This last weekend, Shelly and I ran the Rodeo Valley 50k. It was a “roadtrip” race for us, meaning it would involve traveling and hanging out with our friends Pablo and his wife Kristina, Krista, Jon, Vanessa, and Shacky. We knew we’d be doing plenty of laughing and probably a fair amount of drinking, so we decided to make the race itself a little more fun.
We ran it in superhero costumes. [photo courtesy Shacky]
I’m not quite sure where the idea came from, but once planted, we knew we had to do it. The costumes themselves took awhile to plan. Note- it’s hard to find costumes outside of the Halloween season. Luckily Party City stocks costumes all year. The beer and wine theme seemed appropriate given we were running an ultra.
The actual race itself was uneventful. The course featured some pretty good climbs and descents mixed with awesome views of the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco, and the rest of the Headlands/Bay Area. Everybody did great despite quite a few setbacks, but we had a great time.
The reaction from others was fascinating. Some people cheered and took pictures. Other people were visibly uncomfortable and didn’t know quite how to react. A few people openly scorned us. It was clear they were offended we weren’t taking the race as seriously as they believed we should.
The non-race hikers, runners, and cyclists we met had the same range of reactions. For me, the highlight was getting asked to pose for a picture with some Japanese tourists. What can I say, I’m easily entertained.
The experience was resoundingly positive and I’m eagerly looking forward to the next “costume” race. The actual costume choice will change as the blue morph suit I was wearing took about four minutes to remove to go to the bathroom. My strategy of drinking very little throughout the first half of the race worked well as I only had to go once. The minimal dehydration didn’t dramatically alter my performance. The experience was so positive, I’m considering doing it for one of my “A” races later this year.
What do you think of costumes and racing? Have you done it before? Would you try it yourself if you haven’t?