While no one seems to know why the trike races started, it is known that the first race occurred in 1972.
In the first years, and for several years after, the race was significantly challenging. Official participants started the race in the library, where school administrator Paul Ayriss and faculty member Raymond Herbert ensured an orderly start. Once the starting pistol was fired, racers went through the library, and then outside for a lap around the law school. Once races completed a lap, their team's pit crew would carry the tricycle back into the building. The race would conclude with the teams returning to the library to cross the finish line. Throughout the race, racers had to endure a barrage of fluids and particularly gross projectiles. Alumnus TJ Dhillon, Class of 1998, recalls that when he was a participant spectators would throw "anything that hadn't been through a body." This included fermented milk, fish fertilizer, rotten tomatoes, and a variety of other pungent matter.
The event was usually the last student event of the year, and one of the last opportunities for students and professors to relax and fraternize before the inevitable days of studying for exams. It was not uncommon to see classrooms empty and students in costumes on the day of trike race.
Rumor has it that one year the race was graced by the presence of distinguished guests. The race was about to start when a limousine pulled up to the barricades. The chauffeur was warned to move his vehicle to avoid getting it dirty. The chauffeur obliged and left to seek an alternate route to his destination. It was later learned that the passengers in the limousine were the King and Queen of Spain. No royalty have witnessed the race since.
In the early decades of the 21st century, the race continued, albeit in a somewhat cleaner variety. Spectators typically only throw water balloons and shoot water guns. The race has also been joined by faculty, who now race alongside students on a team occasionally anchored by the Dean. Its impact on the camaraderie of the school continued to be incredibly positive.