One of the perks of China taking over the world is the increase in low-cost novelty hats. Recently, while looking for birthday present in a Chinese shop for someone who doesn’t mind getting presents of no real value or use, I discovered a wolf hat amongst the Best Aunt certificates and grammatically incorrect educational posters.
It was majestic. It was like any other hat except it had a giant wolf head on it and it was tastefully decorated with long legs that dangle over your ears that end in paws that you can put your hands in. These legs can also be wrapped up and doubled as a scarf. Naturally, it was the best R60 I’ve ever spent.
Last Sunday was the Cape Town Marathon. I checked the weather forecast: overcast, strong winds and a chance of heavy rains. Perfect conditions for wolf hats.
The Cape Town Marathon has been around since 2007 and aims to align itself with international Big City marathons. It has a 10km option – a flat, steady race that provides an opportunity to hit a personal best. Plus you get a medal at the end that says “Cape Town Marathon” instead of “Cape Town 10km.” That’s an extra 32 kilometres worth of bragging rights for free. I chose this option.
On Sunday I made my way to the starting line wearing a pair of Newton Gravity shoes on my feet for a quick run with high energy return and less impact, and the head of a wolf on my head for intimidation tactics.
Looking around, I could see there was a definite lack of tomfoolery in the dress code. Unless everyone was dressed up in polyshorts for a laugh and I just wasn’t in on it. I managed to spot a guy in a kimono but he was an Asian so it was difficult to tell whether he was being ironic or just kicking it in his recreational clothes.
Above: Every self-respecting wolf knows the importance of stretching quads before a race. Denim cut-offs are mandatory.
It was clear that while I might not be the first to cross the finish line, I would be the first to do so dressed as a wolf. Choosing to run as a wolf says a lot about one’s personality. It says: “Hey, I like to have a good time but I also like to disembowel my victims with my razor-sharp incisors.” Which is the perfect happy-go-bloodthirsty attitude that’s often overlooked in running – along with tomfoolery – these days.
There was a bit of confusion amongst participants to what animal I was. A few giggling runners were convinced I was a bunny rabbit and a traffic cop blocking the road was pretty sure I was a husky. Either that or he was describing my voice.
“Run for the hills, old man! Who’s your bunny rabbit now?!”
I overtook a group of girls and one said, “Imagine how hot that guy is!” Before I could think of something to say – or at least offer a front view to confirm or deny her assumption – I realised she was talking about me overheating under my faux fur, so I just mopped my brow and carried on, wolfishly. Fortunately it started raining just after I finished and all the runners without wolf hats had to deal with miserable weather.
If you’re not considering running for a time at the Gun Run next month, I recommend you do it as a panda or a moose. Street cred is just a Chinese shop away.
ps. Sorry about mauling that kid dressed as a sheep. I was still in character. You can’t expect me to turn those sort of emotions off immediately.