Fab or Not; Which Runner Are You?
My fascination for running is not limited to the physical challenge it offers and the resilience of the runner’s spirit to respond accordingly. Another aspect of running that piques my interest involves the shallower side that is more visual than profound – the running outfit.
I don’t consider myself a very particular person fashion wise; neither am I sloppy. I like to dress comfortably for the rigor of a sport activity like running, but comfortably fashionable that is. But trying to dress oneself from head to foot with cool outfit from major brands that specializes in providing top of the line, technical running wear can be quite expensive for a rank-and-file earner like me. Thus a lot of times cool running fashion is, for me, more of wishful thinking than reality. This does not stop me though from spying, criticizing and admiring other runners’ diverse outfits ranging from sloppy to cool, gaudy to streamlined and outré to fantabulous!
I have divided runners and their signature wear into these categories:
- The Wako Kebs – This is the kind of look where the runner uses what is readily available in their closet – the comfy cotton shirt and shorts. The familiarity is like a comfort food and the look is very versatile in a sense that this can be used as stay-at-home get up, gardening and buying-suka-in-the-suking-tindahanwear.
- The Carry Natori– With the Wakokebs , they comprise the bulk of the fun runners. This is because you need not spend a fortune in this kind of wear. They wear the standard issue singlet that they have paid for in their registration fee and regular running shorts with no prestigious name tag attached. Their running mantra is that they came to run and have fun and go home; no frills no anything, just fun running.
- The Brande Dako– This look can be very deceiving. It looks very simple consisting of what you would expect the regular runners to use: shirts (either sleeved or singlet) and shorts (ranging from almost-elite-runner-short shorts to cycling types). Take note though this very simple look can be very expensive if you happen to see that swoosh symbol or the three stripes somewhere conspicuous yet daintily printed.
- The Burl Loloid– A little something is sometimes added to the getup like compression socks and/or sleeves, a cap or visor with shades, hydration and/or race belt, and certain gadgets like iPods, mp3 players, and gps/pedometers usually in an armband complete this look. The techie runners fall under this category.
- The Eli Tista – I don’t mean those coming from exclusive subdivisions in McKinley Road but runners who have been pounding the streets for the longest time and have been into rigorous training before mortals realized their respective bodies are made for running – the elite runners. They wear the most minimal and the most efficient running outfit of all. Foremost in their purpose in achieving is speed and comfort. Usually this consists of very skimpy split type shorts (in local running lingo – nyort nyorts) and singlet, nothing more and, I believe, no lesser can it go.
- The Team Players– The ones very loyal to their running groups that they don’t forget to represent and promote them by wearing team uniforms during races.
- The Ekis Tighters–I call them Ekis because of the humongous X, a brand symbol actually, emblazoned over these runners’ compression running wear. This is very expensive with simple tights costing more than 5 thousand pesos so those in this category usually have all the bucks to burn. Though ideal for long runs like half or full marathon, many short distance runners are seen sporting this look more for fashion and comfort than the gear’s purported use. Ika nga pro porma. Add to this list those cycling shorts, leggings and tights lovers not necessarily that X brand.
- The MIB– This is the variation to the Ekis. Not contented with just one piece of compression clothing, MIBs would add compression shirts into the equation. Since this uber expensive wear usually comes in black color, these runners have an all-black theme to their look. Thus the name I made for them.
- The Sikip Medjazzers– I have compressed nay grouped those who have a penchant for anything and everything tight – calf sleeves, arm sleeves and compression socks that is – into this one. Add to this mix are those emulating compression socks using football socks just for the fad of it (me included!).
- The Topless Churva– Need I expound more? These are the male runners (well so far I haven’t seen lady runners doing so if that is even permitted) so proud of their abs and pecs that they want to show them off during races. Well, if you have it, flaunt it!
- The Tri Tryers– Triathletes are increasing in numbers and they can’t help it joining running races in their trisuits!
- The Talam Fakan– The barefoot runners are in this group. They would rather go bare than shod. I have respect for this group. They want to be free from restrictions. To relieve pain, they go the painful route!
- The CosPlayers – If you happen to see superman and the bunch of super heroes running with mortals or a drag queen mixing sweat with foundation and glittery eyelashes, don’t take a second look, they are runners who want something more out of their running experience than just running. Some might call the KSPs or kulang sa pansin or even out-of-this-world, but for them, combining fun with running is the very essence of what a “fun run” should be – a welcome diversion to the monotony of a repetitive leg movement, the overly used routes and the putrid smell of the cumulative sweat.
- The Fabulous Running Divas – I consider this category not based more on outfit than attitude. The best example is the flamboyant Madam Tessa Prieto. Many would want to pretend as one but only a few deserve to be called such. Need I say more? In short, kami lang yun – echoz!
No one runner is the same as we are all unique creatures. But our fashion sense, which can be dictated by efficient marketing strategy of major running brands, celebrity endorsements, peer pressure, etc., can become quite homogenously boring. Hopefully we can find some manifestation of our individuality even in the running outfits that we regularly use by not following and hampered by what is fashionable and/or “normal”. Afterall, I firmly believe we all have our inner “abnoys” that can be both comforting and exciting. So nourish that and let it shine!