Monday, June 11, 2007

Locust Street Part I: A Day at the Races with (Team Prom) Queen


Prom Queens, ready for racin'
Originally uploaded by V'ron.
Well, we did it. We all piled up at Miss Laid's house, the other five of us: Miss Conception (that's me), Miss Spent Youth, Miss Ann Thrope, Miss Fit, and Miss Givings for a morning of bloody marys (or is the plural of BMs "Bloody Maries"?), bagels and smoked salmon cream cheese, and suited up our prom dresses, tiaras and started stretching out for a run. We walked to the registration table on a lovely June Sunday morning, put on our finishing touches, smiled for the cameras, and got ready to The Big Race.

Not all of us ran. Miss Fit and I decided to run, and Miss Ann Thrope's date ran with us, being gentlemanly and not sprinting ahead. We shot out of the line and caught up to the other runners. (Let's be clear here: if you want to call what I, an overweight triathlete wanna-be, was doing running, OK.) The folks on Weil street set up sprinklers for us to run through. We hit the first station and it’s a dixie-cup sized cup of cheap beer, which I downed like it was a shot. "This is gonna be easy," I thought to myself, until we came to Pseudo-station Two. I say Pseudo-station, because it wasn't really a beer stop. It was a rogue beer stop and it took time off my run! Plus, it was a full 12-ouncer of something with flavor, could have been a Lakefront Brewery product. Still, I downed it. All along the route Miss Fit and I were torn as to whether this was a race course or a parade route, as people cheered on the Prom Queens to run, yet we took time to give them "the wave" and smile. By stop 3 I'd found my stride, and by stop 4 they were starting to run out of beer. And to my surprise, Miss Fit ran out of gas, but she and Miss Ann Thrope's Date waved me forward.




Prom Queen Vron
Originally uploaded by jakedavidrohde.
Halfway south on Weil street I asked the passers by "Is it time to sprint to the finish?" knowing full well the answer would be yes, and it would be a photo op to see a woman in a prom dress (with a wardrobe malfunction!) sprinting. One of my spaghetti straps busted early in the race, the other during my triumphant sprint. Don't get all excited, people, in a very Brandi Chastain momentI was wearing a matching sports bra underneath. (But was Chastain wearing a tiara at the World Cup? I think not.) My final time for a 1.8-mile race with 4(5) beer stops? 21:00 flat. Miss Fit finished only 30 seconds after me. We then backed up the route to gather up our other Team members, who were cheated out of the 4th beer stop where they ran out. (Well, that's what happens when you don't RUN for your beer! How Milwaukee can you get?!?!)

My British photo colleague, Liz, says she still can't believe it. This isn't an American thing, I tell you. It's a Wisconsin thing. A Milwaukee thing. A Boho-neighborhood in Milwaukee thing, complete with the local alderman proudly shooting the startoff gun. All sorts of people, runners, and costumes. Serious runners at the start (who I marvel at being able to do this seriously!) Costumes of all sorts, fairies, hockey players, etc. Papparazis on the porches, Milwaukee's Finest Men in Blue cheering us on. Fellow triathletes gearing up for the Danskin, and plenty of walkers who just enjoy the ritual of walking through the neighborhood drinking a beer and calling it a race. I still can't believe it.

But I'm pumped to do it next year.

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