Monday, July 28, 2008

The Running of The Nerds

Most people know about The Running of the Bulls in Spain, but every year on July 7th, in Silicon Valley, the city of Cupertino holds The Running of the Nerds.

Before the running of the nerds, a set of wooden or iron barricades is erected to direct the nerds along the route and to block off sidestreets. There may be a double row of barricades along the route to allow runners to quickly exit in case of danger. The gaps in the barricades are wide enough for a person to slip through, but narrow enough to block most nerds.

Only women over over eighteen and entering the itinerary before 7:30 AM are allowed to participate and run from the nerds. Other prohibitions are to run under the influence of alcohol, run in the opposite direction of the running or incite the nerds. (In 1998, 125 nerds were injured during a melee before the race after one of the runners screamed out her opinion as to the superiority of Captain Picard over Captain Kirk.)

Should a nerd catch one of the women, she is his for the day, in the tradition of a bachelor auction. In the past 26 years, only 3 women have been caught, and 14 nerds have been killed. Every year between 200 and 300 people are injured during the run although most injuries are contusions due to falls and are not serious.

Despite all the injuries, the city of Cupertino continues the practice. "We feel that this is an important event, it provides many of the city's more socially awkward citizens a small hope of interacting with a real, live woman, if only for a short while." said Mayor Dolly Sandoval


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