2008 Washington, DC High Heel Race

From politicians to pop stars, there is not much you won’t see at the annual High Heel Race in Washington, D.C.

For twenty-two years on the Tuesday before Halloween, 17th street near Dupont Circle is closed down for a foot race like nothing I have ever seen before. When I first heard about this race several years ago, my initial reaction was whether I could enter. I thought I stood a pretty good chance at anything involving shoes. I’m also pretty fast, as I spent most of my childhood outrunning my earthworm-toting cousins. My hopes were quickly dashed, though, as I realized this was a male-only race. The prizes vary by year, but the stiletto trophy is what all racers truly covet.

Being an election year, Sarah Palin and Michelle Obama were adequately represented, and it really wouldn’t be a High Heel Race without at least one Britney Spears. I remember several years ago Britney, KFed, and a baby carriage all made an appearance. It’s truly amazing some of the sights you’ll see: DC is home to some very talented drag queens! However, while the costumes are phenomenal, what never ceases to amaze me is how fast these men can move in heels! The racers don’t wear little kitten heels either; most participants wear platforms that would make any Spice Girl jealous.

Faster and perhaps funnier than the tried and true drag queens are the average Steve Slingbacks that run the race. I’ve seen plenty of girls that can barely walk in 3 inch heels much less run a race. I think there is a lesson to take from this: perhaps before we try walking in heels, we need to master sprinting in stilettos!

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October 2008
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