Saturday, May 14, 2011

Fair Play: A mini-skirt division? Are you nuts?

I’M excited for today’s Sundown Run because I want to know whether the report filed about the event a few days ago was really all about the event or it included a belated April Fools’ Day joke.

One detail got cut in the report, but today’s run is supposed to include—hold your breath please—a mini-skirt division for women.

Yep, a mini-skirt division in a run that starts at sundown.

“Are they nuts?” That was my first reaction, too.

Then, I thought, that maybe I’m a tad too old-fashioned, or out-of-fashion to be accurate, because the picture that came into my mind when I read about the mini-skirt division, which supposedly hopes to encourage women to run in mini-skirts, were those unfortunate sales ladies in one women’s boutique, which, as college students, we’d regularly visit. (You’d have to excuse us, we were bored college students.)

Mini-skirt running? Can you even run in a mini-skirt? Or is there a new sports-mini-skirt out there in the market that I have no idea about?

I think the only people I saw run in mini-skirt were the girls who hang out in front of our office who scampered when their clients turned out to be cops.

The sundown mini-skirt division also reminds me of a move by the international body for badminton, requiring women to wear skirts in matches. Short of calling the bosses perverts, the women have all blasted the move.

You have to hand it to the race organizers (I have yet to confirm though, whether they are just bored college students), there are so many runs out there that they are racking their brains to make their own events, unique.

Hence, the mini-skirt division. Bravo!

What’s next?

A wet t-shirt contest? Running backwards? Running in heels? A naked midnight run? A round girls run? A literally round girls run? A special division for those who claim they’re one of the mistresses of this famous boxer?

I think organizers these days are too worried about making their runs unique, and marketable, that they are wasting too much time and resources on these marketing ploys.

So to other race organizers, to spare you the time coming up with ways to make your runs unique, here are a few unique ideas:

1.) Deliver what you promise. If you say you are going to release singlets at 12:10 p.m. on a Monday, make sure you do. It’s unique because almost all runs, Great or small, fail in this aspect.

2.) Give every finisher a certificate. If you can afford additional prizes in a mini-skirt division, surely you can afford handing out certificates to everybody, right?

3.) Make yourself accessible to the media. Trust me on this one. The first two points may be based on first-hand experience, but for this third point? I know this will really make your run really unique.

If you rely on the media to spread the word of your event, then the best thing is for you to be accessible.

Answer the reporters’ calls and questions. Don’t take that they’ll-cover-my-event-because-I-am-me or they’ll-cover-my-event-because-I-assigned-them-a-van-and-gave-them-free-shirts-and-slots attitude.

Your run may not be the only run that day, and, more importantly, running isn’t the only event the guys who write about running, cover in a single day.

4.) Sleep on it. If ever you have that brilliant light-bulb moment when you think you have come up with a unique concept such as a mini-skirt division, for the love of god, sleep on it, please!

Like I said, I’m excited for today’s run. I could be wrong, as I’ve been a few times before. But, I could be right.

Sexism in sports is an ugly reality. Let’s not add to it, shall we?

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