Besides the Ragnar Road Relay, the Skirt Chaser 5K was the only other race I ran in August! (Which is good for me and my delayed blogging and my post-race recaps!) The Skirt Chaser was put on by the Skirt Sports company and 3W Races was hired to run it (i.e. help with marketing, set up, timing, planning, etc). Since it wasn’t a 3w owned race, I still had to pay for it, but because Skirt Sports is a sponsor of the 3W ambassador program, we got a great discount. (Now that last sentence was a tongue twister!)
This was probably most fun I have ever had a race to date. I’m not joking! The whole idea, event and after party were a blast!
Let me explain the idea first in case you have no idea what I’m talking about (to: my non-runner friends). So, a “skirt chaser” race is an event where the women get to start running first and the men get “released” shortly after. The idea is to catch the ladies, and yes it is supposed to be a fun “mixer.” Single men and women are encouraged to register but couples register for the idea of trying to catch each other. For example, my friend Sarah is a really faster runner dating a really fast guy as well. They compared their 5K PR’s to see if her boyfriend could indeed catch her after a three-minute difference in race start times. (Spoiler alert: He did catcher with about .75 miles left, I think!)
The race in Colorado is part of the Skirt Sport’s series started by Nicole Deboom, the owner of Skirt Sports. I’ve met Nicole and she is the nicest person around. She has an excellent story and loves making people happy: thus the skirt chaser was born. Her series started in 2007. I honestly don’t know if she was the first one to come up with this idea (I doubt it) but I couldn’t google any more info on how the skirt chaser idea came about besides from her website.
Taken straight for Nicole’s Skirt Chaser website, she wanted the race to include three things:
“1. Fun: The staggered start format gave the spotlight to the ladies. 2. Flirty: The 3 minute delay created extra buzz and excitement. 3. Festive: The after-party topped it all off!”
And the reason the women go first:
“When I was racing pro, I competed in a few events that were billed as “Battles of the Sexes” in which the women pros started first and the men followed a certain window of time afterward. The first person across the line won an extra prize purse, as high as $250,000!
I always liked the idea of putting the women on a pedestal and gearing the event around women, but I still wanted to include the men in a way that was fun, flirty and festive. The staggered format was unprecedented in a mass running environment which gave us another reason to do something different. We created the first running skirt. Why not innovate a new style of racing too?!”
Now, I, personally, am all for the Skirt Chaser idea, however, there is few people out there that disagree with the whole thing…and I can’t figure out why. It’s clearly a race themed for a flirty/dating aspect. I read one blog post and the associated comments about people criticizing the whole race idea. (To be clear, I don’t think this person or the commenters even ran any of the races and they are not talking about any one in particular, just the idea of it. This author groups the “skirt chaser” and all other “fun runs” together including the color run, rave run and other ideas like that).
First off, I would NEVER group the Color run, the Neon Run, or any of those themed races with the Skirt Chaser. One main reason: The Skirt Chaser is timed and you can actually race it. In the other “fun runs,” there is no timing system and with the mass amounts of people attending, you can’t even run. It’s more like a jog or power walk because that’s all you can muster.
The author of the article I found criticizes the skirt chaser and describes is as a 5K with the theme: “female runners eluding male pursuers.” I have no idea where this person got this idea, but there’s nothing creepy about the Skirt Chaser like they make it sound. She goes on to criticize the language, clearly not getting the whole point. I wonder if this author is even a runner…
Assuming this author is just highly feminist, she compares the idea of the skirt chaser to “women running for their lives.”
Oh dear. Really?? My favorite comment answers that: “Oookay…I always understood the term “skirt chaser” to mean a guy who is a big flirt, who is always, well, chasing women, not a rapist. Maybe a pickup artist at worst. But really, this seems like a play on words and not intended to imply that women are ‘running for their lives.’ Maybe more like ‘catch me if you can.’ I deplore rape culture, too, but this seems a bit on the side of being oversensitive.”
Thank you, who ever you were.
If you continue on and read the comments, almost everyone that speaks up again compares it to the Color Run. They also start talking about the staggered starts for other races, saying that it’s usually the men that go first.
HELLO! You’re missing the point here!! In the Skirt Chaser, it’s fun and flirty and it’s meant to be a little game to see if they men can catch up to the women! The only reason men start first in other races is usually because it’s a high school cross-country race, and they want to clear the field so that timing and finishing is easier to keep track of.
Oooff!! Sorry, I got carried away there! After reading more of the (I’m assuming it’s a female)’s blog posts, it just turns out they are a hard to please person.
Let’s get back on track…
I arrived after a long day working in the hot sun. The skirt Chaser was a mid-summer race set to start at 6pm. Seems pretty ridiculous for the summer, but, part of the whole event is to have the after party, and night-time is definitely best for an after party.
I tried to prepare myself for the 5K even though my body felt like it was going to collapse. I had woken up super early to volunteer at a Kid’s Tri then zipped over to volunteer at a festival in Denver to promote a concert that was coming up at the time. I was feeling drained.
I changed into my running skirt (of course I had to run in a skirt),
checked out the fellas to see who was wearing the “i’m single” stickers mingled with everyone, and then lined up with all the ladies. After a quick word from Nicole Deboom, we were off!
It was actually a really hard race for me! By the half way mark, I was not feeling well at all. Like, “upset stomach and headache”, not feeling well. I probably didn’t eat well the whole day; it’s always hard for me to eat right with an evening race. I got a horrible stomach ache and it was hard to keep my pace up. I was passed by a few ladies that don’t normally run faster than me. It was not a good feeling mentally either. I can be super competitive at times.
The good part though: I was only passed by half a dozen or so men! When I finally reached the finish line and joined one of my friends, she joked with me that I should have gone a little slower to give some of the men a chance to catch me!
THE AFTER PARTY:
I visited all of the vendors and sponsors, one of which had a friend of mine working it! Since I’ve been doing all these random jobs this past year, one of my good friends that I met at one of those random jobs was actually working at the Toyota Booth! So fun!!
This was probably the best post race celebration you have ever been to! Everyone got TWO free beers, there was music, dancing, top three finishers overall (men or women were not separated – and no, they did not include the three min time difference for men! Muahahaha), twister, and lots of fun!
I don’t think I need to describe it too much more…I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
Although, I did feel like it was high school all over again, waiting to see if someone would ask me to dance! Eventually, I did get a dance partner and although he was super sweet and super cute, he was a little young for me. We still had a blast and our two groups went to eat after the whole event at a nearby restaurant.
The skirt-sport owner, Nicole, and the 3W Race directors showed up at the same restaurant and encouraged our after party, after the after party, clearly hinting at the fact that she same me with my dance partner.
Your Turn: Have you ever done a Skirt Chaser???