May 22nd, 2006

puppy love

Bay to Breakers report

I love Bay To Breakers. It’s one of my favorite things about being a San Franciscan. It represents everything I love about my adopted town. (Cue Tony Bennet)

I’ve participated in at least 8 of them since I arrived here in 1987. I’ve done B2B in the hottest weather it’s ever been done in. I’ve done it freezing cold. I’ve done it in the pouring rain. I’ve done it in a bathrobe and nightgown.

Here’s some info on this wacky activity.
http://www.ingbaytobreakers.com/noflash.html


Usually it’s described as street party posing as foot race or vice verse. It’s just the most fun thing to be a part of.

In the past I’ve tried to actually run it and put up what might be a respectable race time for me, which would be around an hour and a half. This year I wasn’t even trying. All I wanted to do was finish and earn the right to wear this year’s t-shirt.

I came out of the Embarcadero Bart Station around a quarter to 7:00AM-(Race starts at 8:00AM) and immediately proceeded to the Ferry Building to use the bathroom thereby avoid the disgusting port-a-potties and the lines in front of them.

My “race strategy” this year was to line up with the walkers and not even try to run until I was done with the notorious Hayes Street Hill. Live is too short and my knees are too old to mess with that thing any more.

The walkers are where the real fun is anyway. More Elvises (Elvi?) More Naked People. Lots and lots of naked people. Lots of tortillas. It’s not a Bay To Breakers without hundreds of people flinging tortillas at the start. Since it was also drizzling, you can imagine the lovely street-cleaning tasks waiting the cleanup crew as well as the slippery surface created by wet tortillas being ground into the pavement.

It only took me 8 minutes to get to the starting line after the whistle, which may be a personal best. Immediately my biggest concern was the weather. The damn sun came out. I had been planning to run in my hoody, but it was rapidly getting very warm. However under the hoody I was wearing a short-sleeved shirt that said “Sex Bomb” from my last Tom Jones concert. Because I AM A SEX BOMB! Anyway, I was terrified of getting sun on my pale arms. (Because the sun is far too sultry and one must avoid its ultry-violet rays.) So it was on and off with the sweatshirt. Usually I am the queen of SPF, but I really didn’t think the sun would show. Who Knew?

So I power walked and not so power walked my way down Howard, across Market at 9th and up the miserable, bloody, I fucking hate that thing, HILL. But even on the hill…people out in the streets, drinking, partying, playing music, spraying water, taking pictures. I didn’t see as much drinking among actual participants, but maybe the tiki-bar and other booze themed costumes were ahead of me.

I got to the top of the hill and started jogging along the panhandle and into the park, Usually my friend Ivan (who is sort-of kind-of responsible for getting me into this running thing) is out there to offer Gatorade and take a picture but I didn’t see him.

Jogged down JFK Blvd, past the Conservatory of flowers, the DeYoung, and the bison, which are actually on the t-shirt. Made it out to the Pacific Ocean, which at that moment is the greatest, happiest sight in the world. My legs were killing me. I really wanted to jog into the ending chutes but my legs gave up a few seconds to soon and I walked through. Official time 2:16 or so.

Hey, I get to wear the shirt. That’s what really matters.

Then came the real fun…getting home. I don’t bother with the death march back into Golden Gate Park for Footstock. In the past, I’ve waited on line for the Shuttle. Hahahahahhah. My new strategy is to head for the N-Judah and make myself comfortable. It’s a great strategy, except that I’m then stuffed like a sardine amid other people’s weird post-race conversations, such as “He used to be my boyfriend and now he’s my girlfriend” and “I’m a monkey. We have our own song.” with a moody driver saying things like “If you don’t get away from that door, we’re going to sit here forever.”

Actually the best strategy was when Ivan would park his near the finish the night before and drive me home afterward. He’d also cruise Lincoln Ave looking for cute girls waiting for a bus that would never come.

I got home dehydrated, tired, with low-blood sugar and attempted to cook breakfast for myself and Hubby who is still sick after a whole week and making me very nervous. The breakfast endeavor rapidly went all pear-shaped and we ended up going out for breakfast and eating Dim Sun at The Big Lantern Chinese restaurant.

Then I went home and took a nap until it was time to go to the Mint for Karaoke. Naturally I wore the t-shirt.

Here’s the newspaper account of the festivities.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/05/22/BAGG9IVV8G1.DTL
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