Calling all running fans: San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers 12K fun run is nearly here! Bay to Breakers (happening on May 12, 2023) is a beloved race that’s been a Bay Area tradition since 1912. It’s nothing short of one of the city's most looked-forward-to events. Every year, thousands of participants run, jog, or walk the 12 kilometers from the Embarcadero to the Great Highway, passing iconic landmarks along the entire course. Participants and observers alike can look forward to eclectic costumes, high energy, and a strong sense of community, making Bay to Breakers a must-attend occasion for sports fans everywhere.
A Storied History
The Bay to Breakers run isn’t just a fun excuse for the Bay Area to get out and enjoy the weather, it’s also a historical event: the race has a rich history that dates back more than a century. The inaugural run was first held in 1912 as a way to lift the collective local spirit (after a devastating earthquake had rocked San Francisco the year before). In the 100-plus years since, people from all over the world have come to San Francisco, and become a part of the Bay to Breakers community.
Equal Parts Run and Fun
Bay to Breakers 12K is not your average footrace. While the run is a serious athletic challenge for some, most participants treat it as an opportunity to just have a good time and celebrate with friends. Festive costumes are a huge part of the event, with many runners dressing up in wildly creative outfits — everything from superheroes to cartoon characters, and even some creative group costumes. Participants often spend weeks or even months planning and creating their finery, and the result is a parade of colorful and imaginative getups.
The Course, Of Course
As previously mentioned, the scenic nature of the running course itself is also a major highlight of Bay to Breakers. The race begins at the picturesque Embarcadero (near the Bay Bridge), and heads west through the heart of the city. Along the way, runners will pass by some of San Francisco's most iconic landmarks — including City Hall, the “Painted Ladies” Victorian row homes, and Golden Gate Park. The course also includes the notorious Hayes Street Hill, a steep incline that challenges even the most experienced runners. However, once runners reach the top of the hill, they are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the city. So it’s more than worth the sweat!
The Community Comes Together
Perhaps the most memorable part of the Bay to Breakers 12K is the sense of community that surrounds the event. Participants come to the race from all walks of life and all levels of athletic ability, making the atmosphere one of inclusivity and support. Whether you're a serious competition runner or just there to have a great day out, runners always arrive to discover an undeniable sense of camaraderie with fellow participants. Once the race gets underway, the streets are lined with cheering spectators. Many local residents set up their own impromptu aid stations, offering runners snacks, drinks, and (in keeping with the celebratory atmosphere) even adult beverages.
More Festival Than Footrace
Although there is a serious run somewhere beneath all the decorations and costumes, participants and spectators never lose sight of the fact that above all, Bay to Breakers is a party. A 12K party that never stops moving, sure. But still a big ol’ bash nevertheless. So whether participating or just cheering on the runners, you’re guaranteed a unique and memorable experience.
Plan Your Bay to Breakers Stay at Hotel Caza
Headed into town for the race? Hotel Caza is the perfect “home base” for your Bay to Breakers adventure! We’re not only less than two miles from the start of the course, our competitive rates, stellar service and comfy accommodations offer guests a comfortable and convenient spot to rest before and after the race.
When you’re ready to reserve, run — don’t walk — to our Special Offers Page, select the San Francisco travel deal that’s right for you, and start anticipating your visit!