Given my forever love for running, one of the first questions people ask about my boyfriend, Eric, is if he is a runner. Strike that, they first ask how we met, THEN they ask if he runs. Of all the questions that someone could ask about a significant other, it’s quite high up on the list. I’ve always had an affinity for dating runners since it’s such a large part of my life, and Eric is the first serious boyfriend (whatever that means?) that hasn’t been a runner. YIKES. However, it’s been almost two years, so I suppose it’s working out, ha.
One day I’ll write a post about the benefits of dating a non-runner (holding my sweatpants so I don’t have to throw them away, texting my mom to tell her I’m still alive, etc. etc.), but that’s not what this post is about.
Eric is not a runner, and I’ve never actually tried to make him one. However, awhile ago he promised he would run a 5k. I did not prompt this, I did not ask for this – it was actually his idea! Then we got into a mess of him preparing to move here, moving here, then OMG WINTER IS COLD. I hardly wanted to run in it let alone a guy who doesn’t own pants worthy of running in 20 degree weather. He still kept saying he’d run a 5k…some day.
In the meantime, I was scrolling through Instagram and some elephants caught my eye. (This is relevant, stick with me!) I follow the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust account to get my daily fill of cuteness, as they generally post daily baby elephant pictures. If that doesn’t give you a boost, I don’t know what will. However, this elephant picture stopped me in my Instagram-scrolling tracks:
People in elephant costumes? Running? WHAT IS THIS? TELL ME MORE. I clicked through and found out that the DSWT does a fundraising 5k/10k in order to raise money for their elephant orphanage in Nairobi. I actually visited the orphanage when I was in Africa in 2012…but apparently I’m the worst blogger ever and never finished blogging about my trip. This is sad since the baby elephants were definitely worthy of their own post, and that’s right when I stopped! Fail. (Here’s a post about patrol week with the elephant voluntourism part of my trip…lots of elephant pictures!) Just so you don’t totally miss out, here are some pictures:
Elephants on parade!
How could you not love them??
Gatsby saying hi.
The gist of the DSWT is to save elephants that have been orphaned as a result of poaching, raise the elephants, and release them back out into the wild. This takes years because elephants are dependent on their mother’s milk for so long. (DSWT has a special formula they make. The elephants hold their own bottles once they’re old enough. It’s adorable.) They’ve had wildly amazing success, and it definitely aids in the dwindling elephant population. And baby elephants are sooooooo cute.
Basically, it’s a great cause. Especially if you love elephants, which you may assume I do since I carry around a stuffed elephants wherever I go.
So back on track here. I researched the 5k/10k that appears to be run while wearing an elephant costume and was a little disheartened when I found out that it’s only in England. It’s called the Enormous Elephant Run and is indeed run while wearing an elephant costume. After polling Facebook about the ridiculousness of buying a plane ticket to London to run a 5k, I decided it wouldn’t be the worst idea I’ve ever had. After some plans I had hoped for fell through, I decided even more so that it would be a go. (Especially after I learned you get to keep the elephant costume. Um, done deal?)
Full circle back to Eric – obviously he wasn’t going to miss out on a travel opportunity (and I wouldn’t miss out on a travel buddy). Before deciding to go, we joked about his first 5k being run in an elephant costume………..and yet here we are! So yes, in June, Eric and I are flying to London for a long, long weekend in London. And we will be running a 5k in an elephant costume. (I pondered the 10k, but we weren’t so sure Eric would get up to that level so quick, and given my current injured state, a 5k might be a better idea for both of us.) The downside is that the 5k isn’t timed, which might be for the better, but it also means that I can’t set an elephant costume PR.
Of course, this is a fundraising event, and I hate asking people for money. (I was bad at selling Girl Scout cookies, if you that gives you any idea…) However, although we paid an entry fee, they would like us to raise 200 pounds each (give me enough Girl Scout cookies and it might happen, har har…). So, if you feel so moved to donate to save the baby elephants, you can do so at my Enormous Elephant Run fundraising page. Any gift is welcome and much appreciated, and Gatsby certainly thanks you even more.
Annnnd back to Eric. We headed over to the local Jack Rabbit running store so he could get fitted for shoes. I tried to hold back my opinion and just ask him what he thought felt best. He ran in a bunch of different brands, and he ended up picking the Brooks Adrenaline. Be still, my beating heart! My first love in running shoes. Eric sure knows how to pick them.
Eric downloaded the Couch to 5k app, which he’s modifying a bit since we’re on a time crunch…and he may not have run too much while on vacation. Oops. I do admit I’m seriously jealous on the couple times he’s headed out to run while I’m…not running. Role reversal at its finest. I don’t know if this running thing will stick – Eric always talks about his knees hurting, so we’ll see how that goes – but this will certainly make for an interesting first race.
Have you ever run in costume before? I need tips. Also, any tips on things to do/see/eat while in London – last time I was there was nearly ten years ago, yikes!