Bay to Breakers race was in May, this has always been my favorite race of the year - maybe because of how unique and chaotic the race is, and also because I've now done it 14 times (more than any other race by far). My 2012 race recap is probably the best for some background on the race, and other useful info. 2011 race recap is here too. As well as last year's recap too. This year I was fully healthy (or healthy enough) to race it full out just like last year, so I was really excited for this race.
My fitness in general was better than it was in 2014, mainly due to doing speed workouts regularly. My base mileage was about the same as last year. So due to that, I figured that I would be able to beat my PR from last year by a little bit. Though I was curious to run the race and find out what would happen.
This year I was able to get a sub seeded number, maybe due to posting a good time last year? I was pumped to actually be able to be in the sub seeded corral on my own accord, instead of sneaking in to the corral like I did last year lol.
My girlfriend Andrea wasn't running the race, but was gracious enough to drop me off at the start line and then meet me at the finish line.
It was a great day for running - maybe 60 degrees, and I simply walked towards the start line from the opposite direction - cool to see the streets completely empty
Now I know for the future that if you simply walk towards the start line from the opposite direction, you can walk right into the seeded and sub seeded corral lol
I finally got a number in this corral lol
I had no idea that the race had a VIP area, apparently its a part of the warmup area for the seeded runners
the seeded corral was pretty empty even as race time approached
it started to fill up a bit, but still wasn't very crowded at the start line
Mile 1 - 6:59 (168 heartrate) (last year 6:57)
When the gun went off I got out pretty well, just trying to settle into my pace a bit, and avoid the chaos of the early miles at B2B. The first mile wasn't as chaotic as last year's race which was nice lol. The race also started on time this year (as opposed to the 30 minute delay that took place last year). It was cool being in the front of the race again, and seeing the massive crowds on both sides of the course. Bay to Breakers is my favorite race due to how big the race is, and just the zany costumes and chaos that takes place among the spectators along the course. All kinds of beverages are consumed by spectators along the route, many of them likely imbiding well before the race started at 8 lol.
Mile 2 - 6:48 (175 heartrate) (last year 7:00)
I was trying to settle in a bit to a pace that felt appropriate for me, seemed like that was about 6:50 ish pace or so give or take. I kind of forget the costumes on the side of the road that I saw - they were all over the map.
Mile 3 - 7:29 (183 heartrate) (last year 7:36)
The main hill on the Bay to Breakers course is called the Hayes Street Hill, which is basically a big incline hill that has 10 street landings on it. Last year they timed you on how long it took to run it, which is a cool feature. Apparently I'm a better hill runner than I am a flat runner, since I always seem to get a higher placing on the hill than I do on the actual race.
This year I ran it in 4:14, which ranked 393rd overall, and I ended up finishing 470th overall on the race itself. Not sure what entirely that means, maybe I should have tried to run it even slower and push more on the flat parts?
The hill seemed to hurt about as bad as last year, near the end of it I definitely hurt a lot.
Apparently there was a photographer at the top of Hayes Street Hill this year? The pink ladies in the background which is cool
Mile 4 - 7:02 (184 heartrate) (last year 7:14)
Miles 4 and 5 are basically all flat, with a slight incline on mile 4 that is a deceptively big incline because you are still tired from Hayes Street Hill. I ran past the Conservancy of Flowers, more parts of the park, and was trying to keep up my speed.
Mile 5 - 6:51 (182 heartrate) (last year 6:56)
From mile 5.2 onward the course is basically downhill or flat, so I tried to push as much as possible to let my legs go out there. Just like last year, it seems like my legs simply could not go any faster, and I was steadily being passed by other runners out there it seemed like. It's like I don't have another gear that other runners have in them or something on the flats or downhill parts of the course.
Mile 6 - 6:35 (177 heartrate) (last year 6:37)
More of the same - downhill or flat - just trying to keep the legs rolling and going as fast as possible. More of Golden Gate Park - I was surprised not to see a photographer at around mile 6 like last year, apparently they didn't have them out there for some reason this year.
Mile 7 - 6:43 (172 heartrate) (last year 6:36)
I was working really hard the entire race to try to beat my time from last year - I was just thinking about that in order to set a PR in a race, you need to work really hard. I was at my physical limit trying to beat my time from last year. I like to think that in order to achieve something, you need to pay to play. Are you willing to make that sacrifice to get that achievement? Almost always, I am willing. And the reward was another PR on the course. Which makes the physical pain worth it.
Mile 7.45 - 3:19 (6:25 pace) (173 heartrate) (last year 6:23 pace)
Luckily the race was ending soon, and my girlfriend Andrea would be at the finish line, which is awesome. I didn't know my exact time, but I felt like I was ahead of my pace from last year, which would be a PR. Though I didn't know exactly how much I had beat it by. I saw my girlfriend Andrea as I rounded the last corner which was awesome!
After the race ended, me and Andrea met up in the finish line area, and got some snacks and headed to the Beach Chalet for a post race beer.
Bay to Breakers
12K (7.45 miles)
51:46 (PR)6:57 mile pace
XXX average heartrate
470/29971 overall (1.6%)
42/1652 age group (2.5%)
405/13884 gender (2.9%)
Hayes Street Hill time 4:14 - 393/29971 overall rank, 31/1652 division rank (I beat my Hayes Street Hill time from last year by 2 seconds)
I ended up beating my time from last year by 30 seconds, which was nice to see. That now makes 10 races in a row that I've set a PR if I wanted to set a PR. Which is pretty crazy to think about.
elite post race hangout spot
this was hilarious - a dunk spot filled with those plastic balls lol
probably the best post race stand I've ever seen - Little Debbie cakes!
a nice medal for this year, along with a cowbell!
Race overall thoughts:
This years Bay to Breakers might have been the most organized of any Bay to Breakers that I've ever done. I saw virtually no problems at all anywhere - either on the course or in the crowd. Though I may need to qualify that since I finished so close to the front compared to everyone else, and much of the race chaos is at the back of the pack. Though even in reading the SF Gate articles about the race, they said there were fewer arrests, and fewer complaints from the neighbors than in prior years. I kind of wish that the race didn't need to basically try to ban alcohol due to all the craziness that had happened in the past, but race participants pushed the envelope too much in 2009 and 2010 with floats and alcohol madness that they forced race organizers to take drastic action in 2011. Maybe things have finally stabilized this year so that the race is fun, but it's not too over the line.