Shattering the seriousness: Bay to Breakers unleashes wacky Stanford tradition

On Sunday, Might 21 at round 4:12 a.m., at a time when most individuals are sleeping, some college students are buzzing with adrenaline as they remodel into their wacky wardrobes for the day. Quickly, they’ll discover themselves surrounded by Tremendous Marios, Greek goddesses and Ben Franklins on the Oval. As a substitute of alarm clocks, songs like “Mo Bamba” are heard blasting from audio system earlier than the clock even strikes 6 a.m.

On the third Sunday of each Might, 1000’s collect in San Francisco at 8 a.m. to take part within the Bay to Breakers 12-kilometer race. The annual foot race is thought for its outlandish and festive environment. And in keeping with college students, it’s unforgettable.

“Working down Palm Drive in my banana costume with my fellow bananas and tons of different zany outfits is an expertise I’ll always remember,” wrote Ishaan Singh ’24. Because the solar rises, lots of of Stanford college students, a few of whom are drunk, costume in costumes starting from fruits to superheroes to mermaids. All of them flock to the Palo Alto Caltrain earlier than it leaves for an early morning departure.

Earlier than they’ve even begun the precise race in San Francisco, most college students have already walked not less than 2 miles. Those that plan on ending the race may have 7.46 extra miles to go. Even after this already busy morning, many college students line up of their coordinated costumes or custom-made onesies able to race.

After trekking 7.46 miles, college students are rewarded on the end line with a line of meals vehicles and music from dwell bands.

Bay to Breakers has a wealthy historical past that dates again over 100 years. The race was created in 1912 as an effort to boost the spirits of San Francisco after the devastating 1906 earthquake, in keeping with the San Francisco Chronicle.

The race begins on the San Francisco Bay on Predominant and Howard Road and runs West to complete adjoining to the Pacific coast the place one can see the breaking waves of Ocean Seashore, therefore the title of the race. Contributors roam by means of town, up the Hayes Road Hill, alongside the Panhandle, and thru Golden Gate Park.

In some circles, Bay to Breakers has earned the repute of the “Mardi Gras of the West,” with town’s streets crammed with Bay Space residents sporting costumes as they run, stroll and jog the route. Some runners costume as salmon and run “upstream” from the seaside to the Bay. In the meantime others go for a birthday swimsuit and run the race totally nude.

Centipedes of a non-insect selection additionally make an look on the race; many teams of 13 or extra runners will run collectively as a pack, certain collectively by bungee cords. This concept caught on within the late 1970’s and Bay to Breakers has now coined itself the World Centipede Working Championship.

Bay to Breakers even received the Guiness World File in 1986 for being the world’s largest foot race with 110,000 members.

“I used to be actually excited to see that this was a practice that COVID didn’t remove,” Singh wrote. “Enjoyable doesn’t need to be within the type of frat events however can take kind in one thing as distinctive and totally different as Bay to Breakers.”

Singh careworn the significance of exhibiting up if college students need to reclaim previous traditions and kind new ones.

“If Predominant Quad and the Oval had been empty at 5 a.m., I may need circled and gone to mattress for an additional 5 hours,” Singh wrote. As a substitute, Singh was met with lots of of Stanford college students wearing costume, gathered on the Oval to start the day’s festivities.

Students in costumes walk down the center of palm drive in the early morning
College students stroll down Palm Drive at 5:45 a.m. on their technique to the Caltrain for Bay to Breakers. (Photograph: SAM CATANIA/The Stanford Every day)

Some Stanford college students decide to competitively working the whole thing of the race resembling freshman Ezequiel Alvarez ’26. Sporting a Brazilian Neymar Jr. jersey and overcoming a hamstring damage, Alvarez ran your entire 7.46 miles in just below 45 minutes, averaging 5:55 minutes per mile.

For a lot of college students, Bay to Breakers at Stanford has turn into greater than only a race; it has turn into a logo of Stanford’s vibrant spirit.

“This form of power — the willingness and drive to be enjoyable, inventive and make one thing occur — is one thing I really feel is vitally essential to our campus tradition and lifestyle,” wrote Kyle Haslett ’25, Vice President of the ASSU Government Staff and co-leader of the “Enjoyable Strikes Again” marketing campaign at Stanford.

“Certain, I misplaced some hours of sleep that Saturday evening, however now I’ve some nice reminiscences and even a medal from the end line,” Haslett mentioned. “After shedding hours to downside units and papers all yr, this can be a trade-off I’m at all times excited to make.”

Alvarez shared this sentiment, writing, “It’s at all times useful to have a practice or occasion for college students to destress over the past 2 or 3 weeks of the quarter.”

To Haslett, going to Bay to Breakers is a should earlier than Stanford college students graduate. “I encourage everybody to take part in Bay to Breakers in some unspecified time in the future of their Stanford profession, whether or not they make it the entire method or half a mile. The thrill in San Francisco is palpable and among the best locations to make an superior faculty reminiscence.”

This text has been up to date to incorporate Kyle Haslett’s right title on the ASSU Government Staff.