When we found out about an event with the tag line of ‘Possibly the silliest fun run in the world’ we just had to be there so for the second time in four days (after doing the Blindfold run https://quirkyraces.com/2016/11/08/blindfold-run-2016/) Chris made the 180 mile round trip to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London to take on the Where is Willy run.
It’s all too common in this day and age for race organisers to lay claim to being the biggest, the best, the toughest etc. but in practice they rarely back their audacious claims up. This time however I can safely say it will take some doing to find a sillier run than this one.
After a drive that took me nearly three hours in the Wednesday evening rush hour traffic I was in real danger of missing the 7.15pm cut off for registration. A flat out sprint from car park to venue ensured I made it by the skin of my teeth and before I knew it I was standing in a room with several other fully grown adults being helped by volunteers into a giant inflatable penis suit.
Going outside to the start line and seeing over 100 others all dressed the same with the iconic bright lights of the Olympic stadium and the skyline of Canary Wharf twinkling in the background was one of the most surreal moments I’ve ever had.
As we all waited on this cold November evening for the warm up to begin there was a strange feeling amongst the participant. Where I expected smiles and laugher instead I saw lots of surprised and shocked faces and looks of disbelieve at the realisation that this was actually happening.
This soon changed though as we were firstly reminded by an Orchid charity workers of why we were doing this, which was to raise awareness for male cancer, and then some loud upbeat music began and an enthusiastic personal trainer got everyone cheering and dancing around which was a hilarious sight to see.
Even more amusing was the start as a mass of willies wobbled towards the velodrome on the opening section of the first of two 1.2km laps.
We then headed over the first bridge with several passers by staring on in amazement at what they were surprisingly witnessing as the eager marshals waved us in the right direction using torches on the part of the course which wasn’t well lit.
Going across the adjacent bridge was where you could really appreciate the city lights sparkling in the distance making this run even more special before we veered left to complete the first lap.
As I ran round the second and last lap I had mixed feelings. I was having so much fun that I wanted it to go on for longer but at the same time I was looking forwards to finishing as the suit was tough to run in as leg movement was restricted and it was also very hot inside.
I crossed the finish line to receive the most unique medal I ever expect to earn. Never did I think I’d win an award with a picture of a penis on it! I was also given a goody bag with a selection of items in, the most interesting being a Willy shaped whistle. All participants were also able to keep their costume. I’m not sure where I will find use for it again but that in itself must have been worth more than the £15 entry fee.
This run was truly bonkers. Light hearted fun with a very serious message being put across at the same time in a clever way. This was the first time the charity has put on this event but we’ve been told it won’t be the last so look out for it again next year and join the craziness.
Here’s our event video: https://www.facebook.com/Quirkyraces/videos/1799005840342385/
You can find out more able Orchid – Male Cancer Charity here: