanor walking back as well, and stopped to briefly chat with them.

Soon after I saw Adrienne and a few other #NPSF pals running and as they stopped to say hi to Paddy, I took off to go finish.

Adrienne and friends caught up to me on the last segment before Ocean Beach, and decided to run together. After turning the corner onto Great Highway, I could see the finish line. Glancing down at my watch there seemed to be enough time to finish under 2 hours if we picked it up. I asked Adrienne if we could try for a sub-2 hour time and she said to go for it. We picked up the pace and after crossing the finish line I stopped my Garmin — it read 1:59:54.

Oddly the official Bay to Breakers results (which are not at a linkable URL) showed 2:00:07. The only explanation I have is after the first timing strip after the finish line where I stopped my watch, there was a big crowd of loitering people that made it hard to keep moving, and cross a second timing strip. It is possible the first timing strip did not register my bib chip, and only the second timing strip picked it up. I have emailed Bay to Breakers to see if they can correct it, and included a link to my Strava activity that shows I recorded the entire race on my watch.

It was a harder race than usual, despite the good weather.

There were a few things that contributed. First, I had run each of the prior two days: 5km+ at Friday night’s Midnight Runners 5th anniversary run and run/walk celebration afterwards totaling ~5 miles, and then 6.5 miles at SFRC on the trails on Saturday.

I slept reasonably well the night before the race, and having checked the news announcements about the availability of transit options in the morning, planned accordingly. When I checked the actual train arrival times, none of the MUNI trains that were supposed to be running were running. I ran down to take the MUNI bus which was supposed to go downtown, except it stopped at Van Ness avenue, inexplicably, and the driver told everyone it was the last stop.

Admittedly I was already annoyed that SF MUNI for some reason decided to stop the MUNI trains the morning of Bay to Breakers that could easily have taken thousands of runners to near the race start at Embarcadero via the Market Street subway. Having the bus stop sooner than expected was a second disappointment and discouragement.

I (and many other runners) decided to run towards the start, which was still ~2 miles away at that point.

Upon reaching the Civic Center station on Market street, we realized from the street level displays that BART trains appeared to be running normally like any other Sunday, so we went downstairs and paid for a second transit ticket to take the BART a few stops.

The BART train was full of costumed Bay to Breakers runners. Disembarking at the Embarcadero station, I jogged/ran the rest of the way around the entrance corral maze to the right spot for Corral B entrants, and joined the group waiting at the start line.

Lessons learned: I am not trusting MUNI rail or bus into downtown on Bay to Breakers race day again, despite any announcements from SFMTA. Too many years of bad experiences.

However, BART seems reliable so I plan to find my way to taking BART in the future. Perhaps by taking a bus to the 16th street BART station, avoiding all street closures.

Having missed my start corral due to the transit mishaps, I didn’t see anyone else I knew. The combination of being annoyed at MUNI’s unreliability (both in what was announced vs what was running and premature bus termination) and starting in a crowd not knowing anyone took my motivation down several notches.

Still, the weather was pleasant yet cool, ideal for a race so I ran a pace that felt good for me, and kept an eye out for friends along the course. I stopped after mile 1 for a portapotty pitstop. Back in the chaos of Howard street and then Ninth to Hayes, I saw a few folks I knew from a distance.

Seeing and high-fiving the Midnight Runners crab race cheer crew at Hayes Hill turned my mood around though, and I enjoyed the rest of the race, from Hayes Hill through Golden Gate Park.

It was my slowest Bay to Breakers yet, however first in a while that I finished with friends!

After we grabbed our medals and snacks in the finish area, I hiked/jogged back to the Panhandle, found the Midnight Runners crab rave crew keeping the party going and joined in.

2023: https://tantek.com/2023/157/t1/ran-baytobreakers

#2024_140 #SanFrancisco #run #runner #race #roadrace #b2b #bay2breakers

on (ttk.me t5XC1) using BBEdit