Although numbering only a relative few amid a sea of tens of thousands
of other Bay to Breakers participants, the BARE-2-B'ers
demonstration is one of the Bay to Breakers' greatest crowd pleasers; they are
the spectators' most looked for fun group; as well as being one of the media's most highlighted.
Some spectators revere this highly coordinated wardrobe
fashion group as cult-like heroes of the Bay to Breakers' professed wackiness.
That year Ed Van Sicklin quietly led his nervous group down a side street to a corner near the starting line.
Van Sicklin later wrote:
One of the arrested accepted a plea bargain; but the other five wisely opted to fight to
vindicate themselves. The five were disgusted with the harassment and the fact that after they had
been arrested, transported to the police station, and only after being allowed to dress, they were then forced
to strip nude and pose for police photos! (We won't try to explain the logic of that
illegal police procedure.)
The five acquired the excellent legal services of attorney William G. Stripp (yes, the name is
"Will" Stripp!) who filed a demurrer to the court on their behalf substantiating that the charges
were illegal. The court immediately dismissed the charges against the five. To his credit,
Stripp did the representation pro bono. No civil suit was filed against the city by any
of the defendants. The BARE-2-B'ers have since participated in every
consecutive Bay to Breakers run.
"Jed" the dachshund.
BARE-2-BREAKERS Boosters - Who are they? . . .
In 1993, Ed Van Sicklin with the help of friends Derry Kelve and George Patterson, organized the first
BARE-2-BREAKERS group, the
unsanctioned and uncostumed subgroup of the textiled Bay to Breakers footrace.
Five races later, after the 1997 Bay to Breakers, the reins were turned over to Ted who organized
a support group under the moniker
"Boosters," that thereafter organized
BARE-2-BREAKERS for the
next 14 years.
The Boosters were able to successfully mismanage all of the
BARE-2-BREAKERS cheeky events through 2011.
The Boosters are made up of (unpaid) volunteers and supporters whose
purpose was to annually coordinate the nude demonstration. More importantly, on behalf of the
wonderful contributing participants, they promoted and facilitated the sharing of reliable
information about this famous Free Speech demonstration to prospective participants and to those
interested throughout the world. This adventurous learn-it-all Web site is an example
of their educational outreach service that continues today.
By the 2012 run, the nude participants had become so mainstream within the Bay to Breakers footrace,
that the "Boosters" were only promoters
and not organizers. The preplanning support, and a pre-Gathering on race day, has become
"If you love your job, you will never work
another day the rest of your life."
Due to the one-time arrests in 1993, the BARE-2-B
Boosters have expanded attorney Wm. Stripp's well written demurrer and
have become much more legally savvy and prepared to vigorously defend the expressive constitutional
rights of the Yellow Hat wearing BARE-2-B demonstrators should the need
ever arise again. The Boosters are now prepared to legally challenge
any authority which attempts to impose its concept of morality upon the legally demonstrating
The name BARE-2-BREAKERS, and the abbreviated form
BARE-2-B, are properly written in all capitalization (upper case)
and in the color red when possible.
"It is not our abilities which show what we truly are
it is our choices."
Dumbledore (of Harry Potter)
Why Do People Do It Nude . . .
There are perhaps as many answers as there are participants. A common misnomer is that
the nude demonstration has something to do with sex. For those who think such,
they are clueless!
A good general reply as to why we run nude is because we are able to; and because
we must. Life is just too short and it is not a dress rehearsal; the only time that we can
experience the full physical sensations of life is now (while we still can).
Another popular reason given is that doing Bay to Breakers in the buff is simply a more liberating experience.
Running nude is an ointment for living. It sharpens one's senses and it reveres the dignity and the beauty of the
human form. It further places some into a Zen like state of mind where the idyllic seasons and freedoms of
early childhood are adrift and timeless. For others, nude running is an adrenaline rush, a powerful addictive
narcotic which soothes and frees one's mind and spirit.
Some of us are survivors of cancer, past wars, disabilities, complex and stressful lives, or simply
increasing age. Some of us are in the medical profession, the clergy, law enforcement or other services which
deal daily with the deteriorating health of others and we are especially appreciative of life and our natural
bodies. Others are simply in solidarity with the BARE-2-BREAKERS
statement and what it represents; and they want to demonstrate for the nude cause
with like minded brothern.
"It is such an affirmation of simply being alive
and thwarting the powers of age and gravity!"
There is another serious and prevailing fundamental reason why people do it nude:
BARE-2-BREAKERS is a demonstration promoting self-acceptance and
the realization that each person's body, no matter the shape or size, is good and admirable; and that one's body should be
viewed as the most wonderful creation we have. With each of us possessing such a magnificant piece of God's
own art as our own body, a perverted hiding of God's art is akin to a denial of the reality of who we are... and a denial
of the good and wondrous image in which God made us. We accept God's testimony that His creations are
very good and we will not contradict Him by finding shame in, and concealing, His Works.
Whatever the individual impetus is for participating, BARE-2-B'ers
all agree that the taboo which surrounds the nude body is ridiculous and out-of-place. The taboo is encouraged
by self-appointed and crusading neurotic "moral custodians" whose puritanic zeal attempts to fascistically
regulate how you and others think and live. BARE-2-BREAKERS
is an event whereby we can all break loose from such
false piety; and where we can annually celebrate, demonstrate and attempt
to influence through Free Speech a positive acceptance
of our natural God given bodies.
The most asked question in this general "Why Do People Do It Nude" category is how many people actually do it nude?
Until a few years ago, the BARE-2-B'ers had a registration. The exact number of registered participants was only known to
the one person who handled the final bookkeeping.
The numbers have never been released; and participating BARE-2-B'ers are bound to secrecy on their estimated number.
This is due to a policy which was originally enacted in the first days of the Boosters for political reasons. Although those reasons
have now become moot, the practice of stealth hugger-muggery of the numbers continues today for mysticism. How many naked people
are there? Some spectators have reported only counting about a dozen.
Some newspaper articles have reported at least a couple of hundred. Others have estimated that there must be nearly a thousand.
The beauty is in the mind and what one wants to imagine. Like the San Francisco fog, the legendary BARE-2-B
naked people suddenly appear... and then like the mist, they're gone.
"But you are beautiful."
(SHREK's last line in the original movie...
to a discovering Princess Fiona)
Speed . . .
We encourage everyone to train as much as possible before the demonstration; but Breakers is for fun, except for
the seeded runners and other maniac sprinters. As past BARE-2-B participants
can attest, the size of the crowd coupled with our desire to remain together in groups will dictate pretty slow
paces. Relax! You don't need to be on steroids. The good-spirited energy of the
crowd will help carry you across the city. You won't believe how easy it is.
Naked as a baby
Although we don't recommend such a slow pace, some BARE-2-B'ers
who have walked in the past, and have taken numerous stops to
accommodate the spectators' request for photos, have taken nearly 4 hours to complete the course. Most however will
maintain a walk speed and finish in 2 to 2.5 hours. A few of our fastest runners who run full trottle
will finish within one hour.
Remember, BARE-2-B'ers come in all ages. While some run
(and really haul ass), most walk. The average age of our diversified participant is in the
upper 40's which explains why our group wasn't threatening the elite Kenyan runners.
Naked as can be
Naked as God made me
Honey you can be
All the folks in Frisco
Come out in May to see
The excitement of the runners
Of naked Bare-to-B
The prestigious BARE-TO-BREAKERS
logo, with the two illustrative naked runners,
are shown on these "classic" silkscreened
BARE-2-B hats. Click on photo for a view
of the "classic" embroidered hats.
Hats . . .
Yeah, it seems sort of ironic that naked runners should wear something, but the
BARE-2-B'er hats are very important because they visually
bind the individual demonstrators together as BARE-2-B'ers;
and the hats GREATLY help in making it much easier to locate one another in the massive Bay to Breakers' crowd.
BARE-2-B'ers who get separated from others during the run will no
longer see other naked bodies to join up with, only the tops of thousands of heads...
so it is important that the tops of the BARE-2-B'ers
heads be recognizable. We ask all particpants to help themselves and their
fellow BARE-2-B'ers by showing the spirit
of camaraderie by wearing a BARE-2-B'er hat (our one
piece jogging suit).
Furthermore, the hats are important because they visually tie
our demonstrators to our Free Speech demonstration. Like arm bands, they serve
to bind us together in a mission statement signifying our pro-nude solidarity.
Streakers who simply jump in and run nude for the experience without our hats
signifying our mission's distinct First Amendment demonstration lack the basic intrinsic
grounds for legal protection.
Public nudity is a form of conduct, not protected speech...
...unless it is "expressive" which is clearly protected under the First Amendment.
By wearing a BARE-2-B hat, BARE-2-B'ers signify that their nudity is aligned
with the legal BARE-2-BREAKERS expressive demonstration.
The availability of BARE-2-B hats is covered in Chapter 25 below.
For this athletic event, we will continue to wear our famous
which were first introduced in 2004. A few BARE-2-B'ers have repeatedly worn their earlier "classic" crinkle hat devotedly for many years.
Our hats visually serve as the 'Official Credentials' of the nekkid BARE-2-B ambassadors.
Many textiled runners and spectators now look for our brightly colored hats to locate our demonstrators.
For a growing number of spectators, doing a fun 'nudie count' has become a favorite
Bay to Breakers' pastime.
"A moment lasts all of a second,
but the memory lives on forever."
The Velveteen Rabbit
Genders . . .
Although each year the percentages increase, currently women only make up about
20% of our
participants. This we believe is largely due to Madison Avenue's conditioning of women
that their bodies are always to be viewed as imperfect. For those enlightened
women who know that God does not create imperfection, the BARE-2-BREAKERS
demonstration is a liberating experience and an empowering confidence builder.
A demonstrator's message allows for hindsight.
Anatomy . . .
Concern has been expressed, by participants of both genders, as to the possible anatomical issues of
running naked. Men need not be concerned. No matter how floppy one is, nature takes care
of the male genitals during exercise by tightening the scrotum. (The ancient Greeks and Native Americans
engaged in competitive sport without clothing or injury.)
Women have a very different issue. We have been assured by several aerobics
instructors that unsecured breasts will not suffer any tissue damage during
a hard run, but that some women may feel discomfort. Possible solutions are
altered (i.e., ventilated) or nude-colored jog bras, carrying a jobra and
donning it if the need arises, or wearing one the whole time and just going
bottomless. Remember, the central theme of the BARE-2-BREAKERS
is the demonstration of nudity and the positive expression of it; but,
not at the expense of discomfort.
Aim for nothing, but if you feel the need for support, slip something on. Most women will not need any
support; the majority of BARE-2-B'ers will walk or trot very
slow during the first mile and then walk the remainder of the way.
Just concentrate on the nude benefits, going bra-less pulls all of the wrinkles out of your face.
The most asked question in the "Anatomy" category comes from younger men asking about getting an embarassing "woody."
The fear of not being able to control an erection and publicly acquiring one seems to keep some younger men
from participating. A male's production of the hormone testosterone peaks around age 18 and slowly decreases
each year thereafter. A middle aged man's arousal and libido is much different than a male in his 20's.
The Ithyphallophobia fear
of untimely penile tumescence,
however, seems to be far too over rated. As a male exerts himself during the Bay to Breakers'
demonstration or any physical activity, the male body directs the blood to refurbish nutrients and oxygen to the muscles
and other primary tissues; so the penis isn't a destination unless one brings to BARE-2-B
such a high level of anxiety and nervousness on the subject that
is manifested. From the experience of men who have participated in the past, an untimely erection is exceptionally uncommon.
For most average men, the physical exertion of the event normally causes the opposite embarrassment, natural shrinkage.
One can always carry a long t-shirt or something to slip on if there is any concern of either.
"You've got to live like there may not be a later."
Clothing . . . during the race.
One suggestion is that you wear an old t-shirt to be discarded at the start, and either carry your
shorts/sarong/skirt in your hand or fanny pack, or carry it (them) in one of your socks or under
your hat. Women should also carry a bikini top (if you're not doing a
or other such cover for later leaving the race course.
Many BARE-2-B'ers simply bring a t-shirt & shorts
which they tote in a fanny or small backpack (with their wallet/camera) during the race.
Be aware that due to security concerns, backpacks must be see-through or no larger than
8.5x11x4-inches (small knapsack size).
Also, often before the run each year, we see postings on different Internet forums discussing the
idea of running totally naked and depending upon someone else to have one's clothes waiting
for them at the finish line. This idea is a BIG no-no! Some people have tried this in
the past and have found that they couldn't make connections at the finish line due to the massive
crowd. Still others have acquired painful muscle spasms during the run; one runner was tripped
and injured; and a few others have also had to quit for miscellaneous reasons long
before ever reaching the finish. Those who were without their clothing found themselves
in one sorry naked state! These things do and have happened, so everyone should carry
their own clothing with them for any unexpected emergency which would require them to
leave the race course early.
Much more about clothing is presented below in Chapters 10, 14, 18 and 21.
Corporate billboard strategically placed
along the BARE-2-B race course
promoting only shoes.
Just do it.
Shoes, Socks, Rain Wear & Special Advisements . . .
A few BARE-2-B'ers do run without shoes;
however, we do not recommend going shoeless for safety reasons. We recommend that participants
have comfortable shoes well broken-in before the race.
"When you see someone putting on his running shoes,
you can be pretty sure that an adventure is about to happen."
- Winnie the Pooh
- For runners with tender feet, we recommend the old Boy Scout hiking advisement of wearing two pairs
of socks to prevent blisters. First, put on a thin pair of wool or
synthetic-blend socks and then put over those a heavier outer wool pair. The wool helps
to cushion your soles and will draw sweat away from your feet. The inner socks will slide
against the heavier outer socks and take moisture away from your skin, reducing friction and
lessening any chance of getting a blister.
Socks will also stretch while you wear them, so one should wear firm and comfortable socks which
do not have surplus fabric which will bunch up and irritate the feet. Taking advanced measures
to prevent blisters is very important and should not be overlooked.
Double wool socks would be overkill for walkers in cooler weather; but blisters are bad.
This advisement is made with the still haunting memory seeing two very bloody blisters on the heals
of one of our participants in 2000 who had improper fitting footwear and thin socks. His
perspiration and motion of walking for nine miles, from the race's starting line to Footstock
(a previously held event), caused him very severe pain.
It is reported that each year the American Red Cross aids roughly 450 runners during Bay to Breakers;
the number one leading problem... blisters; number two... muscle strains. Even a heart
attack will sometimes occur; with an occasional rare death. Interestingly, deaths usually are not
from the elderly; but rather middle aged people pushing their running limits.
" ...and if you see a long tunnel,
stay away from the light!"
Donkey (From SHREK.)
- The insides of thighs can also become painfully raw by the rubbing action of miles of sweaty leg work.
Some runners address this problem by applying a liberal amount of
"A & D Ointment"
to the problem area and rubbing the ointment in before arriving. The ointment
is readily available over-the-counter at drug stores, and at many grocery markets and 99-cent stores.
- If the forecast indicates that rain might be a factor, we highly recommend that you have
an emergency-type clear vinyl poncho with a hood. Ideally one at least 80
inches in length and preferably 10mm (or more) in vinyl thickness - they weigh about a 1/2 pound. Ultra thin
2mm ponchos are common and they are more transparent; but they offer less protection from heat loss;
the 2mm (Texsport #32772 - not recommended)
are made to cover clothing and tend to cling to skin like Saran Wrap.
Emergency ponchos are thin, lightweight, and they don't take up much room in a security-sized
backpack. Yeah, we know you want to go completely nude but a security-sized backpack is so
practical, especially in weather for stuffing dry clothes. So, we strongly
suggest that you have an emergency clear poncho and have a small rain-proof backpack available
(if the day is sunny, leave them with your luggage).
Many army surplus and some discount stores have clear 10mm thick (thicker the better) emergency ponchos
as described for $2.75 to $5; but beware, some "clear" are rather frosted (i.e. Texsport's 10mm) or
textured and are not as see-thru. Although not as transparent, Texsport's 10mm (clear item #32710)
ponchos do have a built in hood which helps prevent rain from running down your back. Do get a poncho with a hood.
As an inexpensive one-time use throw-away, an emergency poncho won't keep you completely dry (lower
legs and feet will be soaked), but wind-chill and body heat loss is the enemy and a
thicker poncho will help to maintain some of your critical body heat and some assemblance of comfort.
(Whine Alert: You may still be cold and numb... but at least you will be warm enough to feel
miserable.) Seriously, ponchos do make a critical difference if needed, so have one available.
"OH MAN! I can't feel my toes!!!
...I don't have toes.
Donkey (From SHREK.)
Toe Nail Trim:
- This may sound stupid, but it is something that many people overlook and don't think about until it
starts to hurt them. A few miles into a long run or walk, over length toe nails on some people can start to irritate
and slowly start cutting into the skin near the cuticle area. As this event has much to do with feet, give your feet
special prerun attention. It's far better than post run pain.
Remember, Bay to Breakers has First Aid stations along the
route; especially inside Golden Gate Park. If you need any medical help, such as for the "heat" development
of a blister, stop at a First Aid station and acquire a free bandage and
immediate medical attention.
- While we encourage all to participate, the seriously handicapped are particularly challenged by
the distance and the many obstacles, particularly the
Hayes Street hill
and the inherent hazards if one is rushing against the time clock. Each person should judge with caution
their abilities and that of any back-up support.
"You never know when you are making a memory."
Registered Bay to Breakers runners . . .
will need to wear their runner's bib numbers so that their "official photos"
can be traced back to them. The paper material in which the numbers are
printed on is flimsy and curls, making the numbers sometimes impossible for the
official photo staff to read. We suggest that prior to arriving for the race, that you
mount your number onto a stiffer material (no pun intended) and that you tie your number to
a string of beads, ribbon necklace, or something else that is comfortable to wear.
(Information about registering is given below.)
"Costumed Runner - noun, a participant who runs in costume in the Bay
to Breakers. Some runners are known to come in their birthday suits.
Political statements often made."
Bay to Breakers 2003 - 2005 Web sites
Beverages . . .
Please don't bring beverages in breakable (glass) containers. There are water stops
along the race course free to the participants.
Prerace Meeting . . .
In the initial years of BARE-2-B when we were new and only had a
dozen or so participants, we'd have a runners' pre-race organizational meeting within a week before the race with most of our participants.
This helped to dispel the jitters, instill a sense of esprit de corps,
and gave us a chance to meet with our fellow runners before the great melee of the Breakers morning.
When Ted took over, the BARE-2-B nomadic tribal numbers began to grow
with members making the annual pilgrimage from the East Coast, Canada, and as far away as Europe and
Australia (in addition to all of us from the West). Ted immediately dropped the meeting in
1998 in favor of a pre-Gathering held on the morning of the event. Since 2012, the Gathering
is no longer held due to complications of the numerous starting corrals now implemented by the Bay to
Runners walk (climb) the grueling 1/2-mile
Hayes Street hill with lots of smiles
on their faces.
"A great pleasure in life is doing what people say
you can not do."
Race Morning . . .
As stated above, starting in 2012, the popular prerace Gathering on race day morning has been eliminated. The
acceptance of nude running within Bay to Breakers and the changes within the mechanics of the event
has diminished the benefits of having a group Gathering.
We recommend that BARE-2-B'ers register with the Bay to Breakers
organization and simply a become part of the madness.
Do not strip down until you have reached the starting line. If you are at the very
end of the "Back of the Pack," bringing up the "rear" could easily take
40 minutes just to reach the starting line after the race begins. Standing around
naked while waiting and being tightly pressed in by other runners, could lead to misfortune.
As you approach the starting line, step to the far side where you won't obstruct the flow
of runners before stripping.
Some BARE-2-B'ers wear throw-away clothing for the early morning
chill and then discard the clothing at the starting line. DO NOT discard any clothing where
it will trip someone. Please discard in an appropriate place.
"These are the days, we'll remember."
Restrooms . . .
There have usually been about 500 portable toilets strategically placed for Bay to Breakers.
500-plus portable toilets may sound like a lot, but 500 divided into...
lets say 70,000 participants, equals only 1 toilet for every 140 participants. This does
not include the tens of thousands of spectators who also use them; nor the fact that depending upon the
time of the morning, half of the portable toilets are at the opposite end of the race course from
where the people need them (so the ratio is far greater than 1 portable toilet per 300 people).
Public urination has been a growing problem at Bay to Breakers. The 'Citizens for the Preservation of Bay2Breakers'
in 2009 have found that the ING "New York Marathon sourced 2,250 toilets for 39,000 participants in their race, while AEG
race organizers sourced only 500 toilets for 65,000 participants in Bay to Breakers." That is about 88% less toilets for 167%
more people. The number of portable toilets were slightly increased since then.
For comparison, the 2015 26.2 mile Boston Marathon of 30,000 runners had 992 portable toilets.
Also, because some portable stalls run out of paper products, some animals will wipe themselves on anything
(and guess which stall you're likely to select).
Therefore, participants usually try to take care of business prior to arrival at the event, not overload
on water, and a few will even carry a little paper product in a backpack just in case.
So, port-a-potties at the beginning, at the end, and about a half dozen sites in between.
Centipedes . . .
An official Bay to Breakers "centipede" requires a team of a minimum of 13 people physically tied (connected) together.
Usually, a couple other people participate along side of the 13 as alternatives, should one of the 13 need to drop out for a while. We
certainly have the numbers, but as in the past, we do not have plans to do a centipede
as the demonstration is about the natural body and not about centipedes. Ed Van Sicklin's
original group in 1993 did do a "nudi-pede."
The second half of the race course runs
through the Golden Gate Park's "Panhandle"
(at the lower right) to near the "Breakers"
at the top of the photo.
Your state of mind isn't a defense,
you can't plead stupidity!
The Law . . .
Starting in 2000, through 2004, the Bay-2-B organizers placed a warning within their publications stating
that "Naked running is not permitted. The police department may arrest or cite violators of Park codes
and City ordinances." Well, this disclaimer (which seemed solely for the benefit of their corporate
sponsors) didn't apply to most of us, as most of us don't run naked... we walk. So for 2005, the wording was
changed, stating that "The SFPD may arrest or cite violators." "Participating naked."
In 2006, the warning against our constitutionally protected demonstration was further diluted: "For everyone's
safety and enjoyment NO ALCOHOL or NUDITY is allowed and there will be ALCOHOL CHECKPOINTS along the course."
Well, this costume disclaimer still didn't seem to apply as BARE-2-B'ers technically don't
participate naked... hats and shoes are worn; and disappointedly to many, no NUDITY CHECKPOINTS were established.
We figured that such checkpoints would be like a fun vehicle inspection, a careful scrutiny to make sure that all mechanical
parts were functioning and that none had been improperly modified.
Anyone who has attended a Bay to Breakers run will find amusement in any attempt to define
proper Bay to Breakers' attire. Any fashion police enforcement would have to be discriminatory
and based upon highly subjective judgments.
Law enforcement only hassled us in 1993 when we first organized a group. By arresting a few of the nekkid demonstrators
(charges in which a court later threw out), law enforcement garnered such bad press that we have peacefully
coexisted ever since. Today, we demonstrate under many pertinent
federal and state court cases and laws which now uphold public nudity when that nudity is relevant to the
demonstration of expressive Free Speech (First Amendment).
"The 1st Amendment requires us to err
on the side of protecting political speech."
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
Federal Election Commission vs Wisconsin Right to Life (2007)
Naturally, we wish to live in peace, but should law enforcement challenge us again for our bonafide engagement in core
political speech and assembly, the expressive Free Speech issue will definitely be included as a matter of our defense (which it
wasn't in 1993). As we would likely prevail, we expect the floodgates to open and our participants to multiply 10-times.
Interestingly, less than an hour before the arrests in 1993, the Bay to Breakers officials judged the
BARE-2-B'ers on their costumes, which consisted of the
BARE-2-B'ers wearing only their hats. This was done at the Golden Gate Park's
Conservatory of Flowers. After the officials' attentiveness to meticulous
details, the BARE-2-B group was awarded a 57 out of a possible 60 points; and the following day
the S.F. Examiner (in a special Bay to Breakers' edition) ran the headline "Most Popular Costume is No Costume."
So despite the arrest incident in 1993, the BARE-2-B'ers have always been popular.
In 1997, one minor incident occurred when a nude demonstrator was reportedly given a police escort
from the race to his lodging after he left the race course to use a port-a-potty. While
improperly waiting in line nude, the law rightfully nabbed him (unofficial arrest). If you need to
leave the course, for any reason, including an urge to stop in at passing
a Starbucks, use prudence and cover-up first. (Not that you're likely to have any
trouble going nude; but we state this because once off the official race course, we can't help to
legally defend you.)
If you think you can, you're right.
If you think you can't, you're right.
UPDATE: The 2014 run was marred by reports of police interference. During
the first half of the course, a number of our demonstrators were warned by police of possible
citation or arrest if they didn't cover-up. Participants reportedly complied with police
orders, went a block, and quickly re-stripped. We know of only one demonstrator who
completely ceased his participation in the demonstration and left the event. This
illegal harrassment was apparently ordered directly from the San Francisco police chief.
Under current regulations, nude demonstrating on the Bay to Breakers race course
during the event, remains legal under local regulations. The SFPD's interference in
2014 was illegal. With that said, those who were being intimidated needed to stand-up
for their rights. Unfortunately, this can only be practically done after the event
through the courts. This can be difficult for out-of-town visitors.
For monetary damages, a legal notice of claim must be served upon the city for damages
within 6 months of the violation under California law. We know of no citations or
arrests being made in 2014. Citations are a hassle but they can be dismissed.
An arrest on the other hand can bring significant recovery of damages that make litigation
worthwhile. If you feel that your rights were violated, and want to step forward,
contact the Boosters.
So, is demonstrating in the nude safe? The answer is that you can always be cited or arrested by
an overzealous officer.
But as stated, the only arrests that have been made, were over two decades ago, and they were recognized as being illegal by a
court and the charges were dismissed. Furthermore, the public sooo overwhelmingly enjoys the nude
demonstrators of this athletic event, and looks forward to them every year, that
the authorities in good spirit with the public's sentiment...
Consequently, a strong legal precedent has been established over the years to support
the expressive Free Speech nude demonstrators. The race promoters, now sometimes, even include the
BARE-2-B'ers in their official
promotional materials. Sometimes in error.
Participating in the nekkid demonstration has been totally safe provided the participants
follow our important guidelines given below ("23. RULES").
Our Free Speech demonstrations are a symbol and an exercise of "serious artistic expression"
of our artful nude figures interacting and artfully performing freely and acceptably within a major urban
environment. Our demonstrations are also of significant political interest and value as our performances
have clearly demonstrated the public's overwhelming support and acceptance
of our nude expression for over a decade; thereby debunking any outdated notion that the public presentation of the mere nude body
infringes upon any moral sense of today's societal standard. BARE-2-B'ers have
substantiated that the public is ready to accept nude people for who they are.
Our demonstrations are of yet further political importance and merit as the authorities have come to
recognize that our nude demonstrations are safe and that they do not create any harm or any undesired
and that our short annual demonstrations fall within the expressive conduct
perimeters of the First Amendment as strongly supported by legal research.
"Gone are the days when a municipality may enact an
ordinance ostensibly regulating secondary effects on
the basis of evidence consisting of little more than
the self-serving assertions of municipality officials."
U.S. District Judge John Antoon
Lollipops v. Daytona Beach (2006)
Despite some media reporters doing sensationalistic stories (pdf) of an annual mythical duel of
us challenging the authorities with our demonstration, nothing could be further from the truth.
We highly respect the S.F. authorities and we appreciate the outstanding work they do.
What we are solely challenging is any misconception that the mere nude body is either indecent or harmful.
Furthermore, we hold all in high esteem, including the California
Bar. (Bare Ass Runners) Come join us in
concluding our second decade of demonstrations.
"Dream your tomorrows; live your todays."
"A costumed runner must be witty, creative, and devoid
of any pride, dignity, or inhibitions whatsoever."
Bay to Breakers web site
A 1999 guideline for the Costume Contest.
Costumes, Accessories & More Law . . .
The idea is to demonstrate naturally naked in a pure form unencumbered by props;
but if your version of being naked includes some touches of body paint
or some minor accessories, feel free. However, please don't become too
weird on us. Although Bay to Breakers is about fun and wackiness, our demonstration
is centered on the wholesomeness of the pure and natural body.
If a naked person becomes too excessive with adding paint, tattoos, or weird costume,
or parades body piercing with jewelry attached to private body parts attempting to draw special
attention, then the image of the pure and natural body is replaced with a desecrated image of
abnormality. Displays of radical extremism with paint, or masochistic mutilation of one's private
body parts with piercings, does not help our demonstration's promotion that the naked body is good
in itself, and that it should be viewed and accepted as a natural thing of beauty.
"Walk in God's creation.
God created our bodies & each
is very good in
Some simple paint jobs in the past have been very creative and well done.
However, we do not welcome far-out extremes. For example, a male who is
not a part of our group, has repeatedly paraded body paint designs which includes an accented
painted prosthetic penis. His sexual and extraordinary "prurient display" appears to fully meet
the legal definition of lascivious
"to excite vicious or lewd thoughts or acts"
Penal Code § 314; providing law enforcement with a justifiable cause to arrest
Over the years a small number have sported an emersion in body paint... some done good, some done bad.
Perhaps the bad have only gotten away with it because no police officers have yet wanted to run down, tackle, and place such rub-off
paint jobs into the back of their squad car. We do not want this Web site to imply that we endorse or will defend
extreme and ostentatious masquerades which are in direct conflict with our demonstration's message;
that the nude body (in itself) is natural and not lewd nor shameful.
Remember, that during our demonstration, the simple display of the nude body
is not illegal but that certain acts while nude are illegal; such as any act which emphasizes, draws or incites prurient
or lascivious attention towards a private body part. Ironically, the "act" of wearing an ounce of jewelry or paint while
nude can be legally interpreted as wearing too much (depending upon the perceived emphasis of the display) as some
acts can be legally construed as erotic or emphasizing eroticism.
So if you feel a necessity to embellish yourself with jewelry or paint upon a private area of your body,
use caution and common sense. If uncertain as to the limits, we suggest that you use our chicken test: Ask yourself that
with what you plan to do, that if you were in a court of law facing a conservative judge, a determined
prosecuting D.A., and an upstanding arresting officer, would you likely get away with it?
Bay to Breakers is not a S.F.
Folsom Street Fair type of event. BARE-2-BREAKERS is not about one's
"sexual expression" and we do not condone any behavior which crosses the legal line. Just use your
common sense, and avoid extremes. If you follow our simple guidelines, you should have a fun, trouble free time.
Also, each year we usually get one or more inquiries regarding the acceptability of
participating with totally shaved private areas. Our preference is against total hairlessness as
it is unnatural and because we have heard public comments wondering if such totally clean shaved adults
in our group have a chemical imbalance causing them never to have reached puberty. Such comments would
be funny except that the questions have been genuine. How we are perceived by the public
is very important to our demonstration's goal, so we ask that you use discretion. With that said,
a tree is said to appear taller when the shrub around it is trimmed.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
A group of BARE-2-BREAKERS
walking participants reaches
the Pacific's "Breakers".
Evolution of Bay-2-B . . .
The Bay to Breakers' run during the last several years has gone through some
dramatic internal changes. From 1965 through 2000, the event had grown under
the supportive sponsorship of the Hearst-owned Examiner newspaper. With the new
millennium came a change as the newspaper's ownership acquired the S.F. Chronicle. The Chronicle then absorbed
the bulk of the Examiner's staff and readership. The Examiner's excess remnants was then sold off in November 2000
to the Fang Family; the sale included the trademarked Bay to Breakers name. Under the restructured and castrated Examiner,
much of the earlier financial support for the Bay to Breakers was no longer available.
In 2002 the new Examiner started to distance itself by dropping its name from the event, calling the
footrace the "San Francisco Bay to Breakers." The newspaper, under its Bay to Breakers director
Angela Fang, established the IRS 501(c)(3) non-profit
San Francisco Bay to Breakers Foundation
which became the charitable arm and supposedly the "official" entity responsible for the event.
To solidify control of the foundation, the Fang Board of Directors was kept small with
Angela Fang being reported to us as the "Founder and President." Under the Board, the list
of beneficiaries changed, most noticeable was the elimination of an apportionment of traditional funds going to
different Bay Area children's programs.
As the event struggled for sponsors, 2002 marked the first year in which an admission charge was established
for Footstock (a popular post-run party held in Golden Gate Park). This was reportedly done to change
the character of Footstock by bringing in a well known Bay Area band to attract a younger audience.
The 2003 event also had some major changes. Most noticable was the marketing transfer of the event's name to Albertsons.
Another dramatic element was the quiet behind-the-scenes "budget cutting" removal of West End Management;
who under Peter Nantell had previously handled the mechanics of organizing the street run for the previous 27
years. His strong expertise in assembling this massive run is greatly missed. Also, increased
registration fees and new registration processing fees were added which alienated many long time supporters.
Families, especially those who had previously registered their kids, found that registrating was no longer affordable.
In 2003, Rita Barela Productions, which had earlier handled some aspects of the Bay to Breakers, took over
much of the organizing.  (Any name that is partially 'Bare' holds good potential.)
In February 2004, Phillip Anschutz, a Denver based billionaire,
Examiner and the Bay to Breakers trademark. Anschutz operated the race under the handle of
Anschutz 12K Company and
is reported to have previously run the event many times in the past.
Under Albertsons corporate restructuring and down sizing, Albertsons bailed out of Bay to Breakers after three years and
starting in 2006, ING took over the title sponsor of Bay to Breakers.
ING is a Dutch company and the Dutch are most enlightened regarding the wholesomeness of the nude body.
It should be noted that the Bay to Breakers event has always been in the public domain. Although
the Hearst-owned Examiner stepped in decades ago and resurrected the dying event by offering organizational support, and it later
trademarked the name for protection and marketing purposes, this public event has never been city nor corporate owned;
but has always belonged to the people of San Francisco. In the more recent years of the event's lineage, the owner of
the trademarked name has assumed the volunteer civic responsibility of organizing and marketing this event for the people of San
In 2007, individual runner timing was introduced with the 'ChampionChip' electronic chips triggering computer timing devices at
the start and finish lines. This was followed by the development of runners' time starting stalls (corrals).
In 2009, the race organizers in response to legitimate residental complaints about public urination, drunkeness and tons of trash,
established strict new regulations
against public urination, alcohol, floats and public nudity. Within days of the organizers' media announcement
of their new regulations, a political firestorm erupted in San Francisco. Multiple grass-root organizations were formed against the new rules.
One website, that established a petition against the rules, acquired 25,000 sign-ups within only a few days. A massive boycott against Bay to Breakers was threatened.
At the time, only about 6,000 people had registered for the race and financial doom was being strongarmed. Finally, County Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi,
with pro-nudity views intervened and had the various factions resolve their issues. The compromises
which resulted basically dropped the ban on nudity by not making an issue of it. Thereafter, for the first time since the year 2000, a restriction
against nudity was not posted on the Bay to Breakers website.
The ever changing sponsorship changed again for 2015 with the principle sponsor becoming Zappos.com.
"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when.
You can only decide how you're going to live. Now."
The Media/Pictures . . .
The BARE-2-BREAKERS Free Speech contingent is
widely known. Spectators who assemble along the race course, as well as those who run, look forward
to seeing and counting us every year. Some of us stop for media interviews, including local T.V.
Each year the race organizers associate with a company called SportPhoto which attempts to photograph all
of the runners at photo zones locationed within the Golden Gate Park. Some textile runners have asked
to go through these zones with our demonstrators so that they could have a special memorable photo. Photojournalists
also wander around the race course and even on archways over the course in the park. If asked for a pose, make
sure your number gets into it, just in case the photographer isn't working on his/her own. Bystanders and
other runners also take pictures and video as well; and so do we. So feel free to bring along a camera.
Some bring a disposable camera just in case it gets dropped or lost.
Note: One hazard to mention is a resident
or two along the race course, on some years, have found fun in the
of the general runners by drenching them with a high pressure water hose. Water balloons thrown from roof tops have
also been reported. This roguishness can cause serious damage or totally destroy an expensive camera, cell phone or
interfere with medical or other electronic devices; and can cause physical injuries such as blisters from wet socks.
We have also seen costumes made of paper and cardboard, which have taken people many days to make, being destroyed in
seconds. As the attacks have taken place prior to the past judging locations, victims have been extremely
In the past, the Bay to Breakers promoters and police have been well aware of these attacks and have seemly ignored them as evidenced by the
above which shows individuals who spend hours soaking participants unimpeded by the authorities. Consequently, should
you be damaged by such an event endorsed battery, we recommended the immediate filing of a claim for recovery of your damages.
The run is televised live each year.
The cameramen try to avoid frontal nudity; however, an unexpected nude
runner will sometimes unexpectedly appear from the side as in this
"I can do this . . . I can do this."
- John Truman Carter
Given the divergent nature of the BARE-2-B demonstrators,
all media relations should be funneled through the BARE-2-B
If you wish to give an interview regarding yourself and your personal participation within
the BARE-2-B demonstration, that is fine and welcomed. However,
please do not speak representing the Boosters or others.
We wish to limit the erroneous misinformation which has been previously published by some very well meaning
participants. So please allow the BARE-2-B Boosters to be the group's
Also, in regards to photographs, each year after the race the Boosters collect
many hundreds of photographs (and sometimes a couple short videos) taken by the
BARE-2-B participants. The images are then posted to a
BARE-2-B private photo Web site for
the viewing enjoyment of other participants. The photos are not meant to be viewed
by the general public. Participants who submit photos/videos or who can substantiate their
participation is e-mailed the access code.
Runners exit the Golden Gate Park adjacent the Pacific Ocean's "Breakers" and dash for the finish line; after which is a walk back into
the park for the "Final Mile."
Getting Dressed . . .
As mentioned above, you will naturally need to get dressed after the race.
Currently, in order to strictly abide by the Law, BARE-2-B'ers need to dress before
actually passing through the exit chutes; however, those who don't haven't experienced any problems.
Where you cover up will be up to your good judgment; but dress at the finish
and DO NOT go nude past the finish area." The post-run
Finish Line Festival is family oriented and sponsored by our host. We do not wish to
show them insensitive ill manners and ingratitude..
An afternoon of relaxation and sunshine normally awaited the
finishers at Footstock, held at the Polo Field in Golden Gate Park.
However, in 2002, for the first time,
visitors needed a bib number or pay $15 to get in. This sent
a curse of unprecedented heavyrain upon the 2002 event;
and angered Footstock vendors who saw thousands of their
customers turned away.
For 2003 & 2004, the non-bib admission fee
jumped up and then flattened down to a $5 requested "donation."
From 2005 to 2010, Footstock returned to being an open free event.
The Recreation & Parks Department reportedly received
about $1 per registrant for the use of the Polo Field.
Footstock was replaced in 2011 with the Final Mile.
Afterwards . . .
Once through the finish line exit chutes and dressed, most demonstrators will then proceed to
the Finish Line Festival.
Golden Gate Park squirrels|
are reported to be aggressive.
Some years it has been suggested that the nude runners should hold their own nude picnic
after the race. In the past, a few BARE-2-B'ers
have held post run parties at North Baker Beach. The location does have some parking and volleyball capabilities.
From experience, however, the Boosters themselves have learned not to host an event at North Baker Beach due to the
unpredictability of the weather.
"Only those who will risk going too far can
possibly find out how far one can go."
- T.S. Eliot
RULES . . .
generally independent people who don't like rules, but over the years we have learn that a few rules
are essential. So we do have a few in which all BARE-2-B'ers
agree to abide by through the act of their participation.The cardinal running rules are:
Nudity ONLY on the designated race course.
No loitering around nude; try to reasonably keep moving during this event.
(3) Cover up at the finish line exit chutes.
(4) Leave no trace of yourself (litter, etc.).
abide by all of the conduct practices listed on this Web page.
The above are standard practices for our security and continued runs.
Gasp!!! Not all nudies are BARE-2-B'ers. . .
Over the years, the
BARE-2-BREAKERS has paved the way for the establishment of the Free Speech
nude demonstration within the Bay to Breakers. The demonstration is now so well established by the
BARE-2-B'ers and expected by the supportive spectators that numerous
non-demonstrating runners are now at ease at jumping in and going nude. This is especially true with those locally part of the wonderful
San Francisco subculture.
The networking and the structure in which BARE-2-BREAKERS
provides is of less importance to them. Not being from out-of-town, the camaraderie, support, and the networking of the
BARE-2-B'ers is of less value to them.
If you consider yourself such a local independent... Welcome! While your purpose may
be different than ours, we only ask that you act responsibly and follow the basic rules
(stated a few lines above) which have been established as essential through years of nude demonstrating.
It has taken our group many careful years of nurturing nude running as an acceptable part of Bay to Breakers
Please don't be irresponsible and jeopardize the nude event for everyone else by violating the above common
Unfortunately, each year there are a few who don't understand the 'big picture' and who selfishly
push their own private nude agenda. Out of the thousands of people who participate in the
Bay to Breakers, there are inevitably a few renegades. As one example, a few years ago,
an L.A. gay-website promoter loitered naked by a curb. He positioned himself near the top
of the Hayes Street hill blocking the slow climbing participants who had to go around him. While our demonstration
is about nudity, we do not welcome such a negative in-your-face stunt which is definitely not
a part of our message.
Spectators, especially parents with children, generally find no threat or offensiveness
with the nude demonstrators moving along with the other runners; but a nude spectator loitering
around near kids for hours who are also trying to watch the race is not welcomed and reflects negatively
against nudity continuing as a part of this family oriented event. Also, walking nude against the
flow (in-your-face presentation) is highly unwelcomed and improper etiquette. Through our educational
endeavors, we hope to educate even nonBARE-2-B'ers not to reverse themselves
against the direction of the race course.
Please don't be a preenie, one who plumes and primps oneself to loiter nude for unnecessary periods of
time in front of Bay to Breakers participants.
Preenies exhibit exceptionally poor taste and violate the Bay to Breakers practices of acceptable nude behavior.
For those joining the BARE-2-BREAKERS, we thank
you for taking the step of linking to those who started it all. Through your responsible participation,
which will perpetuated this Free Speech demonstration, we offer a fun cadre of like-minded people and support.
You will find that by joining us and wearing a
BARE-2-B hat that you will have so much fun, and be on such a "high,"
that you will find it addictive. Like many, you will want to reuse your hat as an annual participant.
Come join us!
How Wonder Women get their POWER!|
STOP DREAMING ABOUT IT! GO FOR THE GUSTO!
"Surrender to none the fire of your soul."
REGISTRATION . . .
There is no longer a separate BARE-2-BREAKERS
registration. Without our previous Gathering, our participation has simply merged with
the main Bay to Breakers participants. Therefore, follow the Bay to Breakers website instructions.
For Bay to Breakers registration, see Link 6 below.
Quiz: Find the outsider embare-assed for|
not joining with BARE-2-BREAKERS!
For those running BARE-2-BREAKERS for the first time,
we do not offer psychiatric counseling either before or (especially)
after the event.
"There are three types of people in this world:
those who make things happen,
those who watch things happen,
and those who ask what happened?"
Don't be a "Wannabe!" Participate with
the BARE-2-BREAKERS. Align your demonstration
with the Free Speech dysfunctional group that has miraculously survived to become
(almost) legendary. As the numbers of the individual demonstrators grow, the greater is the
collective statement for the normalcy of the nude body. Besides...
you absolutely do not want to miss the fantastic camaraderie of this fun group.
For those who do not have one from a prior race, we suggest that those who participate
acquire a BARE-2-BREAKERS
(baseball style) hat. These are special, brightly colored hats which are extremely important in identifying and keeping the runners
together in the race. PLEASE wear one! APRIL IS HATS MONTH! We ship hats during April. To acquire a hat, click
The Boosters and the vast majority of the returning demonstrators highly recommend wearing a hat. Those who do not
wear one are not fully supporting the demonstration and joining in the shared tribal purpose of our public statement. The
hats are the key element which visually binds the demonstrators in the MASSIVE Breakers crowd; and the hat wearers share
in the protection of a legal fund and visually serve as the official tribal ambassadors of
"You have a right to peacefully demonstrate!"
If you were a novice who has carefully read through all of the above page, believe it or not, you are now an expert on
BARE-2-BREAKERS and you are qualified to fully participate. You have graduated!
Should you have any unanswered questions, or want updated information,
please visit our BARE-2-BREAKERS
Bulletin Board Forum. Experienced past participants will try to respond to you. Should you have any
problem accessing the site, check that your Web browser is not blocking cookies.
1. What is it?
2. How did it begin?
3. Boosters-Who are they?
4. Why do people do it nude?
10. Shoes, Socks, Rain Wear & Advisements
11. Registered Bay-2-B runners
13. Prerace Meeting
14. Race Morning
17. The Law
18. Costumes, Accessories & More Law
21. Getting Dressed
24. Not all are BARE-2-B'ers
• May 2015 Legal Update to Chapter 17 •
Some Of The Internal Links Of This Web Page
Accommodation of Spectators
Cal. Penal Code § 314
Earthquake & Fire
Final Staging Area
Lodging, Transportation & More
SHREK & Fiona
Taking a Pause
Legal Annex: "Legal Rights of Demonstrating Nude"
Copyright information link.
That Ragged Old Flag
San Francisco history
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