On Solar., Might 21 at round 4:12 a.m, at a time when most individuals are sleeping, some college students are buzzing with adrenaline as they rework into their wacky wardrobes for the day. Quickly, they’ll discover themselves surrounded by Tremendous Marios, Greek goddesses and Ben Franklins on the Oval. As an alternative of alarm clocks, songs like “Mo Bamba” are heard blasting from audio system earlier than the clock even strikes 6 a.m.
On the third Sunday of each Might, hundreds collect in San Francisco at 8 a.m. to take part within the Bay to Breakers 12-kilometer race. The annual foot race is understood for its outlandish and festive ambiance. And in response to college students, it’s unforgettable.
“Operating down Palm Drive in my banana costume with my fellow bananas and tons of different zany outfits is an expertise I’ll always remember,” wrote Ishaan Singh ’24. Because the solar rises, a whole lot of Stanford college students, a few of whom are drunk, costume in costumes starting from fruits to superheroes to mermaids. All of them flock to the Palo Alto Caltrain earlier than it leaves for an early morning departure.
Earlier than they’ve even begun the precise race in San Francisco, most college students have already walked not less than 2 miles. Those that plan on ending the race can have 7.46 extra miles to go. Even after this already busy morning, many college students line up of their coordinated costumes or personalized onesies able to race.
After trekking 7.46 miles, college students are rewarded on the end line with a line of meals vehicles and music from dwell bands.
Bay to Breakers has a wealthy historical past that dates again over 100 years. The race was created in 1912 as an effort to lift the spirits of San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake, in response to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The race begins on the San Francisco Bay on Essential and Howard Road and runs West to complete adjoining to the Pacific coast the place one can see the breaking waves of Ocean Seaside, therefore the title of the race. Contributors roam via the town, up the Hayes Road Hill, alongside the Panhandle, and thru Golden Gate Park.
In some circles, Bay to Breakers has earned the popularity of the “Mardi Gras of the West,” with the town’s streets crammed with Bay Space residents sporting costumes as they run, stroll and jog the route. Some runners costume as salmon and run “upstream” from the seaside to the Bay. In the meantime others go for a birthday go well with and run the race absolutely nude.
Centipedes of a non-insect selection additionally make an look on the race; many teams of 13 or extra runners will run collectively as a pack, certain collectively by bungee cords. This concept caught on within the late 1970’s and Bay to Breakers has now coined itself the World Centipede Operating Championship.
Bay to Breakers even received the Guiness World File in 1986 for being the world’s largest foot race with 110,000 individuals.
“I used to be actually excited to see that this was a practice that COVID didn’t get rid of,” Singh wrote. “Enjoyable doesn’t must be within the type of frat events however can take type in one thing as distinctive and totally different as Bay to Breakers.”
Singh careworn the significance of displaying up if college students need to reclaim previous traditions and type new ones.
“If Essential Quad and the Oval had been empty at 5 a.m., I may need rotated and gone to mattress for one more 5 hours,” Singh wrote. As an alternative, Singh was met with a whole lot of Stanford college students wearing costume, gathered on the Oval to start the day’s festivities.
Some Stanford college students decide to competitively operating everything of the race akin to freshman Ezequiel Alvarez ’26. Sporting a Brazilian Newmar Jr. jersey and overcoming a hamstring damage, Alvarez ran the complete 7.46 miles in slightly below 45 minutes, averaging 5:55 minutes per mile.
For a lot of college students, Bay to Breakers at Stanford has grow to be greater than only a race; it has grow to be an emblem of Stanford’s vibrant spirit.
“This form of power — the willingness and drive to be enjoyable, artistic and make one thing occur — is one thing I really feel is vitally necessary to our campus tradition and lifestyle,” wrote Kyle Haslett ’25, co-president of ASSU Government Workforce and co-leader of the “Enjoyable Strikes Again” marketing campaign at Stanford.
“Certain, I misplaced some hours of sleep that Saturday evening, however now I’ve some nice recollections and even a medal from the end line,” Haslett stated. “After dropping hours to downside units and papers all yr, it is a trade-off I’m all the time excited to make.”
Alvarez shared this sentiment, writing, “It’s all the time useful to have a practice or occasion for college students to destress over the past 2 or 3 weeks of the quarter.”
To Haslett, going to Bay to Breakers is a should earlier than Stanford college students graduate. “I encourage everybody to take part in Bay to Breakers sooner or later of their Stanford profession, whether or not they make it the entire approach or half a mile. The thrill in San Francisco is palpable and among the best locations to make an superior school reminiscence.”