I finished Bay to Breakers in San Francisco one week ago. I know I am terribly late sharing the experience!
First of all, San Francisco is a beautiful city. I spent the day before the race with my sister (who also ran the race) and her kids walking the piers along the bay. We took a boat tour to view the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
Secondly, Bay to Breakers is bananas! Runners are encouraged to wear costumes. If you don’t want to wear a costume, you can always just go nude. I saw way more fannies than I needed to so early in the morning. There were also plenty of people who had obviously been up all night drinking before the race.
The course is amazing. It starts near the bay and ends at Ocean Beach. We made our way through beautiful homes and parks. There was a massive hill at about mile 3. I walked the hills. I took advantage of the downhill slopes and jogged until I hit the next hill. Because of the incredible amount of distraction from runner costumes, the race went very quickly for me. I finished sub 2:00, but it definitely did not feel like I was out there that long. Bay to Breakers is more of a parade than an actual race. There were ‘serious’ runners out there just like us. But for most part, it was just about having a good time. I had couple of gripes though. There was no post race grub (bananas, bagels, etc.) only coconut water, and the race t-shirt is cotton. You could get a tech tee for an additional $30. I've done smaller races that offered much more. I would do the race again in a few years after the visual traumatization of this year’s race has worn off.