Here is my handle…
Actually, I wasn’t the little teapot. It was Mrs. Nitmos.
She wore this for a 5k this past weekend. I’d like to say that she just did this on her own and that all of the other runners thought she was crazy but, the truth is, it was a Costume 5k put on by a film festival. She looked completely natural amongst the Batmans, Spidermans, Supermans, cast from Up, Thelma and Louise, crew from Gilligan’s Island, and Indiana Jones. It was her husband that looked out of place.
I didn’t wear a costume. That’s right, I’m a fuddy-duddy. Want to fight about it?
It’s been years since I wore a real costume. Roughly, fourth grade, I believe. I don’t even remember liking it back then either. Maybe because those little bungee strings that tied around the molded plastic masks (think 1970s-early 80s, people) use to snap back before I got the Jimmy Carter face on and then got wrapped in my hair (thick, shaggy – think 1970s-early 80s, people) until it threatened to pull the hair out in bunches at the root level. All of this work to dress up like a one-term president, with lust in his heart, to get bits of candy from neighbors that, on the other 364 days of the year, I spent riding across their lawns and pissing in their bushes? No thanks. I left costuming behind for good around 1982 and haven’t looked back.
Still, I recognize that other adults get into it for Halloween or Costume 5ks and that’s all cool with me. But one thing I’ve noticed, if you don’t join them, they get angry. I counted no less than five comments, ranging in severity from playful teasing to sneering derision, regarding my choice not to wear a costume. If I don’t wear a costume, am I not human? If you prick me, would I not bleed? Apparently, the answer is NO. Pricks.
I wasn’t the only one without a costume. There were only about 120 runners and roughly ¼ of them were sans costume. I wasn’t really worried about my time for this race. It took place at 6 PM after a day of boating and eating and walking. Usually, by 6, I’m ready to get my drink on not run a 5k. Plus, there was on overall mood of festiveness, rather than ego destroying intensity, that pervaded the starting area.
When the gun sounded, I immediately found myself in a group of four runners in the lead pack though I’m pretty sure I was the only one in possession of a high school diploma. Only one of us had a costume: Batman! Before the first mile, one runner dropped off leaving me to chase the two leaders, running shoulder to shoulder, by about four steps. First mile: 5:49. The pace was faster than I expected especially since Batman isn’t known for his speed. I kept warily eyeing his utility belt to see what might grapple out of them in the direction of my knees.
After the first mile marker, Batman, clearly toying with us in mile 1, took off and left me and the other guy behind like a couple of Jokers. He increased his pace. I wasn’t about to do that. He was gone and I immediately declared him the winner. But the other runner seemed to be laboring: big huffy breaths, Raggedy Andy form. Maybe second for me? I passed him at the halfway point. By the two mile marker, I couldn’t even see him anymore. One of the cyclists leading the race would circle back to me periodically to encourage me to catch up to the leader. Easy to say when you are sitting on a $1500 bike and wearing way too much spandex.
Batman was so far ahead – at least 45 seconds – and the third place runner was about 30 seconds behind me, that I actually relaxed my pace content to run it for second.
And run it in I did onto the finish line red carpet in front of the beautifully restored State Theatre wherein everyone’s favorite liberal, Michael Moore, was presenting some films at that very moment. They handed me an Oscar – much overdue in my opinion – and showered me with applause.* My time was 19:03. My worst 5k in over two years but I didn’t really care. This race wasn’t about time. Even if I had set a PR there was no way I was catching Batman anyhow.
I settled along the race course to watch the costumed runners come in. A few minutes later, Mrs. Nitmos came through to the finish. Be advised that Mrs. Potts is not moisture wicking. Sweat was pouring down the teapot. She confided to me that, at the two mile maker, she almost passed out from the heat of the night (about 84 degrees) and the heat of the costume (about 156 degrees). Mrs. Potts also doesn’t come with a nutrition pouch or water holder. In fact, combined with the hot tea, it really isn’t a runner friendly costume. Maybe Brooks or Asics can take up the cause and make it more efficient for running? At any rate, she did a great job representing the costumed half of this marriage and finishing 6th in her age group of 19 runners!
So my Oscar now rests on my night stand as a gleaming, erect monument to running a sparsely attended race (I highly recommend!) in which you can finish second overall because none of the top area runners show up . Some of you may even think I shouldn’t take home an award when I didn’t bother to dress up for a costume 5k. Well, all I can say is…
…Here is my spout.
*If “shower” and “smattering” are the same thing.