This past weekend, San Francisco natives celebrated the annual foot race “Bay to Breakers” that first started with a St. Mary’s College student and a newspaper copy boy, who won the first Cross-City Race in 1912. The name was then changed to “Bay to Breakers” in 1965. The race started as a way to encourage everyone in the San Francisco community to get up and move on after the 1906 earthquake. The spirit of the race lifted the hearts of many.
Since then, the “Bay to Breakers” has become so much more than just a race. The Guinness Book of World Records named “The Bay to Breakers” the world’s largest footrace in 1986 with 110,000 participants. After all the runners are off, streams and streams of walkers wonder the course. The race runs from the fairy building on Embarcadero all the way through Golden Gate Park to Ocean Beach, which is on the other side of the peninsula.
A majority of participants dress in decorative costumes or sometimes even nothing at all, which ultimately creates a celebration like atmosphere; Fun all around. One tradition that takes place each year is the tortilla toss; when runners though tortillas at each other to pass the time. The spirit of competition enlightens people to have a great time.
The end of the race marks “Footstock.” This after party marks the end of the race. Bands come and play for participants and spectators to, as well as musical acts and fun festival games.
It only feels right that this day takes place in San Francisco, the hearth for eclectic culture and contemporary life. The energy that exudes from this day just makes sense due to its prime location. “Bay to Breakers” is only one of the many festivals that occurs in this great city.
If you have read my bio on this site, or have ever met me even for a second, you can probably understand that I have a soft spot in my heart for the city of San Francisco. Because I love San Francisco and because I love athletics, throughout my lifetime I have come to endear the San Francisco Giants. They are my all time favorite sports team. I love going to AT&T Park, smelling those Gordon Biersch garlic fries, and watching Buster Posey hit a long one into the Bay. Yes, watching the Giants play, whether it is a day game or under the lights, is my favorite pass time. So it only seemed natural to write a blog post about this incredible team.
When the Giants were on their journey to win the 2010 World Series, the marketing department and some recognizable playoff announcers coined the term “team of misfits” as the season’s phrase. This ploy brought together the many playful nicknames Giants players received over the course of their stay in San Francisco. They include “Pat The Bat” for Pat Burrell, “The Freak” for Tim Lincecum because of his fashionably long hair, and “Kung Fu Panda” for their slugger Pablo Sandoval. These so called misfits conveyed the underdog story to the millions of Americans that watched baseball that year and won their hearts.
On the other hand, Giants announcers coined the term “Giants Baseball Torture,” due to the epic last minute wins by the team and scrappy nature in which they won. They literally would do anything to win. Prior to their 2010 race for the win, the Giants had only appeared in the World Series once since their arrival in San Francisco in 1958; signifying their performance up until then, hence the Cinderella story.
Every sports fan loves the underdog story. Marketing teams and advertising managers try to position their team in a light where they can get fans on board especially in the post season, because they can’t sell post season tickets to season ticket holders. They need to sell new tickets. They want to generate the fan base that recognizes the hard work and playfulness of their athletes. They want fans to notice that these professional athletes are just like them. San Francisco succeeded in doing this. Their fans keep coming back for more, even now in the 2012 season where they are having a very rocky start. This team has enrobed a large dedicated fan base and that is all that is necessary to keeping a team alive. Go Giants!