How fast can Coach Cirillo run the 11.2 at Percy Warner?
Who's got the best ultimate frisbee skills?
What is the current world record time for the marathon?
Why is that lanky cross country kid running through Sylvan Park in a pair of 5XL khakis with names written on the legs in Sharpie?
All of these questions found answers in the 2020 edition of the annual Tour de Pants, an MBA cross country team tradition for more than 25 years. A shroud of mystery nearly as expansive as the 5XL pants themselves surrounds the origins of this tradition. Some say it began with a dare on the steps of the Parthenon in Centennial Park. Others claim it dates all the way back to the real Parthenon as one of the events in the original Olympic Games. A few conspiracy theorists hold that the Tour actually began after the ghost of Montgomery Bell delivered the idea for the Tour to Coach Pruitt on Halloween in 1995.
Regardless of the contentious debate about its origins, the Tour takes place over the course of an entire week near the conclusion of cross country season each fall. Monday features the boys' knowledge of their coaches' running prowess as they must estimate how fast a particular coach can finish the grueling 11.2 trail at Percy Warner. Tuesday tests their commitment to hitting their training paces for a tempo workout in the park. On Wednesday they perform feats of strength by pumping out pushups and show off their knowledge of the sport by rattling off trivia about competitive running. Thursday brings the Tour to a close as the top four boys in the standings get to be captains for an ultimate frisbee tournament held at MBA's 42nd Avenue fields. The captain of the winning team claims the overall Tour de Pants victory.
On a triumphant run back to campus reminiscent of Caesar's return to Rome after re-subduing Cisalpine Gaul, the Tour victor dons the 5XL khakis emblazoned with the names of the champions of yesteryear. No amount of swishingly awkward wind resistance can dampen the spirits of the Tour winner as he climbs The Hill in triumph.
N.B. The original pair of khakis either disintegrated long ago or has been placed in the Smithsonian.