Today’s topic – running apparel. This is something that may seem pretty uniform upon first glance when looking at a group of runners, but is actually a hodgepodge of different styles haphazardly thrown together. Today I would like to take a look at some of the “styles” runners are sporting at races. In the interest of full disclosure, I am definitely guilty of some of these, so have a sense of humor.
1. “The Abominable Snowman” – This winter you are going to see people that run in the standard light jacket and tights combination. Then there are the runners that apparently fear the cold so badly that they wear enough layers not only to shelter them from it, but also to protect them from any passing Buick that carelessly meanders off the road into their path. Is this really running? I thought the whole point was to warm up while you were running rather than looking like you are taking “One small step for man”.
2. “That 70′s Guy” – Occasionally you come across that runner who pulls his socks way up to his knees and thinks that his shorts must be pulled up equally. He pulls them up so far that the waist band is nearly up to his armpits BUT STILL finds a way to tuck his shirt into the shorts. I thought running as fast as you can was bad enough. Never mind giving yourself an atomic wedgie right before the race. This isn’t just a 70′s look, it’s an “I was 70 in the 70′s” look!
3. “The Blankman” – These are the men and women that dress in racing outfits that look so much like superhero suits that they probably didn’t register for the race with their true identity. I love racing with these people because I know that if a group of street toughs tries to mug me in the middle of mile 2, the poor man’s X Men will be there to save me. If only these people had super speed. Much of the time these are the same people that inspired the saying used by this blog, “It’s not how fast you are, it’s how fast you look.” So, the next time you run across Spider-man’s velocity challenged little brother, fear not! He probably just looks faster than you.
4. “The Camper”- Do you REALLY need to bring 12 Cliff Bars to run a half marathon? I see people that look more like they are taking a journey with Indiana Jones than going on a 13.1 mile run. Their running belts are so full with water and “gear” they look like they plan on repelling through the race rather than running it. I have seen it all. People bringing ham, large quantities of cliff bars, excessive amounts of gels and my personal favorite, a credit card! What? Are you planning to stop for a nice dinner around mile 8 and pick it back up in the morning? This is a race people, not a hike in the Serengeti for Pete’s sake.
5. “The Halloweenie” - I have to say I really don’t have a problem with people who feel the need to dress up in crazy costumes and run a race. If you want to run 26.2 miles dressed as the Eiffel Tower, you’re a better man than I.
6. “The Streak” - This running fashion faux pas is common with both men and women alike. You all know who I mean. Those runners who wear just enough to NOT get arrested. I have thought about it a long time but I still can’t figure out the reason behind this. Is it for less restrictive movement? It can’t make THAT much of a difference. Is it to make me want to blind myself with Gatorade at the next aid station? Or distract me until I run into a light pole? Either way, I think we all can agree that the last thing we want to see when we are struggling to make it one more mile is someone’s half naked backside flopping around in front of us. I can only hope that someday a spectator screams from the sidelines, “The Emperor has no clothes!”© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running