Friday, June 21, 2013

About to be Proud

I hope none of you are prudes, because I'm about to talk about Gay Pride.

As you already know, I'm all about the race costume.  Add to that mix: this weekend is the Twin Cities Pride Parade. 

Seriously.  SERIOUSLY!

Is it any surprise that I LOVE hanging out in an atmosphere that looks like this?


GAH!  That rainbow dog is just spectacular.  Every time I see that picture I fall in love with it all over again.

OK, OK, back to the topic.  June 21st - 23rd is Pride weekend in the Twin Cities.  While I've always felt very fondly towards the gay community, in the last two years I've become even more invested via the gay marriage debate. 

I never thought I'd be as much as an advocate for Gay rights as I've become.  Not to say that I'm terribly active on the "scene", but I've been known to throw down - in the last year especially.  I am definitely NOT afraid to tell people to stuff it when they start on their homophobic tirades.  And I really cannot comprehend what the issue is with it...

I think part of the reason why I'm so sensitive to the situation is, growing up as a kid, I was bullied. A lot.  (Turns out, chubby/tall kids don't exactly fit in with the "cool kids".  Imagine that.)  Fortunately, the bullying more or less stopped when I got into high school - I lost some of my baby fat, and most of the other kids caught up to me in size. 

Regardless, it was painful enough for me; I can't imagine living your entire life having people picking on you because of who you are.  Needless to say, I absolutely cannot stand people that pick on someone else just because they're different. 

Anyhow!  This went from a fun blog to depressing you.  Let's talk about the fun part! 

Two years ago (in 2011), Twin Cities Pride introduced the Rainbow Run.  It was perfect timing - I had just committed myself to running the year before and was looking for fun new races to try out.  Plus, I had always wanted to experience the Minneapolis Pride Parade.  So, if you're already downtown for a running race, what better excuse can you have to stay and enjoy the fun of the parade?

I managed to talk my sister and cousin into joining me in my shenanigans.  We had a great time!

The race course that year started by crossing the Stone Arch Bridge and then running downtown along the parade route.  It started an hour before the parade and with the sun reflecting on the pavement the entire way, I was SUPER HOT! 

While I did NOT get arrested by the cop behind me, I DID end up running a 33:15 time.

Since we had such fun in 2011, I was able to get everyone to go again in 2012.  The race route was more or less the same... but slightly shorter... somehow coming in at only a 4K this time.  I don't know what changed, honestly.  But I wasn't about to complain, since it was even hotter the second year.

The race directors must have known I was coming, because they added a costume contest in 2012.  WHOOP!  With the gay marriage debate in full swing, costumes aimed towards that theme were encouraged.  My sister and cousin went with a rainbow theme, but I went all out as a spectacular bride in a rainbow spandex running dress and full on rainbow veil.  (Tip: nylon netting is surprisingly NOT breathable and really traps in heat.  Also, veils stick to a sweaty back when you run... try to avoid them at all costs).



As you may already know, Monte Durham from "Say Yes to the Dress" chose me as the best dressed bride.  That entitled me to a prize as well as VIP shuttle service to the front of the parade with Monte and the other winner ("groom").  Post running the course, we were whisked to the VIP tent.  I spent the next 20 minutes dancing the electric slide in the streets of downtown Minneapolis with various other revelers.  It was a little surreal.  (The groom and I were also supposed to help kick off the parade, but for some reason that changed just minutes before - drat!)

Since I don't know the exact distance of the course or my specific time, I won't bother discussing my performance here.  Besides, I was a little distracted being such VIP status. 

(Funny side note - my husband always thought I was more than a little crazy with my race day costumes until I came home from Pride 2012 with a certificate worth $500 - a 2 night stay at the Grand Hotel with chocolate covered strawberries and a bottle of Champagne.  Now he just asks if the race I'm running offers a prize, then tries to gauge if my costume is good enough to win.  LOL!)

Fast forward to now - 2013.  As if you even had to ask... Yes, I'm registered!  And so is my sister (who's running this year - whoop!) 

The course is changed to a hopefully much cooler location for 2013 (Como Park in St. Paul).  And as far as I know, there's no costume contest... but I still have something festive planned.

I'll give you a post race recap next week.  Wish me luck!

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