SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — A 29-year-old man from Morocco was the first runner to cross the finish line Sunday morning in the 2011 Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco.
Ridouane Harroufi ran the 7.46-mile race, from the city’s Embarcadero to the sea, in 34 minutes 26 seconds, race officials said.
PICTURES: Bay To Breakers 100th Anniversary
Kenyan runner Lineth Chepkurui, 23, won the women’s race for the third year in a row.
Race officials celebrated the centennial of the annual Bay to Breakers footrace as tens of thousands of people — some dressed as Elvis, some not dressed at all and others donning salmon costumes and running the route backwards — turned out in San Francisco to party despite a new zero-tolerance alcohol policy.
Yet over the years, Bay to Breakers has become more famous for the alcohol-fueled party than for its actual competitors.
This year, organizers and police vowed to crack down on excessive drinking — banning floats that often housed many kegs of beer and starting the race earlier.
Officials said the tougher rules on drinking were needed after a noticeable increase in alcohol-related ambulance requests and nuisance crimes like public urination in recent years.
In previous years the city turned a blind-eye to liquor-filled water bottles, and the floats, even though having open alcohol containers in public was illegal.
The tactic seems to have worked, with most participants and spectators admitting a “more mellow” race this year.
SFPD Cmdr. James Dudley said that by 10 a.m. only about four people had been detained for being drunk. Also, two floats had been forced to leave the race course.
Still, many revelers turned out Sunday, and a Twitter feed was even set up to help them dodge police check points.
Ricky Ho, 25, who drank as he participated last year, carried only water with him this year and finished in a couple of hours.
Ho said that last year was more fun.
“Last year there were a lot more naked people and a lot more drunk people.”
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report)