Thursday, June 11, 2009

Part 4 - The Longest Mile

The walk to the corral was is where the real fun started. Lot’s of people were in costumes. Some were groups that dressed in a theme. It was slow going since there were so many people but people watching made the time go by fast!

Then there was the tortillas! As you get closer you start to see things flying through the air. It sort of looks like a bunch of giant pieces of popcorn popping over the streets of San Francisco. As you approach the ‘popcorn’ these objects begin falling down around you. That’s when you discover they’re tortillas!
Some people write messages on them. (Some messages weren’t very nice.) But mostly people just threw them up in the air or back and forth. People who participate in Bay to Breakers (or actually come to spectate) better not be easily irritated. This is not a place for them. It’s crowded, it’s noisy, you’re going to have your feet stepped on and be bumped into a lot. And you are definitely going to be pelted several times by flying tortillas!

I was pelted in the back of the head, the side of the head and in the face! I had so much fun! Each time I was hit I would just giggle! There was something very funny about it. I think it was the utter surprise. You’d be chatting with your friend or just watching the people as you worked your way to the start and then BAM! You’re hit in some random place with no sense it was coming.

I picked up a tortilla and tossed it as hard as I could to my right. It immediately veered straight up then cut hard to the left and nailed this guy smack in the side of his head! Oops. I wasn’t aiming there! A cheer went up from my new Organic Athlete buddies behind me.

“Way to go!”

“Nice shot!”

When I looked behind me I saw the homeless man was still walking with us. I was concerned for him. He’ll never make this! He’ll hurt himself! Is he delusional? Then I chuckled at myself. Most likely, he’ll walk until he gets bored and then he’ll meet up with some buddies in a nearby park or something.

We found the sign for our corral. So we turned left and kept heading toward the start. As we got closer, the crowd became thicker. It was harder and harder to stay with the group. Soon it was only Kris and I in the large crowd.

I could hear an announcer but not make out what he was saying and the cheering intensified. I could tell we were almost to the start. I kept looking for the rubber mat on the street that would mark the official starting line. But mostly I just saw tortillas.

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