By Mike Watkins//Contributor | Thursday, March 8, 2018
Even though Elizabeth Beisel, Andie Taylor, Maya DiRado and Felicia Lee never had the opportunity to team up for a relay in the pool, the foursome is getting the opportunity to do so on land this weekend.
The former USA Swimming teammates and friends will join forces this Saturday as part of a delicious fundraiser called the Big sMAC Down burger eating pageant at Love & Propaganda in San Francisco.
Representing the Team Fast and McFlurry-ous, Lee, Taylor, DiRado and Beisel will each eat a McDonald’s breakfast item as fast as possible in the Breakfast of Champions race. Competing against other teams of four, the fastest relay to finish will be crowned champion.
“This is a really good example of the closeness of the swimming community in San Francisco, how tight our community still is here and how we’re eager to give back to our community,” Taylor said. “Not just Stanford swimmers, either, but swimmers who competed for universities around the country who have now settled in the Bay area.
“It’s remarkable the names that are involved in this event – both flying out for it and supporting from afar. Olympians, National Teamers, NCAA All-Americans…yet another reason why the swimming community is so unique, and why I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
The event is being organized by former Notre Dame swimmer Colin Babcock and his roommate Spencer Crim. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the SF-Marin Food Bank, which serves greater San Francisco.
“Food banks generally see a large drop off in donations after the holiday season, but people need food all year round, and so this event is designed to remind people about the important work that the SF-Marin Food Bank does and how they can help,” said DiRado, who will eat the McGriddle as her part of the relay.
DiRado said there will be various eating events throughout the evening. Her team is a part of the breakfast relay challenge, but the main event is a Big Mac eating competition.
Each team was asked to raise a certain amount of money in order to participate.
“Despite the great deal of wealth that flows through the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, this area is also plagued by a great deal of homelessness,” Taylor said. “In fact, about 1 in 4 residents in San Francisco and Marin needs food assistance. We’re looking to do what we can.”
Although she doesn’t live in the Bay area (Lee, Taylor and DiRado all do), Beisel said she was happy to lend her name to participate and help out.
She’s been on a road trip through California for the past two weeks and was going to be in the area, so she figured why not help such a worthy cause with some great friends?
“When I told Felicia I was coming into town a few months ago, she immediately told me about the event and asked if I would compete for her team,” said Beisel, who will eat a yogurt parfait as her part of the relay. “It was a very easy yes for me.
“It is so rewarding to do something for the community. I have spent the last year doing clinics here and there, and it feels so good to give back. The same thing goes for this. It is a feel-good event that is even more amazing because I am doing it alongside my lifelong friends.”
And while all four swimmers are eating McDonald’s breakfast foods and not the heavier burgers and fries, all four of them said they were not averse to eating occasional fast food during their competitive days.
Lee said she has always been a fan of the McDonald’s breakfast menu and is partial to the sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle with hash browns combo.
Suffice it to say, she’s not alone in that regard.
“I don’t want to brag too much, but I think we’re going to be pretty tough to beat,” Lee said. “Before the Olympics and swimming glory, Maya was known to chow down some pancake combos from our favorite after-Saturday-morning brunch spot in under 2 minutes. Unreal stuff.”
Beisel agrees and hopes the food goes down easier than a 400 individual medley does.
“The bulk of my McDonalds intake was always (ironically) at the Olympics,” Beisel said.
DiRado added that people can donate now before the start of the event, and if they are in the area, can buy tickets to attend. All proceeds will also be donated to the Food Bank.
“Please, please donate,” DiRado said. “One in 4 residents in SF and Marin need food assistance, and every dollar donated provides two meals to families in need.”
Donate to Team Fast and McFlurry-ous. Just write Team Fast and McFlurry-ous under the donation so the organizers can give proper credit to the team.