Last night I participated in a super cool race, the Women's Moon Walk/Run in Olympia. It was put on by one of my favorite organizations, Guerilla Running in Olympia.
I knew that the Guerilla people would do an awesome event, Rachael and Craig always do. But I was suprised by how much I loved the comaraderie of a "girl" event. I'd often scoffed at girl-centric events like Nike Women's Marathon, Race for the Cure, the Disney Princess races. They seemed too cute, too PINK. Frankly I'd never had done the Moon Walk if it wasn't one of the Guerilla events, but I knew it'd be more about "girl power" than cute. And it was.
For those who don't do these kind of events, runners and walkers are a very welcoming and supportive community. What other sport cheers on the person in last place as much as the person in first? Where else do the best athletes shout encouragement at the others? That happens all the time in running races.
Walking on to the field last night I did see way too much pink for my taste. But I also saw so many women of all shapes and sizes and abilities and it occurred to me that in the safety of the women-only event many of the beginners and slower people felt comfortable in a way they wouldn't if there were guys around. Many people, including me & my companions, were dressed up for the event. We saw all variety of tutus, running skirts, crowns, dresses. It was fun to be silly girls and enjoy checking out everyone's outfits. What I liked best is it really lacked that frantic competitive energy that the shorter distance races in particular often bring out. No intense looking guys stretching or running strides to warm up. There were fast women in the race of course but no sense like they were going so fast they'd knock you out of the way. Even the leaders were smiling while they passed us on the out and back. The best way to describe it is it just had a different vibe, a laid back, supportive, we're girls and we are kicking butt AND looking cute kind of vibe. And it was awesome!