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A Runner's Guide to Bay to Breakers

An experienced Bay to Breakers runner weighs in on how to survive this weekend's race. 

Erin Moss is a Bay Area-bred girl who has taken part in Bay to Breakers multiples times--and in multiple ways. The 26-year-old, who lives in the Mission district, has run, walked, partied and just watched through the maze of painted skin and booze in the past, but says now she can't imagine not running it. This will be the third consecutive year that Moss and her father are running as registered racers together, so she definitely knows how to handle herself on the course. Read on for her tips:

San Francisco Magazine: How do you go about preparing for a race like this, when the mojority of people seem to be drunkenly (and nakedly) prancing about?

Erin Moss: With the race starting so early now (7 a.m.), most of the drunk and naked people will barely be starting the race by the time I’m finished, so I look forward to seeing them on my way back downtown. Most people on the sidelines that early are just cheering us on, but not getting in the way. I was disappointed to see that Alamo Square had the sprinklers on last year when I ran up Hayes Street hill, so sadly nobody was in the park. But the first mile is definitely the most congested of the whole race. It is like a stampede. One obstacle to be aware of is the amount of clothing flying around--people wear old sweatpants and sweatshirts to keep warm before the race, and during the first mile, they throw their clothes off. I had to be careful not to trip over clothes on the ground the past two years.

SF: Speaking of, how do you recommend making that fast transistion back into party mode if a racer had enough energy left to go back and partake in the festivities?

EM: Last year my dad and I walked about three miles back along the course and then walked to Geary to catch a bus downtown. The buses (especially the 5 Fulton) will be packed right after the race and throughout the day. Walking seems to be the best way to see everything...if your legs aren’t jello at the end!

SF: Which part of the course (not counting when it's over) do you look forward to, and why?

EM: I love the last few miles of the race through Golden Gate Park. I am always so exhausted and excited to finish. The park is beautiful to run through, and I loved all the music and sideline encouragement. Last year, as I ran by someone blasting Journey on their boom-box, I started run-dancing (yes, it may have involved some fist-pumping).

SF: Even the runners party a little bit! Thank goodness. Okay, serious question to send you out on: In light of the Boston Marathon, are you feeling worried about your safety as a runner this weekend?

EM: I never would have thought that a race would be targeted, and then the Boston Marathon bombing happened. I am confident that in light of what happened, the race organizers are doing their best to ensure safety on the course. They've added restrictions on backpacks, and more police and medical resources.

 

You can read our partier's guide to Bay to Breakers right HERE.

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