50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year #18 – The Moustache Miler – Spontaneous Mingling

I really hadn’t planned to go to Vancouver late in November. It’s not usually a time I drive down unless I have to because the roads can be very hit or miss. After meeting Gord Kurenoff from the Vancouver Sun at the Rock n Roll 10K, though, I suddenly realized I needed to do something a little spontaneous. He invited me down for the Moustache Miler – a fundraiser for prostate cancer and part of the activities planned for Movember. The idea is you run, you wear a moustache, and you have fun… all for a good cause. I realized I could get some business done as well when I came down so I threw caution to the wind and registered. I didn’t plan a lot, I felt very disorganized, and yet I just went for it. I planned two business meetings for the same trip to maximize my time and then I enjoyed two solo nights in a hotel with no schedule other than running the race on Saturday.

Gord and I had became friends on social media and he nudged me into coming and wearing a costume for the event. He was running as a moose with a moustache – a moostache (Gord is bursting with puns!).

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Gord Kurenoff – Moostache Miler

Deciding on a costume that Gord suggested, I promptly got busy doing other things and didn’t get my costume together much before the event. In fact, the important elements in the costume didn’t come together until the night before.

The Costume

My costume? The Swedish Chef from the Muppets! Gord had listed off a pile of famous moustaches for potential costumes and when he said the Swedish Chef a lightbulb went off in my brain! I love the muppets, I love the Swedish Chef… and hey… I’m Swedish!

Aside from a chef’s hat I got at Value Village in the Halloween area, a white apron from Krista Dick, and a plaid shirt I already owned, I had no idea how I was going to pull it off. How would I make my moustache and eyebrows? They were the key element in the costume. It wouldn’t be a Movember costume without a moustache!

It wasn’t until the day before the race that I was walking around downtown Vancouver looking for an idea when I finally came up with it in a cheap Vancouver souvenir store. I felt bad, for like a minute, but the colour was perfect, the price was right, and I had brought a sewing kit just for this purpose. That night in the hotel room I got to work.

RIP Squatchi

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Yup, I did it 😦

I skinned the little guy, one of the Vancouver Olympic mascots, and made eyebrow shaped pieces that I sewed right to the chef’s hat (stroke of brilliance)… I had started out thinking I would tape them to my eyebrows or my glasses but this worked way better. After a few attempts that didn’t look right I finally got a pair that worked. I had to wonder if Vanoc (the Vancouver Olympic Organizing Committee) or the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was going to come after me for desecrating a sacred mascot from an event that happened five years earlier… they have spies everywhere! And who knew my hair is the exact same colour as Squatchi?

Next, the moustache. I carefully studied pictures of my hero and finally came up with an appropriate mustache shape. There was so much mascot hair all over my room I’m sure the cleaning staff were going to be seriously confused… or maybe they were just too smart to ask questions.

I used double sided tape for my moustache, which worked in the beginning but by the end of the run had no stick left. Gord told me later that the moustaches always fall off due to the sweat factor and the best results came from using the glue that people stick false eyelashes on with. Obviously, I’ve never used false eyelashes… that seems pretty obvious.

Gord the Moose and I had fun. I met his awesome (and very tolerant) wife, and his mom and step dad who were doing their first 5K walk that day.

As a run it sucked – don’t wear flannel when running… I also can’t believe how poorly I run whenever I’m in Vancouver, it’s like I can’t breathe because of the humidity. But, I finished, got lots of high fives, lots of laughs, and had a really good time.

I still know nobody there except Gord and his family but I had a lot of fun.

Why was this crazy?

I don’t usually go to small events like this alone when I don’t know anybody. My introvert self kicks in and wants to hide in the corner and wish it would all go away. Not saying I didn’t do that, but at least I showed up! I didn’t say no just because I knew exactly how I would react. I forced myself to interact with strangers, have fun, and be lighthearted. Leaving the after party in the early afternoon I was exhausted… mingling is very hard work for an introvert!

Would I do it again?

Ugh. Yes. I will probably never like being in that position but every time I put myself out there it will likely be a lot easier. The run itself was great fun – I’d love to see one in Kamloops, and I’d definitely go do it again… but maybe not wear flannel next time!

Oh, and did you see Gord’s blog? I made two of his blogs this year and even his year end review… gotta up my game next year to three or more!

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Got the moutache medal!

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50 Crazy Things in my 50th Year # 17 – Wear a wedding dress

white weddingSo, obviously, I’ve never been married and I’ve never even really entertained the whole big wedding dream idea. It’s safe to say that even if I was going to get married, the whole wedding industry would collapse if they were relying on my business. The spectacle, the attention, the formality – I usually don’t even like going to weddings.

When my 50 Crazy Things list came up it was a bit of a joke that I should wear a wedding dress before my 50th birthday, even though at the time I hadn’t even gone on a date in years. I planned to wear a white running outfit with a white tutu and veil at a Colour Me Rad race but I couldn’t get the dates to work so I let the idea go until Jody Lenarcic, Krista Dick, Monica Williams, Trisha Cooper and I started planning our girls weekend at the Rock N’ Roll 10K in Vancouver in October. We were thinking of costumes and suddenly I got the idea that I could go as a Rock n’ Roll bride and that would satisfy the crazy thing. Well, apparently you can’t have a bride without bridesmaids! When I asked them if they would be willing to participate in my special day they all shouted “Yes!” and started pestering me about colour schemes – I was instantly overwhelmed.

The plan progressed and since I didn’t want them to go to a lot of expense for this, I said they should wear black and then they could put coloured tutus and accessories over top. I had transfers made for their shirts and I wore a white shirt and white tutu with some black accessories. Easy!

They each picked a colour and had hair things (name… kind of like a garland?), arm warmers, and skirts in their chosen colour. I made the transfers for their black t-shirts and at the last minute I had a stroke of brilliance (not even bragging!) – I looked for the font I knew must really exist and I was rewarded with much joy… the Iron Maiden font did exist… we were going to be the Bride and the Brides Maidens! It was brilliant! The front of their shirts said “Brides Maiden” and the backs said “We knew the bride when she used to rock and roll.” The front of my white shirt just said “Bride” and the back said, “Nice day for a white wedding.” I had a black veil, grey lace sewn to my waterbelt, a huge spider engagement ring, black lace arm things (name…I have no vocabulary for fashion), and we were all covered in tattoos… some were real… some, including all of mine, were fake. We also had plastic bouquets – all spray painted black. I have to say, we looked freaking awesome!

Conveniently the run is right before Halloween so we got great costume accessories at the Halloween Spirit Store and Value Village. Being frugal, we also realized that with a bit of tweaking we could use most of our accessories in our Sugar Plum Fairy costumes for the Santa Shuffle in December. Bonus!

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5 women, 2 nights, 1 SUV stuffed to the rafters

The trip was a riot, as always. We had five women in a quint hotel room at the Y Hotel Residence in Vancouver. It was like a pajama party for the over 40 set and all five of us had our own beds. Monica expertly handled all the ironing duties for getting the shirts done and we all spent the night before the race eating rockets (Halloween candy… prerace carb loading), drinking a little bit, and having a blast. Huge shout out here to my neighbours Patty and Stacy who let me print all the shirt transfers on their inkjet printer since my laser printer wouldn’t cut it.

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Hotel room selfie the morning of my big day

The morning of the race our costumes came together. Rock N’ Roll races are known for their costumes but this was pretty new to Vancouver so we didn’t know how many others would get into the spirit of the race – a lot did – including my future groom!

Wait for it….

We made our way through downtown Vancouver to the shuttle that would take us to the starting line. Already we were starting to turn some heads and get some laughs. The starting area in English Bay was a lot of fun. There were lots of costumes! We were getting our picture taken in front of the Inukshuk down by the water when we saw another group of costumed runners and in them was my future groom… Alice Cooper! A guy dressed as Alice was there and we had our picture taken with him. It turns out he belongs to a huge Running Race Costume group that I also belong to on Facebook and we both posted pictures later.

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Hey mom… I met a guy!

We also met Vancouver Sun sports blogger Gord Kurenoff, a former Kamloopsian, who included us in his blog. He’s an awesome guy and very inspirational.

As we ran the race Trisha went ahead as it was her first 10K and we didn’t want to slow her down. Monica and Krista run together so they took off too. Jody and I hung back and enjoyed running alongside women dressed as the Absolutely Fabulous duo and others. I have never had so much attention in a race – but a lot of people actually thought it was a staggette and I was really getting married. People were congratulating me all over the place. I tried explaining and finally Jody said to me, “Give up. Just say thank you!”

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We finished the race and had a blast and that night, over dinner in Chinatown, we were already thinking of what we would do for next year – it will be hard to top Bride and the Brides Maidens!

Why was this crazy?

Oh please! Have you met me? I am seriously not the wedding dress type. So many people were excited that I was going to wear a wedding dress, though, until they saw what it looked like. Then their dreams of Vesta in a poofy wedding dress exploded in a burst of gothic-looking confetti.

Would I do it again?

Hell ya! Would I do it for real? Not bloody likely! Hue thanks to Jody, Krista, Monica, and Trisha for being the best bridesmaids EVER!