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25 Arrested: San Francisco Cracks Down on Nudity & Drunkeness at 'Bay to Breakers' Race


"I don't think there's as much urinating this year so far."

FILE - In this May 17, 2009 file photo, participants have water sprayed on them as they ascend the Hayes Street hill during the 98th running of the Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Darryl Bush, File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say they've arrested 25 people among the thousands of spectators who've descended on the city to watch or participate in the annual Bay to Breakers footrace.

Police said the arrests Sunday were mostly for public drunkenness. At least two floats also were forced to leave the race course.

Police say one man suffered life-threatening injuries after falling 30 feet to the ground from a roof near the route.

The 7.46-mile run has become known more for the accompanying alcohol-fueled parties than for its actual competitors. Officials celebrated the centennial race by enforcing a new zero-tolerance alcohol policy.

Residents near the course say this year's mayhem was more controlled.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A handful of Elvises, some nudists and others donning salmon costumes were among those who turned out to party Sunday during the centennial Bay to Breakers footrace, despite a new zero-tolerance alcohol policy.

Moroccan Ridouane Harroufi won the annual race — a 7.46-mile run from the city's Embarcadero neighborhood to the sea. Kenyan Lineth Chepkurui won for the women.

Over the years, Bay to Breakers has become more famous for its spectators' bacchanalian spirit than for its competitors. Racers turn out in proper athletic gear, as well as creative costumes. This year, some ran the route backward.

EDITOR'S NOTE: To see the San Jose Mercury News slide here.

For its 100th anniversary, organizers and police vowed to crack down on excessive drinking, banning floats that often housed many kegs of beer and starting the race earlier.

Officials said the tougher rules on drinking were needed after a noticeable increase in alcohol-related ambulance requests and nuisance crimes like public urination.

In previous years, the city turned a blind eye to liquor-filled water bottles, and the floats.

The tactic this year seemed to work, with most participants and spectators admitting it was a more mellow race.

"I don't think there was as much urinating this year from what I've seen so far," resident Matt Darling told KGO-TV. "This is awesome, this is what it's about. Then we come back and just watch the chaos happen."

Police told the TV station that this year's race was less rowdy than previous years. They made 25 arrests, mostly for public drunkenness, and at least two floats were forced to leave the route.

Police also say one man suffered life-threatening injuries after falling 30 feet from the roof of a house near the race course.

Revelers turned out despite the crackdown, and someone set up a Twitter feed to help them dodge police check points. Officers along the route confiscated open cans of beer and other alcohol, dumping them on the spot.

Open containers of alcohol are illegal in the city.

Ricky Ho, 25, who drank as he participated last year, carried only water this year and finished the race in a few hours.

Ho told the San Francisco Chronicle that last year was more fun.

"Last year there were a lot more naked people and a lot more drunk people," he said.

EDITOR'S NOTE: See the KGO-TV slidehow here.


Neighbors who complain of the mess left behind after the race say they did notice at least one difference.

"I don't think there's as much urinating this year so far," San Francisco resident Matt Darling said. "I love it, this is awesome, this is what it's all about; I run it and then come back and just watch the chaos happen."

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