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Not-So-Fun Run 

Wednesday, May 31 2006
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Bay to Breakers is always crazy, and what do you expect from a huge crowd of people getting drunk, taking off their clothes (or most of them, in any case), and pretending to jog across the city? It's less like a race than a party (for the vast majority of participants, anyway), and for many years that's been just fine. Still, this last event, which took place May 21, got a little extra nasty. While our compatriots at the Bay Guardian are fretting about "the death of fun," we're more concerned that fun in San Francisco has been sent down the frat-house toilet.

Seems several women who participated in this year's nudie stroll were profoundly turned off by roving groups of dudes groping wantonly, making beyond-the-pale comments, and wearing offensive costumes (my least favorite: blue Duke Lacrosse T-shirts with the crossed sticks replaced by that busty mudflap silhouette). Other costumes went well past what I'd expect in a city that considers itself "tolerant." (The last time I saw blackface, for example, was at a similar event — a costumed ski marathon — in Switzerland, which isn't exactly known for its diversity.)

It's true that you can't go to Bay to Breakers expecting enlightenment, but it looks like the event has tipped over the edge from the expected obnoxious to the deeply troubling. One woman I spoke to was asked by some random smashed guy if he could grab her tit (only not that politely); when she declined (also not so politely), he screamed at her. Another gal experienced the kind of fondling that wouldn't be welcome at a drunken Little Sister party. Are these dicks — and the chicks who played along — really so desperate that they have to ruin what used to be a good time with sophomoric antics? Word to these losers: Go start your own race, and grope each other with abandon. Maybe you can call it "rush."

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Karen Zuercher

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