On I went, out of the wood, passing the man leading without knowing I was going to do so. Flip-flap, flip-flap, jog-trot, jog-trot, curnchslap-crunchslap, across the middle of a broad field again, rhythmically running in my greyhound effortless fashion, knowing I had won the race though it wasn't half over, won it if I wanted it, could go on for ten or fifteen or twenty miles if I had to and drop dead at the finish of it, which would be the same, in the end, as living an honest life like the governor wanted me to. -Alan Sillitoe, "Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner"

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When did "skirt chasing" become funny?

While I was in Chicago, I kept hearing this commercial for the Skirt Chaser 5k race that's coming up.  I'm mixed on this one.  

I can't possibly be the only one who pictured something like this when I heard about it:

The idea behind the race is that the women get a head start, and then the men "chase" them!  The women will all be wearing their SkirtSports running skirts, too, just to make it more 1950s.  

I don't know...  I'm all about leveling the playing field.  It's a rare (and small!) race when a woman beats a man flat-out.  And, as you've probably noticed, I only wear skirts when running.  But still...  Maybe it's my years working and then volunteering for a YWCA, or my years volunteering for a rape crisis center (and now a rape crisis/dv center), or my subscription to Ms. Magazine, or my ridiculously liberal college experience, but I kinda think it's too soon.  And it might always be too soon to celebrate misogyny and sexual harassment.

What do you think?

(Plus, I don't care for the way SkirtsSports skirts fit me.)


  1. I think it's a cute idea and you're reading too much into it... This race has been going on for a while, if not this exact one, other ones like it. I hear of a lot of husband and wife using this to level the competition and finally compete fairly against each other.

    The high heel race, on the other hand, is something I despise. Just an injury waiting to happen, no?

    (Oh and I LOVE SkirtsSports -- the only ones I tried that the shorts did not ride up!)

  2. I don't know... I think it is kind of cute. But I can see how it can be seen the other way. Bay to Breakers has the female elites start 5 min ahead of the male elites so that the finish really is a race. But of course we also have naked people at Bay to Breakers.

  3. This is fascinating - my facebook friends seem to mostly agree with me that it's problematic, but then you both are cool with it. No right or wrong, but I'm very curious how others see it.

  4. And after the race the women cook dinner, right?

  5. Exactly! Maybe that's why I'm bothered by it - I can't cook to save my life.

  6. I could support this if the women were given bayonets. That would be awesome.