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May 18, 2025


The Centipedes

Bay to Breakers is the birthplace of the Centipede World Championships.

In 1978 centipede founders and pioneers of running fun, the U.C. Davis Aggies Track Club, were named the first ever World Centipede Running Champions, finishing as a unit 130th overall out of a total of 16,000 race entrants. Centipedes have been a race staple ever since.

The 2018 race marked the 40th anniversary of the hallowed beginnings of one of the greatest traditions in all of racing. 

Centipede Details

Groups of 13 to 15 runners will run the full 12k course (or full 15k course if you’re doing the Breakers Bonus) together linked by a bungee cord, or any other safe mechanism.


Each centipede member will need to register themselves separately.

The Team Captain will need to purchase the team upfront by selecting the “Centipede – Create a Team” option.  The Team Captain will need to create a Centipede Team name!

Once the team is created, team members will need to register themselves by selecting the “Centipede – Join a Team” option and selecting their Centipede Team name from the dropdown.

There are up to 15 slots for team members for each team.

Each centipede must consist of at least 13 runners plus one floater who runs alongside, substituting for runners who lose a shoe, drop off the pace or need to make a pit stop.

There can only be a maximum of 15 centipede team members.

A centipede may be made of any material that an organization, school or club deems appropriate. However, try to keep it light, flexible and well-ventilated. Allow at least four feet between individual leg segments.

Twinkie feelers on the head of each segment are required.

The final segment of each centipede must wear a stinger of appropriate design and toxicity.

Each segment must be filled with a registered centipede athlete – each runner must register individually.

During the entire competition, all required body segments must be present in the centipede body. If a segment is to be exchanged, the replacement must give the centipede’s official password to exclude unauthorized participants.

To re-enter the centipede, a displaced runner must catch up with the body and resume his original segment, which the floater has been occupying. The official password and secret acknowledgment must be repeated each time. If the floater makes a permanent substitution, no other substitutions are allowed.

A Lenichi Turn, a 360-degree turn made famous by two Eastern European centipede runners (Oscar and Igatoo Lenichi) in the 18th century, must be executed at Lindley Meadow in Golden Gate Park just beyond the 6-mile point. The Lenichi Turn must not interfere with other runners.

All centipede members must start together, at the start line, as well as cross the finish line with connection intact.

All participants must pick-up their race packet at the Race Expo prior to race day (unless having paid for packet mailing or purchased a VIP entry).

Centipede teams can send individual members to pick-up their race bibs or one representative to pick-up the entire centipede team’s race bibs.


Race Expo Hours & Location

Wednesday, May 15th
3:00pm – 7:30pm
Sports Basement Berkeley

Thursday, May 16th
3:00pm – 7:30pm
Sports Basement Berkeley

Friday, May 17th 
3:00pm – 7:30pm
Sports Basement Presidio

Saturday, May 18th
10:00am – 5:00pm
Sports Basement Presidio

Participants can now purchase shuttle tickets!

Official event shuttle options are offered for both round-trip and post-race transfers. Click the link below to find theexpress pick-up locations being offered.

All tickets must be purchased online in advance to race Sunday. This is the fastest and most convenient way to get out of the finish line area. Avoid the lines, reserve your individual seat today and leave getting to/from the event to us. 


You will be assigned  a corral zone based on your estimated finish time and distance/category you are registered for…take a look at the Corral Map to find you way, on race day!


The course will close on race day at 12:30 PM at the intersection of JFK and Chain of Lakes in Golden Gate Park. Participants who have not passed this intersection by 12:30 PM will not have the opportunity to cross the Finish Line. The Finish Line closes promptly at 1:00 PM as stipulated by the race’s road closure.

why people love

It’s a not running race, but a festival!

"This is one of the funnest race in the world. It’s a not running race, but a festival. So, you can run, walk, and drink! I highly recommend you if you want to have a fun during running. You’ll be sure to want to join the race again!"

the pure joy of a 12K long party

"This race is more about the journey than the finish line. It’s people watching, crazy costumes, and the pure joy of a 12K long party! Highly recommended for the experience and memories!"

a great time start to finish

"By far this has been my favorite race I’ve done! Bay to Breakers has it all. The runners are there to party and have a great time start to finish. The shirt is great, the medals are fantastic. Hayes hill is no joke. But the crowds along the course cheered everyone on. It was so much fun. Well organized, fun course. This race is a must!"

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