New Bay to Breakers Rules Not Enforced

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New Bay to Breakers Rules Not Enforced

By Haley Fretes

The 102nd 7.5 mile Bay to Breakers marathon was held on Sunday, May 19, and was predicted to bring over 30,000 participants this year, but expected to include fewer Tam students than in past years. Due to the Boston Marathon bombings that occurred on April 15, the organizers of the race announced that stricter security measures along with new rules would be imposed that haven’t existed in past years. No backpacks or other large bags were to be permitted on the course and any container exceeding an 8.5” by 11” by 4” size would be confiscated. According to officials, all unregistered runners without race bibs would also be removed from the course. Although expecting stricter enforcements, Bay to Breakers 2013 was more of just the same as it has been in past years.

Bay to Breakers is a popular event that is attended by many students each year. It includes waking up early to catch the ferry or drive into the city, silly costumes, and a morning of running or walking down the streets of San Francisco from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach. For some students, this year marked the first time having the Bay to Breakers experience.

“It was really fun, I liked seeing everyone in their outfits,” freshman Haley Stephenson said. “The naked men made things a little uncomfortable but it was overall a really happy and carefree environment.”

Going to Bay to Breakers this year, participants had no idea what to expect as a result of the recent Boston Marathon bombings. Some came prepared with their bibs and small fanny packs, while others were unshaken by the warnings of less lenient security.

“Even though there was a lot of talk of increased security and a ban on backpacks and unregistered runners, these rules didn’t seem to be strictly enforced at all,” sophomore Jacob Swartz said. “I do think the fact that they made it more widely known that they would be cracking down helped the participants feel safer.”

The race has been a tradition that students have enjoyed for many years. From the crazy outfits to the energetic crowd of Tam spirit, it is an event that students love to get involved in and be a part of. For many returning participants, the thought of changed security measures affecting this tradition was concerning. However after finishing the race, students agreed that the “new rules” were nothing to be scared of.

Every couple of miles they had a line of security guards looking for something, but even they weren’t doing much. A few students that brought backpacks reported that nobody had said anything about it to them.

Students don’t wake up at 5am just to run or walk; Bay to Breakers is an opportunity for Tam kids to party in the street of San Francisco for eight miles. Some participants were concerned that the lack of backpacks would affect the tradition of sneaking in alcohol and other substances onto the course.

“I think the fact that they were saying the rules were going to be stricter this year did scare some people away who participate in the drinking and smoking aspect of the race,” junior Evans Levy said. “In that way it helped a little bit on reducing the amount of illegal activities.”

Despite all the talk of the stronger security at the race, getting onto the ferry turned out to be more of a struggle. “A lot of people were drinking and it was overall a pretty crazy environment on the ferry,” sophomore Ella Guyett said. “Before we got on people bags were being checked and any open water bottle was taken away. Some people managed to sneak their stuff through, but others had to pour out their bottles into a garbage bin.”

The laxity of the actual event’s security measures left some students disappointed with their choice to sit this year out. The expectations that they had from the alleged changes ended up not being fulfilled.

“I did not participate in Bay to Breakers this year for multiple reasons, but mostly because I didn’t want to deal with all the increased security,” junior Kenyon Jordan said. “ I have gone in the past and now I regret my decision not to do it because from what my friends have discussed about this years race, there was as much security this year as there is every year. I look forward to going next year.”