Notice anything new at this 100th Zazzle Bay to Breakers, the 2nd officially-liquor free foot-fete — aside from (somewhat) less booze, more determination, a bigger and badder Footstock and the guy who died on the finish line last year getting back out there?

There were 25 arrests and one critically-injured man who fell 30 feet from a Fell Street home during a Panhandle house party. And separating the Panhandle grass from the registered runners, a steel-link fence, stretching along Fell towards and into Golden Gate Park.

The fence vied for attention along with the “zero-tolerance” alcohol policy, outright float ban, addition of 1200 portapotties, sober tents and security checkpoints. So maybe it’s no surprise we had no other word than street closures announced in anticipation of work crews’ erecting the fence at 12:01 a.m. Sunday. As planned, generator-powered lights illuminated roadways in the park shortly past midnight Sunday, with workers busy tearing down the fences in the Panhandle at 4 p.m., and park fences going down earlier.

The Appeal asked around about the fence for most of last week, bouncing from official race spokesfirm Singer and Associates on Monday, to the police, Recreation and Park Departments by Tuesday and Wednesday, and back to elite media relations maven Sam Singer himself Thursday morning, when he told us any barriers raised Sunday would be “the same as last year.”

Maybe that’s true, though we don’t remember the fences, and we even looked through some Panhandle party photos from 2010 and before, angling for a glimpse of steel-link, and came up empty.

Was it news? Appeal commenter shinzon said “the damage this year was worse than ever before. The fences, in addition to being illegal and blocking the view of small children, forced people further back into the neighborhoods, damaging plants and property a block away from Fell.”

But other than that remark, it doesn’t look like it: the fence didn’t figure into any news reports, and while #B2B-hashtaggin Twitter users mentioned bare balls, butts and beers, nobody deemed the barrier worthy of mention. Naked people as well as mayoral candidates were all photographed with fence barrier nearby with nary a mention.

But now we’ve got your attention: what say you? Cutting off registered runners from rebellious renegade rabble rousers a good move, a barricading blunder or barely worthy of mention? Steel-link got you down, or is all this a waste of Web space?

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