Travel & Outdoors

Zazzle Bay to Breakers Race

May 12, 2012 6:00 AM

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Zazzle Bay to Breakers Costume
zazzlebaytobreakers Zazzle Bay to Breakers Race

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The 101st Zazzle Bay-to-Breakers Marathon
Howard Street at Beale Street
300 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA
(877) 228-4881 (Mon to Fri – 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Price:  $57 basic registration/$72 plus registration/$89.50 premium registration
Hours: Sun, May 20 7 a.m.
Click here to register

It’s wild and wacky, and you haven’t really been to the city by the bay unless you experience the Zazzle Bay to Breakers race. You get extra points if you actually run, but you can still feel the essence of this classic event even from the sidelines. Become a part of this made-in-San-Francisco memory whether you run the whole race, the free final mile or the five steps to the expo’s snack and drink stands.

If you haven’t yet decided whether to run this iconic race, no worries as registration closes May 15 at midnight, or when the corrals sell out, whichever comes first.  Consider your decision carefully as once you register, your fees are non-refundable and non-transferable


For absolute convenience, the Civic Center Garage is your best choice with parking very close to the expo. Click here for additional parking options/pricing. 

Shuttle Service
Runners as well as watchers should consider this option from lots throughout the area. With the number of runners and spectators this year, traffic coming into the city and out of it after the race will be dicey. Bauer’s Intelligent Transportation is offering express transportation to and from the event. With six locations to choose from, it may be a no-brainer choice for a stress-free ride. Reserve your seat during registration or after the race. Click here for more information.

screen shot 2012 04 11 at 10 50 25 pm Zazzle Bay to Breakers Race

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Watch the Spectacle
Alamo Square
Steiner and Hayes streets
San Francisco, CA

Price: free

Some folks wait all year for this view: Masses of sweaty runners making their way up Hayes Hill. It’s a breathtaking sight watching that many people fight that hard to breathe and climb the hills during this strenuous race. Bring chairs to really rub in the relaxation while you watch this exciting race.

screen shot 2012 04 11 at 10 47 55 pm Zazzle Bay to Breakers Race

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Zazzle Bay to Breakers Final Mile Festival 
Along MLK drive between the Great Highway and 41st Avenue

Price:  free
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Click here for more information

Even if you’re not ready to tackle the rigors of a marathon, you may still run that final mile — for free. Then celebrate with friends and family at the alphabet A-Z garden. Pick from a wide range of food and beverages, and enjoy the interactive race activities.

Related: Elite Runners Welcome More Sober Bay to Bay Breakers

Zazzle Greater Body Expo

Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
99 Grove St.
San Francisco, CA 94102

Price: free
Hours: Fri, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.Sat, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

This is the go-to place for everything Bay to Breakers. Pick up your racing packet, discuss issues or concerns at the Solutions Desk, purchase shuttle tickets and buy commemorative merchandise here. Park at the Civic Center Garage for easiest access.

zazzle bay to breakers costume Zazzle Bay to Breakers Race

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Choose Your Costume
A.C.T. Costume Shop
415 Geary St.
San Francisco, CA
(415) 439-2379

Price: Most costumes rent for $140, which includes all accessories, alterations, repairs and dry cleaning.
Hours: fittings Mon, Thurs and Fri – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m; by appointment only
Click herefor more informationEvery year, the race’s costume contest brings out runners’ funky sides with costumes ranging from Will and Kate’s runaway royal party to Willy Wonka’s Oompa Loompas. Although costumes aren’t required, they’re definitely what gives this San Francisco classic more than a little local flair. For sheer breadth and quality of costumes, you can’t beat the American Conservatory Theater’s costume collection. While the cost of renting one is not cheap, your fee includes the cost of an expert fitting service. Pay extra for comfort and the knowledge that you will look great while you are running or enjoying the action from the sidelines.

Related: Race-Day Costume Ideas

Train Like You Mean It
San Francisco Road Runners Club

P.O. Box 475224
San Francisco, CA 94127

Price: $150 for annual membership
Click here for the club’s full training lineup

The Club’s three weekly scheduled club runs – Saturday long slow distance, Tuesday speed and Thursday tempo — provide the basic elements of any race training, from 5K to marathon and everything in between. Four more targeted programs help beginners, novices, intermediate and advanced runners meet their marathon training goals.

Beach Chalet Brewery and Restaurant
1000 Great Highway, Ocean Beach
San Francisco, CA
(415) 386-8439

Hours: daily – 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Enjoy great ocean views at this historic eatery, just down the Highway from the Zazzle Final Mile Festival. Sample its weekend brunch, a large beer selection and take in the indoor museum.

25 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 409-3276

More natural runners, and diners, will appreciate Farmerbrown’s farm-fresh soul food, which supports local, black farmers and healthy southern fare. From chipotle shrimp to hamhock greens, Farmerbrown’s is the most delicious, perfect reward after a hard-fought race.

Patricia Kutza is a San Francisco Bay Area-based travel, business and lifestyle journalist who writes for a wide variety of regional, national and global titles. Her work can be found at

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