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Thousands crowd SF streets for Bay to Breakers: See photos of the best moments

Thousands participated in San Francisco’s annual Bay to Breakers race on May 21, 2023. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Gloomy Sunday weather couldn’t begin to cloud the intoxicating—and occasionally intoxicated—energy that thousands of San Franciscans brought to this year’s Bay to Breakers race.

Participants wait for the race to start at Bay to Breakers on May 21. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Creative and perfectly impractical costumes, runners’ highs and party stops along the way were just part of the scene during the roughly seven-and-a-half mile citywide trek from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach—an annual tradition that’s been a part of San Francisco culture since 1912. 

Wave after wave of eager runners were let loose onto the course, livening up the otherwise quiet setting of Downtown San Francisco early Sunday morning.

People run in a race.
Participants, some dressed in perfectly impractical running attire, take off from the start line. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard | Source: Morgan Ellis/The Standard
One runner shows off his multitasking skills by juggling along the route. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Centipede teams, meaning groups of people who wore matching outfits and completed the race while tied to each other,  immediately set a high bar for the most impressive getups.

There was an exceptionally large group of black cats (spreading bad luck across the paths of their competition perhaps?) and the Golden Gate Bridge even made an appearance. 

A centipede team dressed as black cats waits for the race to start. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard
A centipede team dressed as the Golden Gate Bridge makes their way to the start line. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

The Panhandle made for a popular spot to recuperate after summiting the Hayes Street hill. The park was also a good vantage point to take a moment to count whether there were more Super Mario Bros. costumes or birthday suits trotting by. 

Runners pass through the Panhandle as part of the course, featuring many Super Mario Bros. costumes. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard
Runners pass through the Panhandle as part of the course. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Onlookers got in on the fun, too, waving to their dedicated loved ones as they ran by or just taking in the spectacle of it all. 

Runners and onlookers alike enjoy dressing up as a traditional part of the annual event. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard

Spirits were still high even at the finish line, miles from where the race started. Participants sprinted, leaped and strutted across the finish line to receive their medal and their complimentary beer. 

Some participants went with a San Francisco theme for their costumes. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard
Racers cross the finish line with big smiles on their faces. | Morgan Ellis/The Standard