It all started as a silly conversation on Facebook. My friend Ryan was tiptoeing in a photo and I teased that he needed to get a pair of heels so he’d always be that tall. Then I said, in fact, you could wear them when we ran together so I’d finally be faster. My friend Lynette (a former Hasher) said “Actually men can run pretty fast in heels! I’ve seen them!” I asked if one of those “men” she’d seen was her buddy Dennis (the fastest 100 miler in our gang.) She said no. I commented that “I’d pay good money to see Ryan and Dennis race in heels!” From there it just snowballed! Ryan said he’d do it if the money was raised for charity – for a good cause like the Ridge to Rivers Trail System in Boise. Dennis said he’d do it. Lynette said it could be part of our 4th of July picnic event and my husband put together a web site and sign up sheet and before you could say “Transvestite”, several men had signed up and the picnic attendance list went way up in anticipation of the “show!”
And what a show it was!!!! The “boys” er.. “girls” did not disappoint! Six brave souls showed up in various drag costumes (the most noteworthy were Lady Liberty – complete with crown and torch and my pal Ryan in piggytails and a tutu – with a sparkly purse dangling off his forearm) to race the half mile in their sky-high heels! My pal Dennis was in the skyscraper model at about 5 inches, so he’d also brought along his trekking poles, which looked even more hilarious!
The fellas lined up at the start line and the regular bikers and runners out for their daily exercise raised quite a few eyebrows when they saw these men decked out in their girlie ensambles. Those looks might have been the funniest part of all! I think people thought our group was really “out there!”
My husband counted down, someone sounded the air horn and the men took off like lightening in those heels – tap tapping along the Boise Greenbelt, skirts flying back, blouses pushed back against hairy chests. They may have looked like ladies, but they ran like dudes, pushing hard for position as they click clicked along. Very quickly, Lady Liberty led the race and “she” held her own until the final stretch, with the two youngest “women” coming up quickly behind “her.”
The crowd went wild as they came towards the home stretch and the pace shot up to a dead sprint (which I must admit you had to see to believe!) My friend Sean and the youngest runner Jack (who I believe is 14) pushed past Lady Liberty and started charging towards the finish line like a couple of ladies at a KMart Blue Light Special with only one coveted sale item left on the table. They both wanted that win and they weren’t going to be ladylike and let the other have it!
Their faces grimaced as they raced and then Jack shot ahead in a craze like a tween with Bieber fever and broke the red, white and blue ribbon, then landed in a heap on the other side, clutching his ankle (running in heels is dangerous. Don’t try this at home!) Sean was a close second and tried to conceal his tears, through his smeared mascara (I may have made up that part). Lady Liberty was 3rd, Ryan the tutu boy came prancing along, smiling and waving like Miss Congeniality in 4th place, Brian, with his burly red beard came galloping along in 5th and finally, finally……after everyone thought the race was over, way in the distance we could see Dennis in his 5 inch heels tap tapping along the Greenbelt, preening for the cameras and slowly coming into the finish with his hiking poles keeping him precariously upright at this late hour in the race. He resembled best a 90 year old librarian in his tasteful baby blue skirt and cardigan (which he’d unbuttoned at the top, brazenly flashing his man-chest!)
The crowd went wild as Dennis crossed and then (in true Dennis form), he dropped down to the ground for clap pushups. Dennis is well known in our group for always finishing up his races with clap pushups (even 100 milers!) So, this was a show-stopper! Since he was dressed as a lady, he did girlie pushups, which made everyone laugh even more! Pictures were taken. I got to “crown” the winner with a pink, feathered tiarra and hand him his single rose — giving him the image of a male Miss Teen America — and my friend Rachael passed out lovely Drag Race medals she’d made to each of the participants. It was a really fun time!
After the drag race, we also had a more family friendly children’s race, where about 30 kids raced to glory on the same stretch of Greenbelt! Each got a medal from Rachael, a licorice rope from my friend April and a lollipop from me. It was a really fun time and I enjoyed watching all five of my kids run into the finish as I cheered wildly!