by Jim Provenzano June 28/29, 2003

Thanks for signing up for Pridathlon '03! Our events includes walking, marching, cycling, flirting, and GLBT sports promotion.

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Harvey Milk's legacy, start with 250 points, 10 points for each year. Have 250 points by the end of the events, and you've won the Pridathlon!

You get points for finding Pridepals, locating queer energy zones, and bringing special accessories, or finding them along the course.

You lose points for sunburn, exhaustion, getting off-course, landing in not-queer zones, losing Pridepals, accessories, or email addresses of cute participants. Beware of energy-zapping zones like Fried-Meat-on-a-Stick Alley.

Practice Run & Evening Event

Start time: Saturday, June 28, some time before noon.

On bike, trace the course at Civic Center. Note free monitored bike parking, courtesy of the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition: +10

Fail to find Writers Village: -10

Retrieve free magazines, lube samples, brochures, Howard Dean and Dennis Kucinich stickers, amid minimal crowd obstacles. Locate San Francisco Spikes Soccer beverage booth: +10

Visit with Triangle TaeKwon Do at their booth. View fabulous video, and martial artists in gi's and shorts: +10

Receive compliments for PRIDE 03 Gay Games VI article. Refrain from grousing about New York photo editor's having used mostly white guy beefcake pictures, since the submitted photos and text achieved a full balance of people from several countries, teams, genders and ages, as do the online versions: +10

Return to Castro. Participate in all-day writers' visits at A Different Light bookstore, 489 Castro. Sign books. Disappoint attendees by not being B.D. Wong: +10, -1

Off-Course Events - Frontrunners Pride Run and SF Fog rugby tournament. Inability to attend: -20

7:00pm. Evening Event at Pink Saturday: Arrive early enough to witness Dyke March. Special Motorcycle Vroom bonus points: +10

Locate Pridepals #1 and #2. Navigate crowded Castro Street without losing Pridepals: +10

Enjoy relaxing participant and celebrity party at a Base conveniently located up the street from Castro course: +10

Witness dash-in appearance of Peggy L'Eggs before Pridepals and other teams advance to Castro course to enjoy midnight performance by Pepperspray: +15

SF Police closes down stage early. Blame it on Fajitagate: -20

Receive invite from Water Polo Players for breakfast on Sunday, en-route to gathering of sports teams: +20

ALERT! Course change. Start time advanced by three hours.

Pridathlon '03

Start Time: Sunday, June 29, 8:00am.

Items: Copies of PINS in English and German, for Writers' Village, asssisted by Bound Together Bookstore salesfolk. Books in backpack, wrapped in sari, for later alternate skirted fashion option.

Additional point items: inflatable globe, International Gay & Lesbian Aquatics T-shirt, Gay Games medal, tinted sunglasses, and other accessories. +60. Decide not to bring whistle, which may cost later points.

Items to find: water, sunblock, new and old friends, and a potential date among 200,000 participants.

9:30am. Find Writers Village +20 Arrive too early. Area is un-personed. Keep books in backpack: -10

Park at bike lot in Civic Center. +10 Walk under Market Street via MUNI underpass. +5

At the sound of roaring, turn back one block. Witness Dykes on Bikes opening, followed by Mikes on Bikes, and other colorful entourages: +20.

Fast-walk through gloomy gay-free zone in SoMa. Calf muscles cramp: -10.

Find Tsunami water polo players' Base. Enjoy juice, carbs, and fritatas. Special Lord of the Rings "second breakfast" bonus points: +20

Arrive at checkpoint early. Commune with waiting event contingents on Beale Street. Photo Op for SF Quakes ice hockey players, SF Track & Field medalists, SF Fog ruggers, polo players, cyclists, powerlifters, and many others: +20

At restaurant next door, enjoy convenient refreshments, a clean bathroom, and TV viewing of Pridathlon already underway: +10

Wait another hour: -10
Proximity to a Brazilian samba band makes the hour pass quickly: +10

Enter Market Street with participants. Lug backpack, unlike others, whose discreet fanny packs or use of a Base, gives them the advantage of freedom to march in only Speedos: -10

Staged fights break out between hockey players. Water polo players tussle with ruggers, suffering a disadvantage while being "shorted" in the scrum. +20.

Failure to bring whistle to referee sudden bursts of homosportivity: -5.

Remove shirt. Don medal. Toss inflated globe with track stars. Provide amusing visuals: +10

Globe bounces off the wig of a stray drag queen, who has wandered on-course: - 15 / -15. Judges dispute. Draw.

While retrieving globe, almost lose medal down street grating. - 30.

Save medal from being run over by PAWS float. +30

See old friend from New York, Pridepal #1, on sidelines. Course interrupted: -20

Writer's Village event in less than one hour. Take MUNI for one stop with Pridepal #1. Change machine out of order: -5.
Find spare change: +5
Arrive at Writers' Village early: +10
Pridepal #1 takes alternate course: -10
Meet up with Pridepal #2: +10
Failure to remember printout for reading: -20
Retrieve bicycles: +20

Base Break: Enjoy a brief lunch, shower and second sunblock application with Pridepal #2 at home near Civic Center. Retrieve printout. Leave backpack, and duffle bag of props for reading (optional +20 fabulous points, -10 inconvenience points): +10, -5

Return to course. Enjoy free bike parking again: +10 Meet with Pridepal #3. Relax in Faerie Village: +20

Return to Writers' Village. Share stories about previous Pridathlons around the world to an appreciative audience: +10
Special Global Bonus points for reading in English, Italian, French, German, and Arabic: +15
Failure to use fabulous props: -5
Sell books and get paid to perform: +40
Meet cute guy who speaks Italian: +30

Pit stop in Faerie Village, then Main Stage. Witness onstage exhaustion by Pepperspray's Peggy Leggs following "Smells Like Teen Spirit" song. Safety monitors assist, slightly disappointed that it's just part of the act: +10

Return to Base with Pridepal #3. Relax. Hydrate. Examine cluster of flyers and trinkets that have found their way into pockets. Sift through off-course club invites to retrieve vital email addresses, phone numbers and websites: +10

Call Pridepal #4. Receive dinner invite. +15

Change to evening wear. Ride back down through Civic Center. Crowds have dispersed (no access points given). Garbage-strewn course exudes post-Pride ennui: -5

Enjoy a better view through tinted sunglasses: +5

Cycle with Pridepal #4 to evening event with others in swanky digs, Dine on barbecued chicken and corn: +15

Get home before midnight, not exhausted: +10

Your total score: Oh, honey, I lost count hours ago. Who cares? Besides, it's all about participation. You won. We won. Texas won. Canada won. Everyone won.

Thank you for participating in the Pridathlon. See you next year!
Enjoy more Pridathlete profiles.


Pridathlon in Cananda: Montreal's Divercité


(Photos: copyright Jim Provenzano 2003.
Also photos copyright Jane Cleland, courtesy of SF Pride.)

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