SAN FRANCISCO—On Friday, June 26, race organizers announced the cancellation of the 2020 running of Bay to Breakers. 

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Runners at starting line of prior Bay to Breakers

In March, organizers postponed this century old annual 12k race across San Francisco from its scheduled date of May 31 to September 20 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They subsequently cancelled the in-person contest. However, this event will still happen in September as a virtual race.

John Kane, Capstone Event Group CEO, explained why the race couldn’t happen in a traditional manner saying, “The City and County of San Francisco along with the entire Bay to Breakers team want participants, staff and volunteers to stay well, and we are not confident that it will be safe to host large crowds in September due to COVID-19.”

Registered and non-registered runners will have the opportunity to independently run on a path of their choice and record their times in a virtual competition from September 20 to October 2. To make the virtual competition feel like the actual Bay to Breakers, race organizers will be sending runner bibs and t-shirts to competitors. Also, runners will be encouraged to run in the costumes that they were going to wear in the actual race. Those who don’t partake in the virtual competition will not receive any registration refunds. However, they can defer their race registration for Bay to Breakers in 2021 or 2022.

In addition, Bridge to Bridge, the other major San Francisco 12k, is postponed until August 2021. This race, which benefits Special Olympics Northern California, has been held for 43 consecutive years.

Both of these races have long served the purpose of bringing San Franciscans together and celebrating the city’s spirit. The fact that the Bay to Breakers will still go on virtually this September signifies the importance of this annual event to many San Franciscans.