Are you an unmotivated runner? Do you enter races only to apathetically walk your way across the finish line? Maybe that’s because you aren’t being chased by a horde of screaming men! At least, that’s the thinking behind the SkirtChaser Race Series. In these events — sponsored by SkirtSports, creator of “the original fitness skirt” — women are outfitted in skirts, given a head start on the 5K race and then men, or rather “SkirtChasers,” are sent after them; the first man or woman to cross the finish line wins $500. SkirtSports guarantees it’s the “most fun you’ve ever had while working out” — unless, of course, you’ve taken a Mardi Gras jog through the French Quarter clad only in beads!
I know what you’re thinking: “That sounds great, but I don’t want to leave my children out of this wacky ‘n’ wild time.” Good news: There’s also a “Mini Chase” for little girls and
Oh, I’m just being a humorless feminist, right? As the SkirtChaser Web site puts it, it’s simply an “edgy” and “innovative” way to exercise. But this is entirely routine — “edgy” and “innovative” would be putting men in skirts and having women chase after them.
Don’t get me wrong, the event is relatively harmless — I just happen to find it tasteless and immature. Take the SkirtChaser Web site; it features an animated graphic of a woman’s silhouette — hands behind her head, hip popped to the side — followed by text reading “Catch Me If You Can,” and a man running full-force ahead. They even call the women’s phase of the race the “Catch Me” wave. (Nya-nya, you want me, but you can’t have me!) It all suggests a sort of pseudo-feminist pleasure in wielding one’s lady-powers over drooling men while, ostensibly, expecting to be taken as a serious athlete and competitor.