Sunday, May 25, 2008


EMAIL OF THE DAY. Oh, well, I suppose every year the Chronicle is compelled to publish photos of runners in the Bay to Breakers who insist on discarding their apparel and foisting their flabby asses on the public. Too bad, the Chronicle doesn't have more class. But, heck, what do you expect from a city that has the reputation San Francisco does of being the wackiest place on Earth! AJB


Monday, May 19, 2008

The Bay To Breakers

This is one weird tradition that takes place every year in May. I’ve run it for about six or seven years. And, always use it more or less as a day’s PT (physical training) with the crazies. And, every year something is a little different. Officially, I heard there were about 65,000, down from the first time I ran it when it was close to a 100,000. There’s all kinds: costumes of every sort, a kind of Halloween in May; Elvis impersonators by the dozens, some even running; nudes, various shades of dress and whatever we see in it, it is one giant 7.2 fun race/runjog/walk.

There are actually serious runners who make money; two groups, not exactly sure but called, elite, seeded runners. The Kenyans usually win.

This year I heard the aftermath was a little too much booze and revelry; the police and street department were griping big time about all the trash. For those like myself, it is lots of fun. What always fascinates me are the nudes. Most of them are fat old men who should be at home. But, I will have to say this: nobody pays them any attention.

And, then also there are those who kind of cheer the runners on; it is a giant moving funny costumed parade: centipedes, human trains, people running backwards, mothers pushing strollers. I even saw a woman running in a bride's dress and two were running in evening gowns.

I don’t think I’m going to do it anymore. Why? I don’t know, ADD (attention deficit disorder) but by next year who knows.

Every time I participaten, I am always amazed at the same thing: these fundamentalists folks with the very elaborate signs of Jesus Saves, Repent. I always wonder what their motive is and what they think they are accomplishing. They are brave, I'll have to say that; a mass of humanity surged toward them as the race begins and they stand literally in the center of the fray, standing their ground. I saw the same thing at the Gay Freedom Day Parade--the gays, for instance, appear to be more Christian than the Christians. Ain't life wonderful. God bless America.

Maybe they are from some sect that requires them to profess “the truth” in this manner, a kind of living Watchtower (Jehovah Witnesses). I simply don’t know. And, if one is a Christian, then who could object to what the signs say? Not I but simply the crazy venue where it is. What do they expect to achieve? I don't think they are going to get any converts in this crowd. Here they are at the Bay to Breakers, a gigantic expression of living art, with every profane reprobate, based on one’s view, that is known to mankind. The participants in the race are hedonistic, masochistic (who would torture themselves by running seven miles) in the best of circumstances?" So, do the fundamentalists think they can reach these people for the gospel. How misguided, without criticizing, is this sort of thinking.

The crowd merely tolerated. I venture to say that in our secular world, of which the Bay to Breakers, is a good example, they hurt the cause more than they help. They come across as judgemental, mental themselves, and the opposite end of kookier. So, there you have it.