San Francisco Bay to Breakers

2015 Event Details and What to Expect from this SF Event

If you are looking for a true San Francisco experience, then head to the city on May 17, 2015 for the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race. In its 103rd year, this event is a San Francisco original.

This 12k race is one of the largest and oldest running events in the world. It attracts more than 50,000 runners and 100,000 spectators every year.

Why is it so popular? It showcases the true San Francisco with fun, chaos and an unmatched community spirit.

This race includes both serious runners and those out for a fun Sunday run. Many of them wear fun and funky costumes to show their spirt. You will also find a few people that decide to only wear their birthday suit.

The party atmosphere along the race route also offers spectators the chance to be part of the action.

If you happen to be in SF on this day, you must join in on the fun!

The race starts with some serious runners. These runners are competing for the top spots and prizes.

bay to breakers runners

After these athletes are partially done, the next group starts. Toward the front, you will always see the pink gorilla.

bay to breakers gorilla

About 30 to 45 minutes after the official start of the race, it starts to get chaotic. This is when the fun individual costumes and groups start to appear. Some groups pull together large structures and for a while the race resembles a parade - a really unorganized, yet fun parade.

Here are just a few photos from past Bay to Breakers that I took the last few years.

bay to breakers
Look out! The British are coming!

runners in sf
A group of runners heading past the famous Alamo Square Painted Ladies

salmon running
This group is one of my favorites. It's a group of salmon 'swimming up stream' and heading the opposite way of the runners.

bay to breakers entertainment
Additional entertainment along the road during the race

Race Details and Where to Watch

The race starts near the Embarcadero in downtown SF (the bay). Runners head through the city and end near the Pacific Ocean (the breakers). This is where the San Francisco Bay to Breakers got its name.

The first group starts at 7am. The course officially closes around noon.

After running through downtown San Francisco, the racers head down Hayes Street. This is where you will find some great viewing spots.

I like to watch it either from the Hayes Valley neighborhood or in Alamo Square Park. From both of these places, you will get some great views and also get the chance to mingle with a few of the runners.

I like to get to these places early to get a spot. I recommend that you arrive no later than 8:30am or 9am if you want to catch some of the best parts of the race. This is when the streets start to get crowded and thousands of costumed runners and groups provide unmatched entertainment.

Are you interested in running in the race? Check the official Bay to Breakers website for more details.

Nudity and Bay to Breakers

Does the San Francisco Bay to Breakers have people running in the nude? Yes. Every year, you will see several people running in the nude.

Public nudity is legal in the state of California. However, in a controversial move, the SF Board of Directors approved an ordinance that makes nudity illegal in the city. It passed in a 6-5 vote on November 20, 2012.

This is a small part of the San Francisco Bay to Breakers race, but there were still several people running nude in 2014. I didn't see the police cracking down on them, but am not sure what will happen in 2015.

People in the city like to bend the rules just a little, which is why I'm guessing you will still see a few brave souls running in the nude again during the 2015 San Francisco Bay to Breakers race.

SF Lodging Recommendations

Are you planning on attending this year's San Francisco Bay to Breakers? Click on the links below for SF hotel recommendations by budget, neighborhood and amenities.

If you are looking for a way to save on your stay, check out the hotel deals on Through their site, you can get discounts on your room rates, get free WiFi and free parking. Click here to review their current list of deals for this weekend.

Other Events This Same Weekend

You will also find these other great activities this weekend in San Francisco.

Union Square Live: One of the weekly events in SF each summer is Union Square Live. Most Wednesdays and Sundays, you get the chance to watch free performances by local artists and musicians. You can also learn how to salsa dance, watch the Taiko Dojo drummers perform and more. Click here for this year's Union Square Live schedule.

Other Fun Events on Goldstar: Another place to look for events is on This online ticket retailer offers numerous tickets each month to top SF events for up to half-off the full retail price. This is where I find my tickets for tours, theater performances and tickets to annual events. Click here to visit their site and see what tickets they are currently offers. Also, check back often as they update their tickets almost everyday.

Other Popular SF Events in 2015

carnaval sf brunch the suit
Memorial Day Weekend
Mother's Day Weekend
May Calendar

> > Bay to Breakers 2015

New! Comments

Thanks for visiting! Do you have a question or comment about what you just read? Leave me a note below!

Did you enjoy this page?
If so, share it with your friends!

Like me on Facebook for the latest
on events, attractions and
other tips to help plan your visit.

Search the Site or Ask a Question

Are you still looking for additional information? If you can't find what you are looking for, you can use the Google search box below to search the site or click here to ask me directly. Thanks for visiting my site!

Back to the Top

Join Our Email For Deals, Tips and More!

* indicates required
Email Format


hotel deals

cable cars

perfect day golden gate park

sf walking tours

with kids

best irish pubs

brunch spots