After some serious shenanigans after this years running of Bay To Breakers, race organizers declared new policies for the race, including a zero-tolerance policy on alcohol, a ban on nudity, floats and litter. Fearing that these new rules might impact their “freedom of expression and creativity” group Save Bay to Breakers started a petition located on its Facebook to “save the beloved race” and the “heart and soul of San Francisco.” Last night, in what was described by Save B2B as a “good first step,” groups on both sides of the issue came together to discuss what could be done to ensure next year’s 100th anniversary race was one everyone could be proud of.
Race organizers, saying that that the race ought to be respectable, expressed concerns about the wild partying that accompanies it, as well as the litter, drunkenness, and public urination that it leaves in its wake.
Neighborhood groups present at the meeting requested double or triple the police presence and port-a-potty resources at the race. The steps being discussed to manage those issues include adding police to monitor the race, limiting or banning alcohol, and preventing race access unless people start the race from designated entrances. As always, participants are required to register before hand to be allowed to run in the race.
However, the general manager of the race, Angela Fang, told ABC7 News that naked people would still be able to run. When asked if naked drunk people could run, she told them “I don’t know about that.”
Bay to Breakers spokesperson Sam Singer confirmed to the Appeal that nudity is in fact allowed. “Come dressed or undressed and have a great time at the 100th anniversary!” Singer said.
Last year, a compromise was reached that floats would be allowed as long as they were pre-registered, and alcohol would not be entirely banned – but glass bottles would be prohibited. Next year, however, both alcohol and floats will be prohibited, according to Singer.
The meeting was attended by neighborhood groups, participant groups, race organizer AEG and the mayor’s office. A representative of Save Bay To Breakers told the Appeal that the meeting was a “good first step in discussions on how to improve event day impact for certain neighborhoods, particularly the Panhandle.”
Mayor’s office representative Mike Farrah indicated that there will continue to be meetings about Bay to Breakers up until the next race. A final cause to be addressed is that AEG must take new steps to make the race safer. “Simply banning nudity, floats, and alcohol as they did in 2009 is not as effective as providing the proper resources to support an event of this magnitude,” stated a Save Bay to Breakers representative.
Race organizer AEG will release a specific plan addressing the issues in detail in the next 6-8 weeks, and there will be a specific set of guidelines posted on the Bay to Breakers website around November or December of this year when race registration is open. Registration may be limited this year due to expected popularity in conjunction with the 100th year of the race.
Angela Fang, general manager of the Bay to Breakers race, said that the goal of the changes and modifications are to ensure that the race can “continue as a fun and safe event that can be enjoyed by everyone – runners, walkers, families, children, neighbors and the City as a whole.”