While running my last marathon I noticed several runners wearing really silly costumes. During last year's "London Marathon", someone actually ran the entire course wearing a heavy deep-sea diving suit! What's with these people? - Dressed for Speed
A few years ago, I was running in a local marathon, and a gentleman in his mid twenties passed me at mile five. What makes this seemingly minor factoid all the more anguishing, is that he was fully attired in a rather stylish looking brides white wedding gown.
At the time, I was disgusted. Here was this ungracious gown-wearing comic, degrading the sanctity of the marathon by wearing a costume, with the sole intention of calling attention to himself. We, the hard working faithful runners, who had spent the previous four months in hard training, were left awash in his mockish wake.
A guy wearing a wedding dress beat me. What worse, is that this guy could really run! He was doing 7.30 miles when he passed me!
"No matter" I thought to myself, trudging along at my self-satisfying 9-minute mile pace. Surely that moment was an aberration, a freak event never to be duplicated. A single oddity in a challenging race that true runners, like myself, were engaged.
It was then that the girl in the bumblebee suit passed me.
Buzzing by me at a respectable pace, the girl in the bumblebee costume looked fairly comfortable despite wearing that heavy, bulky, black and yellow striped suit. She smiled, running past, having plenty of spare energy to shout words of encouragement as she "flew" by.
One struggles to maintain both focus and dignity when confronted with gown wearing men and human sized insects running past you in a 26.2-mile road race.
But the mind gets to thinking when running along for a distance, and it suddenly occurred to me that these costumes might actually be bestowing some unknown competitive advantage to these runners in drag and stripes. Perhaps they had discovered some powerful force, not unlike a Super Hero donning his or her Cape, achieving powers far beyond those of mortal men!
And so, fellow runner, I propose to you that these athletic costume wearers have learned some secret art of "marathoning" that takes advantage of a silly suit as part of their overall strategy to set a P.R. or win a race! Perhaps it is you and I who should consider wearing something outrageous for our next battle with that 26.2-mile monster! Maybe, just maybe, these people are the true athletes, and they gain superiority over you and I by simply transcending the traditional runners garb!
My theory rang hollow, not long after, when some kid wearing a Purple Dinosaur suit ran past me singing the "Barney" theme song.
It's days like these that dignity can be in short supply.
Run long and taper.
Run The Planet would like to thank www.petersage.com for the permission to reprint the photo of the runner in a rhino costume.