Record temperatures hit Bay Area

May 17, 2009 5:49:26 PM PDT
This was not a lazy Sunday for thousands of people who took part in the Bay to Breakers foot race. Even San Francisco was feeling the heat. Those walking and running welcomed the chance to cool down during the 7.5-mile route.

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At 5:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening on May, the heat was still on and there were hundreds of people at the beach at Crissy Field. It was hot all day in the city with increased winds in the afternoon. A heat advisory issued for the region early Sunday was scheduled to stay in effect until 8:00 p.m.

It was a day for sun block and depending on the outfit or lack of one, some needed more than others. Although there were fewer floats and no beer kegs, thanks to new rules at the Bay to Breakers, it was still a free for all. Only this year, it was a hot and sometimes wet one.

Runners were encouraged to drink lots of liquids and race organizers said there were no major heat-related injuries.

"When we say stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids we mean water, not what the rest of these guys are doing," said Ralph McLera with the Red Cross.

And, while there were swimsuits in the streets, there were plenty of swimsuits at the beaches. Even recent warnings about the rough currents at Ocean Beach were not enough to keep people away. The heat also brought out the sunbathers in the East Bay, along with bikers and joggers at the East Shore State Park in Emeryville, and browsers to an art festival in Mountain View.

It was enough to prompt some in the cooler parts to gloat.

"Those poor suckers that live inland like in Concord that are sweating right now? Right here it's 78 degrees folks, beautiful San Francisco. Don't move here. We're full," said San Francisco resident Marc Vogel.

The high temperatures also prompted a warning from air quality experts for children, seniors and people with asthma and other respiratory problems to stay indoors, and for all others to be conscientious about pollution

"We're hoping that people will take it seriously, stay out of the heat, will take public transit so they're not adding to the pollution, and hopefully not be barbecuing. It might seem like a nice day for that but even barbecuing causes air pollution," said Margo Sidener, President and CEO of Breathe California.

Many celebrating graduates were not heeding the message.

"These guys are graduating from Academy of Art University, and we want to celebrate so it doesn't really matter to us," said Ed He of San Francisco.

Police say the Bay to Breakers event appears to have been more peaceful than in times past. There were only five reports of people being drunk in public and no reports of any serious violence.

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