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Q: Bay to Breakers Tradition ( No Answer,   1 Comment )
Subject: Bay to Breakers Tradition
Category: Sports and Recreation > Outdoors
Asked by: tommymac-ga
List Price: $34.50
Posted: 23 May 2006 11:04 PDT
Expires: 31 May 2006 14:21 PDT
Question ID: 731725
How did the tradition of throwing tortillas at the beginning of the
Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco get started?
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Bay to Breakers Tradition
From: pinkfreud-ga on 23 May 2006 11:58 PDT
This may be one of those traditions whose exact origins are unknown.

"One tradition, unexplained, is the tortilla toss. Runners, about 10
percent of them in costumes, tossed hundreds of tortillas into the air
like Frisbees, blending in with the news helicopters."

I suspect that this article is correct: the tortilla-tossing is just a
way for the crowd to pass time, similar to balloon-batting at rock
concerts.  And tortillas, unlike balloons or Frisbees, are

"A part of Bay to Breakers that distresses me every year is the
deplorable 'tradition' of hurling thousands of dollars of tortillas on
the street to be swept up as garbage, a wanton waste of perfectly
edible food, in the service of frivolity.

I know it started out as a humorous equivalent to batting balloons
around at rock concerts; people lined up waiting for over an hour at
the starting line could amuse themselves by frisbeeing soft harmless
tortillas at each other."

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