Soon I will have to run nude (due to the fact I am ‘Running Fashionably Challenged’)

Mary Verdeccia (R), cheers as she wears a princess outfit as she participates in the annual Vancouver Lake Half Marathon Sunday January 26, 2014. (Natalie Behring/for the Columbian)

Mary Verdeccia (R), cheers as she wears a princess outfit as she participates in the annual Vancouver Lake Half Marathon Sunday January 26, 2014. (Natalie Behring/for the Columbian)

Yes, I will soon have to run nude. You may have to run nude too. Get used to this impending fact. Why you ask?

Well it’s because my run clothes are fashionably challenged.  That’s right. I am ‘Run Fashionably Challenged’.  It seems I will have to run in the nude if I don’t want to be made fun of, or the butt of jokes due to my choice of running gear. Your not safe either. That’s right, because it seems there is nothing a runner can wear anymore that is safe for scrutiny, teasing, or critics.

I really started to notice it in 2012. One Blogger, , I thought said it best when she stated “I do not judge other runners for what they wear when running.  More power to you if you wear $10 cotton bright purple sweat pants and crew neck sweatshirt from Wal-Mart. Clearly, I am not a fashion trendsetter myself, as I wear the same outfit for many of my races” but then proceeded to compile a list of Fashion Faux Pas and ask runners for theirs:

  • Male capris
  • Wearing a race day shirt to the race *
  • Wearing just a sports bra on top*
  • See-through white technical shirts with bright sports bra*
  • No mid-calf socks unless trail running*
  • No short and tight spandex for guys
  • Capris with compression socks*
  • Tight shirts with tight shorts/capris/tights*
  • Extra loose shirts with loose bottoms

So I broke all the starred ones 🙂 I violated almost all but the male ones.

Unbeknownst to me this was a fashion faux pas wearing tight/tight, too small clothes.

Unbeknownst to me this was a fashion faux pas wearing tight/tight, too small clothes.

So what else is there?

Yup- I am looking good as a runner….

How about this girl’s what not to wear in winter guide:

  • awkwardly small hats
  • Clown pants
  • Hoodies with holes*
  • ineffective gutwarmers- like sweatshirts too small*

hmm..maybe I am not so bad…didn’t violate many of these!

Then in 2013, Runner’s World created a faux pas when it made fun of runners in it’s Fashion Faux Pas. I have violated not one but FIVE at one point or another, and three of them I still violate on a regular basis.

  • Toe Shoes With Tall Socks
  • Tucking in a T-Shirt
  • Tri-Suit in a Single-Sport Race
  • Running Shirtless in a Blizzard
  • Racing Shirtless in a Blizzard
  • Wild Hair*
  • Shorts Over Tights*
  • “Matchy-Matchy”*
  • Too Much Makeup*
  • Inappropriate Shorts Length*
Wild hair and Jacket around the race (within last month of this article!) will I change? doubt it.

Wild hair and Jackets around our waists (within last month of this article!) Will I change? Doubt it.

Everywhere you turn, runners are being singled out for their fashion choices rather than the great accomplishment of running. Lately it has gotten more brutal. Self Magazine made fun of Running Tutus, basically saying it was a fashion trend that needed to die. “”A racing tutu epidemic has struck NYC’s Central Park, and it’s all because people think these froufrou skirts make you run faster,” the caption reads. “Now, if you told us they made people run from you faster, maybe we would believe it.”

Next it was Outside Online commenting on the Politics of Running Fashion letting us know “Pro runner Maggie Vessey turned a lot of heads last week at the Prefontaine Classic, and not because of her second-place finish. No, the media was more interested in what she was wearing.”

But wait there’s still more, I have been made fun of at one time or another for these ones!

  • Wearing a fuel belt/any belt on any race less than a marathon*
  • Wearing a costume to a noncostume race*
  • Cotton shirts*
  • Sparkly headbands*
  • Sparkly headbands under hats*
  • Mismatched clothes*
  • Running skirts*

I know I am whining a bit. It’s supposed to be all in fun right? Truth hurts? Yada Yada. My thing is, shouldn’t we be celebrating that the runner is running? Not what they are wearing? Shouldn’t a runner be allowed to run in comfort or freedom? Is anything not going to be made fun of anymore? I doubt it.

I say let the runner run without a shirt; small shorts, or what look to be swimmers trunks. Let the runner be in their hot, cumbersome and/or unusual costumed choice. (Although I don’t understand it—> Run free you runners wearing just Depends!) Let the runner run practically naked or dressed in winter gear in the summer. Or heaven forbid, a jacket tied around their waist because they got hot.

Ok, so maybe I bluff, and I won’t be running nude anytime soon. But I assure you, I will continue to “‘Run Fashionably Challenged’. And you can too. Why? Because I celebrate you! I celebrate your running as an accomplishment and I don’t care what you wear! I defy the ones who mock me (and/or you) as a runner. So what if I (we) deserve it? I (we) deserve to revel in joy at the running and our awkward clothing that we thought looked good at 4am while getting ready for the morning run/race. I challenge you to run in anything you want; run in Depends or run nude!  If people are going to make fun of me (us) anyways, I (we) might as well be having fun doing it and giving them something to really talk about!

So let’s end it on a good note from the Runner’s Lounge , giving you permission to be free from running fashion faux pas – “If you can cross the line, anything is fine.”



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