Yesterday, over 65,000 'runners' got together to participate in what has been described as the wackiest race in the world - an appropriate description, when the starting line comprises of a team of elite international runners and a man in a hot pink gorilla suit!
While the serious runners take less than an hour to complete the course that snakes through the city and includes some of its steepest hills, fun-seekers take all day to complete the approximately 7.5 mile distance that ends in - Yes you guessed it - A big party at the Golden Gate Park!
And to add to the fun, the runners come dressed for the occasion. This year the parade included the team from Wizard of Oz, Spongebob Squarepants, Betty Boop and a trio of bananas, among others. Then there was the 'live mat' from the board game 'Twisters' - three participants who obligingly allowed people to play the game, as they lay on the ground. There were also those who were in such a rush to get to the race, that they forgot to wear anything - except for their sneakers!
In the midst of all this mayhem, the actual winners of the race are almost forgotten! This year the overall winner was 22-year old Sammy Kitwara, from Kenya, who set a new record by completing the race in 33 min 28 sec and earned himself a cool $44,000USD.The women's winner, was Ethiopian runner, Teyba Erkesso, who completed the event in 38min 29sec, for a prize of $25,000USD.
While the race may sound wacky to people all around the world, to fun-loving San Franciscans, it is a revered tradition, started in 1908, and one that just gets better each year.
Sources: SFgate.com, Wikipedia.or, examinier,com