An entirely new meaning for the term “drag race”
And to think I thought I’d seen it all. But no! Because those fine folks at the Fox River Trail Runners, the largest local running club, managed to come up with a concept that, once again, proves that truth is a far stranger proposition than fiction can ever possibly hope to be.
As a former member, I’m still on the club’s email list and their latest missive covered the return of the “She Runs the Fox” 5K run on May 19 in Batavia. Apparently the race was previously a female only endeavor which begs the very basic question, “Why?”
Just as it is with any marathon, 5K race results are broken down by gender and age group so everyone has a fair shot at winning a medal. And despite this old man doing reasonably well in his older male category, I’m always impressed by the 35- to 40-year-old females who barely break a sweat running 6:30 – 7:30 minute miles.
They frequently place in the top three overall racers and they certainly crush my personal best 7:45 mile pace. So, I’ll ask the question again, “Why a female-only race?”
From a purely economical standpoint it automatically cuts your “customer” base in half which makes it a particularly peculiar decision for a race intended to benefit a charity like Mutual Ground.
Then there’s The First Ward’s traditional “flip-it” test, which makes it sound even worse. To wit, if the FRTR substituted “men,” or god forbid, “Caucasian” for the word “women?” Those 5Ks r wouldn’t go over very well, now would they? And if your event can’t survive that flip-it test, it probably wasn’t a good idea to begin with.
While the women-only concept is mildly questionable, leave it to the well-intentioned Trail Runners to go completely off the “woke” deep end. This year, they will allow males to participate in the She Runs the Fox race, but only if those intrepid gentlemen abide one of two “rules.”
The first is that they’ll have to start ten minutes behind the women and those 600 seconds will be tacked on to their total race time. That bizarre “gotcha” automatically eliminates the top male contenders who compete for the best overall times in the FRTR annual “circuit” races, because that ten minutes will drop you out of contention by default.
Applying our flip-it modality one more time, what if these race organizers held an event where they provided the poor delicate distaff darlings with a ten-minute head start? Now it doesn’t sound so good, does it? I’m sure their female membership would not be amused.
But that absurdity pales in comparison to the alternative race rule. In their own words:
…unless you would like to start with the women but then you will need to “dress” up. A skirt, heels, whatever you would like but it needs to be “female appropriate” and also has to be approved by the judges of She Runs The Fox!
Yes! You read that correctly. So, now you fully understand our titular stipulation that this 5K gives a whole new meaning to the term “drag race.”
Going back to our fictional ten-minute female handicapped 5K, imagine the furor that would erupt if the race organizers declared that the women could start back with the men, but only if they got out their overly tight sports bras and donned all manner of male garb.
It wouldn’t be pretty – on more than one level – would it?
As is always the case. in an effort to determine what the bleep they were thinking, or more likely, what they weren’t thinking, I reached out to the FRTR president and vice president for some sort of explanation for this farce, but alas, none was forthcoming.
Illinois is, indeed, the place where bad ideas go to flourish.
On a positive Kane County note!
With the pile of defunct and obsolete electronic devices threatening to take over the basement, a peril that besets most middle-class households these days, I reached out to the Kane County Recycling Department to learn a little bit more about their new permanent site on Fabyan Parkway just east of Route 25 in Batavia.
And I was fortunate enough to have the eminently pleasant and abundantly knowledgeable brand-spanking-new KC Recycling Coordinator, Clair Ryan, pick up the phone and enthusiastically enlighten me as to the electronics and all other recycling possibilities.
I know what you’re thinking. “A cheerful, knowledgeable, and abundantly helpful County employee?” It actually happens more often than you think!
So, with those electronics and a few overly well used cookbooks in tow, I headed off to that Fabyan location only to be greeted by a friendly gentleman who not only helped me unload the truck, but dutifully returned my boxes so they could be applied to further recycling efforts.
Aside from computer monitors and TVs, which require a $25 to $50 recycling fee, you can drop off all manner of washers, household aerosols, clothing, shoes, books, and scrap metal, all free of charge.
I would encourage you to refer to the County’s website for the specific details about what is and isn’t accepted, and Kane maintains similar sites in Aurora, West Dundee and Elburn. For reference purposes, the Elburn center only takes electronics.
I don’t know about you, but I used to dread the long lines inevitably involved in hauling a load of electronics to the former once-a-month recycling event behind the Branch Court building. But fear not, Dear Reader, because dropping that stuff off at the Batavia was a piece of cake. I was in and out in less than five minutes.
While I can certainly – and correctly – be Kane County government’s biggest critic, it’s a lot more fun to say something positive about that gaggle every now and then.
Meanwhile, I would certainly encourage each and every one of you to take advantage of these unique and abundantly simple recycling opportunities.
On an even more positive note!
Journalism doesn’t typically work like this, but I have to say that those rare instances where the written word swiftly restores balance to the force are always beyond encouraging.
It’s in that very infrequent vein that I’m pleased to inform you the Geneva D304 School District will no longer be participating in this year’s Illinois Youth Survey. If you recall, last week’s two-part First Ward series took on this overly progressive initiative that, among other things, teaches our children to be better and more efficient drug users.
As is always the case in these regards, the real credit goes to the parents who, once aware of this stilted survey, opted their children out in the kind of numbers that forced D304 to scuttle the whole sad mess.
Though this victory is certainly cause for a few high fives, we can’t allow it to lull us into a false sense of security. We must maintain a continuing vigilance or school districts will try to slip the survey back in when they think no one’s looking – along with any number of other fascinatingly “woke” Illinois progressive measures.
But for now, I want to thank those D304 administrators, who in the end, made the right decision here. It may not happen very often, but on rare occasion, sanity does prevail, even in the Land of Lincoln.