Beauty and Tradition Across the Bay

by J.T. Service

Beauty and tradition still exist in San Francisco. Of course they do. They always will. Yes, it will change and people will complain and people will come and people will go. But beauty and tradition will always exist in San Francisco. Whether it’s a heated race between a half dozen mayoral candidates or a costumed frenzied trot amongst 40,000 at the Bay to Breakers; beauty and tradition are San Francisco. Beauty and freaking tradition ya’ll.

 And come on, this has been going on around here for centuries. You have to believe that in the 1850’s just after those Wild Bill 49ers started to rough up San Francisco, there was a group of locals just like you complaining about all the hullaballoo going around town.  In their mind, San Francisco had changed for the worse and it would never be the same. Levi Strauss was hawking denim and the railroaders couldn’t spend it fast enough. Or maybe it was 1967 and new locals were hippi-shaming the flower children and their irresponsible everything. Stupid hippies, right? I mean, am I right? Who’s next?  I’ve only been around San Francisco since 2006 and half the time I hide in Santa Cruz. During that time, I’ve denounced just about every change San Francisco has to offer. From the tech nerds to the rental market and now the motorized-everything’s. One-wheels, boosted skate nerds, and scooter bumpkins that just came off plane from Chicago. Every generation fights the change. BUT…even the crustiest dongle from the Avenues knows there is something sweet about San Francisco’s the tradition of change.

Beauty and tradition. Three years ago my band of Bay Area misfits had the opportunity to produce the Across the Bay 12k (formerly Houlihans to Houlihans formerly Emerald Nuts 12k and now technically we call it the Across the Bay 12k & 415k. Technically.). We got this gem of a running race from one of the original local race directors, a legend named Mr. Dave Rhody.  I think Dave and his band of Bay Area misfits had been producing the event for 31 years at the time and decided they would prefer to see another crew suffer through the next 31.  I reckon that’s about where we came in.

It’s just a simple 12k from Sausalito across the old Golden Gate out to Hopper’s Hands and over to Aquatic Park.

Point A: That is a freaking gorgeous route. I own the event and there is nowhere else I’d rather run.

Point B: There is the tradition of an eclectic after-party.  Few may know that Mr. Joe Montana made an appearance at thefirst after party in 1983.  He had a few beers and handed out the awards. Impressive? Yes. And while Cool Joe won’t be joining us next week, maybe we’ll invite Jimmy G. One thing we have confirmed is a partnership with the new Ghirardelli Square Festival for a guaranteed, good ol’ time. I’m talkin’ music, beer gardens and craft coffee kinda good ol’ time.

Well what does this all have to do with ‘Beauty and Tradition’? I’m getting there…

One of San Francisco’s most storied traditions is innovation. From the Castro to SoMa. From the gold rush to the crypto.  From Rhody Co. to Represent Running.  Yes, we’ve added new elements to the Across the Bay 12k. Yes, you can now run just a 5k or even participate virtually. But, at the heart of the event we’ve kept the beauty…just like San Francisco. Just like those dirty hippies in 60’s and that nerd falling on his electric skateboard in the middle of Market St. In SF, some things don’t change.