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Nudity, beer won't be tolerated at Bay to Breakers race, officials say

February 12, 2009 |  3:26 pm


Crowds probably will be down for the 98th running of San Francisco's wacky Bay to Breakers race, thanks to prudish city officials and race sponsors who this week announced that they will ban floats, nudity and beer-drinking during the May 17 event.

The Bay to Breakers race typically lures thousands, and many come in costume, or with little or no clothing, and most come for the festive and ridiculous atmosphere. Now police say they will physically remove floats and shopping carts carrying kegs. They'll also arrest people who are drinking or appear tipsy and closely monitor the skimpiness-level of clothing.

Reason for the crackdown: Residents along the route have simply had enough. Said one neighborhood association president to the San Francisco Chronicle:

"People were vomiting, drinking and throwing trash along the route. The Panhandle itself was trashed, and the neighborhood around the Panhandle was trashed. Residents were shocked at the disrespect people showed."

Said a longtime participant from Seattle, who is canceling her plans to attend and run in a toga: "No one's going to visit for a standard G-rated parade. People don't travel to cities just for footraces. The spirit's just gone."

-- Pete Thomas

Photo: The race in 2002.

Credit: Associated Press