Sunday, May 15, 2005

Bay to Breakers

This morning John and I participated with about 100,000 others from around the world in the 94th running of the "Bay to Breakers" 12K race. The course starts at the Embarcadero on the San Francisco Bay and traverses the city through Golden Gate Park to the Pacific ocean 7.5 miles West. "B2B" is a well organized event with a strict set of regulations prohibiting alcoholic consumption and running naked among many other popular Frisco pastimes.

Fortunately, the SF cops riding their bikes along the route seemed not to see what we did. And when I say we "participated" in the race, I actually mean that we sat in comfortable lawn chairs in the Golden Gate Park, under a tree and close enough to the route to see everything, and I mean everything!

But first some stat's. The race was won in 34 min 49 sec by Gilbert Ohari from Kenya, followed closely by several other Kenyans. The first Elvis impersonator finished in 59 min flat; not at all bad wearing cowboy boots. In the very first B2B in 1912, Bob Vlught won in 44 min 10 sec. That's an improvement of 9 min 21 sec in 94 years or a bit less than 6 sec/year or 0.2% per year. What a Human Race!

That's enough statistics, I think, now back to the naughty bits.

After the 100 or so real runners finished in the first hour, the remaining 69,900 registered "participants" stumbled, pranced and sashayed through the course over the next four hours. Most were decked out in cultural costumes. There were a few dozen "runaway brides" of both sexes, sporting bridal gowns with towels covering their heads. There were at least a couple dozen pope wanabees, wearing cardinal regalia, some granting plenary indulgences to the crowd. There was a pope-mobile with a stripper on the hood. There were the gals from And of course the "Bare to Breakers" crowd was hanging out.

John commented that it's probably good to concentrate all the crazies in one city. Then all we have to do is cordon off the peninsula.

Now it's time to visit Jud, Renu and baby Ava Parker. Ava is a tina 5 month old bundle of heaven. I can't wait to see if she remembers me.


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