I was running errands yesterday, walking along the Thames. In my ill state I kept looking longingly at all the runners going by. Lots of the usual suspects, but one guy wearing shorts and a t-shirt caught my eye. He didn't seem all that unusual but rather than the typical runner's track shorts + technical tee, he wore surfer shorts--like the kind you would wear to the beach--and an old cotton shirt with a "DM" shield across it. Danger Mouse, I guess??
Seeing Danger Mouse guy made me think about all the crazy things I've seen people run in. As runners, I think we see people running in strange things all the time, especially at races. Once I was on the Southbank when suddenly a gorilla ran past me! I thought I had imagined it, but then a few minutes later, it was followed by another, then another, then hundreds. It was surreal, but the occasional race number finally made me realize I had stumbled upon the Great Gorilla Run. In recent races I saw two guys running dressed as matadors (volunteers at the water stations kept shouting OLE! as they went by) and someone with a very large daffodil bouncing up and down on his head.
But as a girl who would spend all my extra pennies on the latest running gear, I'm always surprised by the things I see people running in just for everyday. Like guys in shorts and a polo shirt, looking like there were sitting on the sofa just a minute ago and thought, "I should go for a little run"...and then just got up and went running! And I recently stumbled on a blog called Jogging Jeans that--you guessed it--features people running (AND RACING) in jeans!
Jeans I can kind of understand since while uncomfortable, they are pretty indestructible. But this summer I saw ladies wearing lovely, lacy blouses when running, the kind you might wear to a summer party. And a few weeks ago I saw a girl wearing a very nice cardigan on her run, layered over the top of her t-shirt. I guess they both served their purpose of either keeping you cool or warm, but I'd worry about getting my nice clothes all sweaty and gross.
Nothing usually comes between me and my technical kit, but you know what? I really love seeing people running in random clothes. One, because I think people have a right to run in whatever makes them feel good...whether you're a fastinista or a jeans jogger. But more importantly it reminds me that running is something that anyone can do and that you actually don't need any special clothing or equipment to do it. These days even running shoes are optional! And this amazing inclusiveness is one of the reasons why I love running.
Who knows? Maybe one day I'll find myself in a pinch where I HAVE to run but have forgotten my running kit (sounds like a pre-race nightmare actually)....and you'll see me running reluctantly along the Thames in my Chuck Taylors and jeans. But I think me racing in a gorilla suit is more likely!