For many years I thought a horse race was a pretty bullshit reason to have a public holiday. Then in my late 20s it moved from often chilly and rainy May to March (conveniently also around the time of my birthday) for better weather. Ironically for the first few years it was pushing 40 degrees which wasn’t exactly ideal racing weather (and at that stage I wasn’t even thinking about the horses!)
Around the time Adelaide Cup moved to March I decided it would be a good idea to go. And I must admit it was a great day out – a good excuse to frock up and drink champagne during the day! I actually wasn’t really interested in the racing part. I did put bets on but just ‘cos, well, ‘when in Rome’.
One time my friend Tracie and I made the trek (actually a ferry ride – kind of a tough trek across the sea!) to the Kangaroo Island Cup. It was the first time I’d ever been there, so we tried to cram in a fair bit of sightseeing. One observation I made very early on was that vegetarian food was not exactly easy to come by. (I hadn’t made the jump to vegan at that stage)
The weather had been pretty crap in the week leading up to race day, with a lot of rain (very unusual for February which is traditionally our hottest month) and to our surprise, as we boarded the bus in all our finery to head to the racecourse, we were told the races were cancelled due to unsafe track conditions. But everything else was still going ahead so we decided to still go. After all, that was the main reason we had come to KI!
It was actually a really great day. The lack of horses in no way reduced my enjoyment!
Then, vegan happened, and along with it, the realisation that horse racing is not a thing I want to have any involvement with. But, I still like to dress up and drink champers in the daytime! What to do?
What about HUMAN races instead of horse races? People can still bet on those… on second thoughts, maybe we should just stick with sweeps. Betting on human sport is a slippery slope and a recipe for dodginess!
So, this week I turned 40, and as part of my epic weekend of celebrations I decided to have a trail run on Adelaide Cup day, and call it Not The Adelaide Cup. I would encourage people to frock up (yes, even the guys!), we’d have champagne, and a ‘Fashions on the Trail’ competitions. Also because my actual birthday party was necessarily a very tiny event and I wanted to have a celebration that could include everyone who wanted to come!
Before I’d even started planning (beyond what I said above), I was contacted by Katie, my fellow runner and ‘head shaver’ about maybe organising a fundraising trail run with dress ups. I told her about my idea for my birthday run, and suggested maybe we could combine the two?
I organised 3 prizes for best dressed – vouchers from everyone’s favourite specialist running store, ‘The Running Company’. There would be one for best dressed female, one for best dressed male, and one for best dressed male in a dress. Because, it wouldn’t be fair on the girls to have to compete with a guy in a dress! And not fair for the guys in suits!
It was a pretty cool morning and there was a bit of light drizzle but a small group of exceptionally well dressed punters turned up to celebrate!
Most of us ended up walking but a few ran (in their frocks!) A couple of them, Michelle and Bec, had already done some hill repeats (in normal running kit) before we even started!
At Long Ridge lookout we posed for photos with one of the best views in Adelaide while we waited for fellow organiser Katie, who was coming up with the refreshments!
One of the coolest things about the morning was the reactions of the random people who came up to the lookout, probably expecting a bit of serenity, and encountered our colourful and very LOUD bunch! While we were dancing there were a lot of people taking photos on their phones – I’m sure they were thinking, “No-one is going to believe this!” One guy, Nick, was celebrating his birthday – we had way too much champers for our little bunch, so we happily shared with the randoms (and most of them happily accepted!) Some of them even joined in the dancing!
What a brilliant way to spend a morning! We definitely need to do this again!