The Centipede

The Centipede is one of the most infamous events created by the Aggies in 1978. Doug Peck, Steve White and Kevin Kirby hatched an idea to put together a costume for the Bay to Breakers that would be fun, totally different and in true Aggie fashion, allow 13 brothers to run as a team in that costume. In 1979, Peanut Harms and Angel Martinez were instrumental in creating the first Centipede World Championships, which pit the Aggies against the West Valley Track Club and continued to grow it over the years.

That's right, 13 runners tied together by sheets and later the much more technical bungee cord, to run the world's craziest run, the Bay to Breakers. In year one they finished 130th overall out of 16,000 participants. The Aggie centipede is now world famous, with stories on the event reaching Runner's WorldSports Illustrated and the Wall Street Journal

The Centipede has been a mainstay at the 12K Bay to Breakers, but Centipedes have also been run over the Marathon, 10K and even Mile distance setting numerous world records along the way. In 1987 a women's Centipede was born and the occasionally party 'pede makes an appearance.

In the News

  The 13 Members of the World’s First Centipede in the 68th Annual Bay to Breakers Race, May 14, 1978: Doug Peck, Ed Schelegle, Kevin Kirby, Dirk Rohloff, Dwayne “Peanut” Harms, Angel Martinez, Steve White, Geoff Adams, Pete Sweeney, Rob Anex, Dave Lopez, Mike Pratt and Jay Barrigan. Photo courtesy: Kevin Kirby

The 13 Members of the World’s First Centipede in the 68th Annual Bay to Breakers Race, May 14, 1978: Doug Peck, Ed Schelegle, Kevin Kirby, Dirk Rohloff, Dwayne “Peanut” Harms, Angel Martinez, Steve White, Geoff Adams, Pete Sweeney, Rob Anex, Dave Lopez, Mike Pratt and Jay Barrigan. Photo courtesy: Kevin Kirby

Centipede Rules & Notes:

  • A 'pede consists of 13 connected runners plus optional floaters who run along side substituting for those who cannot hang.
  • Length must be roughly 60 feet.
  • The first person across the line determines the time for the 'pede.
  • There must be 13 connected finishers in a centipede to win or place.
  • The famed left hand "Lenichi Turn" is optional but highly encouraged (see embedded 2008 video). There's also a lesser known right hand "Roscoe Turn" for the most adventurous Centipedes. Thanks to Pete Sweeney for these important additions to the 'Pede!
  • Twinkie feelers at the front and a stinger at the rear are encouraged, if you feel like it.
  • For male 'pedes, beating the first woman is to be a point of pride.

 

Aggie 'Pede History

Bay to Breakers 12k - Men

  Click to watch 1986 Bay to Breakers Highlights Show. Aggie, Ed Eyestone wins in record time; Men's centipede gets out kicked by Grete Waitz at the finish. 110,000 total participants hit the streets of San Francisco.

Click to watch 1986 Bay to Breakers Highlights Show. Aggie, Ed Eyestone wins in record time; Men's centipede gets out kicked by Grete Waitz at the finish. 110,000 total participants hit the streets of San Francisco.

* Finished ahead of the first woman
** World record
(women beating men's 'pede)

  • 1978 First Centipede - no competition until 1986
  • 1981 - 41:50
  • 1982 - 41:04
  • 1983 - 40:21
  • 1984 - 41:37
  • 1985 - 40:24 *
  • 1986 - 1st 38:58 (Grete Waitz)
  • 1987 - 3rd 39:45 (Rosa Mota)
  • 1988 - 1st 38:30*
  • 1989 - 1st 38:13*
  • 1990 - 2nd 38:51*
  • 1991 - 1st 37:39.6 * **
  • 1992 - 1st 39:12 (Lisa Ondieki)
  • 1993 - 1st 38:55*
  • 1994 - 1st 38:51*
  • 1995 - 1st 38:19*
  • 1996 - 1st 38:43*
  • 1997 - 1st 39:24*
  • 1998 - 1st 40:09 (Jane Omoro & Lynn Jennings)
  • 1999 - 1st 39:26 (Ndereba, Meyer, Omoro, Hickman, Wanjiku)
  • 2000 - 1st 39:33 (DeReuck)
  • 2001 - 1st 40:54 (Ngotho, Omoro, Asiba)
  • 2002 - 1st 39:20 (Talpos)
  • 2003 - 1st 39:06
  • 2004 - 2nd 40:00
  • 2005 - 1st 39:17
  • 2006 - 2nd 39:44
  • 2007 - 2nd 39:07
  • 2008 - 1st 38:05
  • 2009 - 
  • 2010 - 2nd 38:39
  • 2011 - 2nd 37:55
  • 2012 - 
  • 2013 - 1st 40:01
  • 2014 - 1st 40:19
  • 2015 - 1st 40:02
  • 2016 - 1st 40:22
  • 2017 - 1st 39:49
  • 2018 - 1st 40:16

 

Bay to Breakers 12k - Women:

  • 1987 - 1st 50:40
  • 1988 - 1st 48:47
  • 1989 - 1st 49:20
  • 1990 - 1st 47:38 **
  • 1991 - 1st 48:37.2
  • 1992 - 1st 51:55
  • 1993 - 1st 48:47
  • 1994 - 2nd 48:46
  • 1995 - 1st 48:04
  • 1996 - 1st 47:57
  • 1997 - 1st, but DQ'd
  • 1998 - 1st 48:45
  • 1999 - 1st 47:11 (Impala/Nike 2nd 47:50)
  • 2000 - 1st 49:05
  • 2001 - 2nd 47:44 (Impala/Red Hook 1st)
  • 2002 - 2nd 47:18
  • 2003 - 1st 49:24
  • 2004 - 1st 48:18
  • 2005 - 1st 48:30
  • 2006 - 1st 49:13
  • 2007 - 1st 47:49
  • 2008 - 1st 47:47
  • 2009 -
  • 2010 - 1st 48:44
  • 2011 - 1st 49:02
  • 2012 - 
  • 2013 - 1st 48:57
  • 2014 - 1st 47:41
  • 2015 - 1st 50:13
  • 2016 - 1st 50:59
  • 2017 - 2nd 49:56
  • 2018 - 1st 48:55

 

Bay to Breakers 12k -Master Men

  • 2001 - 1st 46:48
  • 2002 - 1st 45:01

 

Marathons - Men:

  • 1987 - New York Marathon - 2:47:34 **
  • 1988 - Los Angeles Marathon - 2:55:00 approx.
  • 1990 - Los Angeles Marathon - 2:47:57
  • 1996 - Boston Marathon - 2:57:02
  • 1996 - New York - 2:57:32

 

10k - Men

  • 1989 - L.A. Philharmonic 10k, Grifith Park - 32:23 (2nd overall to Ed Eyestone)
  • 1990 - L.A. Philharmonic 10k, Grifith Park - 32:24 (2nd overall)
  • 1993 - Super Bowl 10k, Redondo Beach - 31:55 (unofficial, finished with less than 13)

Mile - Men:

  • 1988 - California Mile (extreme uphill in SF) - 5:55.7