Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

How to Survive Bay to Breakers – An All-Inclusive Guide for SCU Students


Ah, Bay to Breakers. SCU students have been flocking to San Francisco’s famed 12K race for as long as anyone can remember. It’s a great tradition where everyone wakes up at an ungodly hour in the morning – or doesn’t even sleep, but those are a special kind of breed – and starts pounding shots while dressed in some ridiculous costume.

If you’re new to the experience, it can be a lot. But don’t worry, we’ve got all the best tips and tricks for you right here.

Getting there

The first thing you should lock down is your transportation to B2B. Once upon a time the Caltrain would ship off all the SCU students it could hold directly to SF. It was an absolute blast. It felt like any other day party, but on a train.

But 2013 was the last year Caltrain stopped at SCU, because that year students absolutely trashed the train (lets just say people weren’t using the bathroom when they should). These days, you have to be a little more organized about getting to up to B2B.

Just because the Santa Clara stop is closed doesn’t mean you can’t take the train. Many people will Uber to the San Jose stop instead. You can check out the Caltrain schedule here.

In lieu of the train, many have started organizing party buses. Personally, I think this is a great option, because they can take you closer to the start of B2B. The walk from the Caltrain to the start is a bit far, and you’re already going to be walking all day.


Possibly the most important part of the whole day is your costume. A lot of people just throw on random clothes that are just fun. However, the best ones have some kind of theme to it. Bonus points if you can get a group to match or coordinate costumes.

Even if it doesn’t really fit the theme of your costume, wear a fanny pack. They are the best way to keep track of your phone, wallet, and keys. Plus, they’re perfect for stashing a flask.

Waking Up

This is probably the hardest part of B2B. Most people wake up somewhere between three and four in the morning to start getting ready and pregaming. You definitely don’t want to be the person who is holding everyone else up because you accidentally slept through your alarm.

Get to bed super early the night before. I would recommend taking some ZzzQuil around 7:30 so that you might fall asleep around 8 or 8:30.

In order to ensure that you don’t sleep through your alarm, make sure you set it to the loudest, most obnoxious tone possible. If you have multiple devices that you can set, I would highly recommend it.

The Race

No one from SCU really runs the race. Shout out to the few people who I know have actually run the 12K; you have some serious skillz. 

If you’re planning on looking fab and getting drunk like most of SCU, then you don’t even need to register for it (seriously, do not waste your money). No one is going to check to see that you are registered. There are way too many people there for them to really care.

Keeping track of your whole group can get tricky. Try to set up some kind of buddy system where at least three of you stick together. If you have iPhones, I would suggest turning on Find my Friends for your group, just in case someone isn’t answering the phone.

Getting Back

Whatever you do, DO NOT UBER BACK TO SANTA CLARA!!!! This will cost hundreds of dollars and just isn’t worth it. Just take an Uber to the Caltrain station, even if you didn’t take the train up. You can just sleep all the way back; there will be plenty of other SCU students to wake you up in time for the Santa Clara stop.

Happy walking, everyone!

Natalie started as Editor-in-Chief for Her Campus Santa Clara in the fall of 2014. She is a senior English major, and no, she doesn't want to be a teacher. If she has any free time, chances are you'll find her reading with a cup of tea at her side or lying in bed binge-watching Netflix. 
Similar Reads👯‍♀️