Then my mom forwarded me an email from Groupon (most of which I largely ignore, but can't quite bring myself to unsubscribe from), because she knows me entirely too well.
IT'S AN UGLY SWEATER 5K.
Oh, the joy that spread in my heart when I saw this. At first I was afraid that it was going to be on the same day as one of my other 5Ks but the fates smiled upon me and it's actually the week after the second one. It's a fun run, which means it's not timed, and since I'll have done two runs prior to this for the month, I'm not entirely opposed to the idea of walking/skipping/bounding excitedly through this one. Plus, they give you hot chocolate every mile. You can't run and drink hot chocolate at the same time. That seems like it would end badly.
The Ugly Sweater has become a cliche, but it's one that I embrace wholeheartedly. (You'll recall 2011's Ugly Sweater Contest, yes?) It reeks of hipsters but I don't even care. It's cheesy and funny and wonderful.
Image via Groupon
According to the race site, you get a custom vintage knit hat, lots of hot chocolate, two beers or hard ciders, and... a mustache, because mustaches are festive, apparently. ("If you can't grow one, we'll give you one.") There are also supposed to be hot chocolate stations along the route, snow blowers, Clark Griswold's yard, "reindeer games", a Santa inflatable, and holiday music all along the way. There are prizes for the best mustache and beard as well as worst/best sweaters (wait, what? Wouldn't the "worst" sweater technically be the best?). Last but not least, they are encouraging everyone to bring a toy to donate to Toys for Tots, which is incidentally also the charity that they are donating to.
To be honest, I was already on the sign up page before I even read through all of that. I was just kind of like OMG RUNNING AROUND IN UGLY SWEATERS THIS IS GOING TO BE HILARIOUS AND AWESOME AND GIMME GIMME GIMME. Then I was like, oh, what's this? free hat? free mustache? oh, there's their charity. Nifty! (Basically: it just kept getting better and better).
Of course, I have an ugly sweater tee, which is a bit snug because I've gotten fatter since I bought it (these things happen), so I might have to find a replacement. Top contenders abound, but I'm kind of being a cheapskate. This would be my ideal, if money weren't an object (it's about $55 which is... a bit much for something like this):
I regret not buying this hat last year, especially when it went on clearance and was like $5, because now they don't have it anymore:
Of course, these bad boys ARE still available, and I plan on making them mine:
I guess beyond that, I will need to accessorize. I wonder if I can find some cheap green pants or something. Maybe some Christmasy shades that aren't terribly expensive. As much ridiculous, tacky holiday adornment as I can find. It's gonna be great.
Here's their website, should you be keen on finding one in your area. Or you can come to Des Moines, because that should be your #1 destination of choice in November. (Hey, there's a 50/50 chance it won't have snowed yet. It could be 70 degrees and sunny or it could be 30 degrees with two feet of snow. There's no way of knowing! It's so wacky and unpredictable! Lolz!) No but seriously. You can even buy a Groupon for a $20 entry if you want. That's HALF THE PRICE for early registration. I don't even know if that's a legit referral link but I don't even caaaare. COME PRANCE AROUND IN RIDICULOUS MERRIMENT WITH ME!