The Worst Best Fancy Dress Race Costume

Last weekend it was the first ever Christmas themed run in my hometown. Optional fancy dress.

The running club my mother and I are members of are enthusiastic partakers in fancy dress, none more so than out personal friend: Mrs T. (That is Mr T’s mother)

Mrs T had the idea that we could go as Santa’s sleigh and reindeers. Reindeer onesies were purchased, cardboard boxes were rescued from the local supermarket, red paint acquired from a nursery, and through the industrious energies of the T family and Taylor, a mobility scooter was turned into a sleigh.

Mr T’s sister, who has a minor disability that doesn’t prevent her from walking, but does make it rather harder for her to run, was to be Santa. Mrs T, Mr T, Taylor and the other T sister were to be reindeer, but I had to step in at the last moment when Mrs T’s shift was changed.

On the morning of the race, I slipped into my reindeer onesie. It was supposed to be size ten to twelve, but it was the smallest size ten to twelve I think I’ve ever worn. The legs and sleeves rode up, making the whole thing look too short for me, but at the same time, poorly placed pockets made my body look wider – right around my backside. To top it all off, the hood was a little small, cutting into my neck like a hangman’s noose.

It wasn’t just me that looked a little ridiculous. The onesie was unflattering on everyone, no one more so than Mr T – the tallest of us. The onesie was practically at his knees and elbows.

I was concerned about running in it. It was sweaty work just putting it on – the soft material deliciously cozy, ordinarily a favourable quality in a onesie – and the thought of jogging wearing the unbreathable material was making me somewhat apprehensive about the whole thing. It was a benefit while walking to the start line, though. Mother, in her skimpy sexy santa outfit, was freezing in moments. I was toasty.

The start of the race was announced. Now tied to the sleigh with some tinsel, we waited for the crowds to move before we started, not wanting to run over any toes.

Our start was… anticlimactic. The mobility scooter took a long time to get started and, once started, didn’t go anywhere fast. The response from the crowd was incredible though – the children particularly enthusiastic about our outfits. Mr T soon started pushing the scooter, only to find it had a max speed cap, which meant the breaks slammed on the moment you got it moving faster than it would go under its own steam.

Soon the gap started to open up. It didn’t take long for the runners to disappear around a corner, never to be seen again, but even the walkers were fast outpacing us. There was no danger of running – the sleigh barely got above shuffling pace.

Getting up a couple of steep hills was a challenge. The mobility scooter didn’t have the power to get up the last hill, but fortunately the Boyfriend had backtracked to find us, and helped out with the pushing. My thighs were already burning from getting up previous, smaller mountains.

In the end it took us 55mins to do two miles. The final loop we missed out, keen to get onto our free pints and out of the reindeer onesies.

There was no prize for best fancy dress, though if there had been we may have been contenders. It was an ambitious, coordinated and hilarious outfit. Just a shame hardly anyone got to see it. Even the marshals had gone home by the time we got to each of the checkpoints!

We weren’t ever going to be contenders for first finishers, even if we hadn’t been pushing a mobility scooter round. As it happens, we made it back just in time to watch the first finishers (sub 18 minutes) receive their awards.

We’re keen to do it again next year. Though I think the fancy dress will be a little less crazy. And a little less brilliant.

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