Bay to Breakers 2009: The year of the swine

You know that feeling when you suddenly come up with a great idea? It could be when you’re in the shower, on the toilet, making granola, or maybe just really, really stoned out of your gourd. Whenever it happens, you suddenly feel this light shining upon your mind and you believe that you have come up with with the most amazing thing in the world and no one, simply no one, has come up with this idea either.
We’ve all been there and as much as we never want to admit it, while we were on the toilet crafting bits of genius, some other guy was stoned in the shower, thinking up the same bit. You suddenly realize how often this happens when you go and watch (or go forbid, run) Bay to Breakers, our annual footrace in San Francisco. It’s a great event that is a much sweatier version of the annual Love Parade with more beer and less drugs. Hey, it’s a pretty gay city. We love our parades, costumes, and shits.
The only issue with Bay to Breakers is that after you’ve seen a few (2006 and 2007) it gets to be a common routine. For a friend who lives a block off Hayes Street, this means having to deal with her street being awash in urine and drunken morons (more on that later). For me, this means seeing your rather regular set of sexy nurses, salmon running upstream (which I don’t get tired of), the “Elvi” (Elvises), fairy winged chicks (and dudes), a fleet of gnarly, fat naked folk, and a plethora of others standard B2B outfits. It’s still fun though, because what makes it change from year to year is that there are those with the aforementioned toilet ideas who try to break out of the mold and try something new. This could mean any number of Borats, Napoleon Dynamites, or Reno 911s running around. This year, it was the swine, as in swine flu. H1N1 was represented in any and all forms from floats to costumes, to… whatever. Piggy was everywhere, but because the piggy cough was something of a nebulous load of media hype, the embodiment of “swine flu” in the race was different for all those trying it. I had to respect it.
As far as the annual drunkenness goes, I have to say that it was definitely less. Yes, there were plenty of trashy Marina and Mission/Hipster types bouncing around like idiots, but the amount of massive quantities of alcohol was definitely reduced. This article states to the contrary, but it was wrong on many counts. They were mainly trying to limit people pushing carts that were just full of beer kegs through the race. They managed this to a large extent. I have no idea as to how it went further down the course, but it was not the scene that I’ve known from previous years. Yeah, people were still drunk when they hit Hayes Street Hill (the 4km mark), but I think it was more limited this time. People had drank themselves out because they couldn’t carry as much. Also, it was damned hot for San Francisco. A 30C day in the middle of May isn’t that common. Some folks (as much as I refuse to admit it) might actually have been sensible and realized that they could have killed themselves walking 12km with only beer to hydrate them.
Anyways, B2B is over for the year and maybe, I’ll actually try to run it one of these days. On the lazy note, a photo set will be following as I and #1 Fan took about 300 shots today.
Bay to Breakers 2009: The year of the swine