The Night Owl has demonstrated that people can sometimes make strange decisions. For those who still, doubt, however, I present the London Sumo Run.
It was held for three successive years in London, England, on behalf of Link Community Development, International, a charity devoted to helping develop living conditions in sub-Saharan Africa.
Roughly 140 runners participated in the first event, in 2013. They took a 5K “fun run” through Battersea Park…while dressed in inflatable sumo wrestler suits.
That’s right. A bunch of British people dressed up as Japanese stereotypes to help raise money for Africans. This may be the event most designed to befuddle those who level casual charges of racism.
It was likely inspired by a similar charity event held yearly in Japan, the Fukuoka Sumo Run. That one features Japanese people dressing up as Japanese stereotypes to raise money for Japanese people, though. Because, well, Japan.
But, not to be outdone on the very small stage of “charity runners opening them up to dubious charges of racism”, the Americans have fielded their own entry: the Denver Gorilla Run.
This will be the fifteenth year for the annual charity run, which raises money to help the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund. Through every recent controversy of someone being offended by being compared to a monkey and through every recent controversy of some lowlife actually making a racist comment to that effect, it’s been going strong. It’s collected thousands of dollars for the charity and a good time has generally been had by all.
Mostly because it’s run in October, so they’re not sweating to death in the gorilla costumes.
Question of the night, in honor of the sumo: What’s the most unusual sport or competition you’ve enjoyed watching?