See photos from the 2012 17th Street High Heel Race.
From Rachel Nania and Luis Gomez. Check out Nania’s blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir, follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com. Catch Gomez’s photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.
What does it take to win DC’s Annual High Heel Race? According to this year’s winner, it takes an “aerodynamic” leopard-print jumpsuit, four-inch bootie heels and collegiate mid-and-long-distance running experience.
Despite Hurricane Sandy’s wrath and havoc this week, the High Heel Race prevailed in its 26th year. Everyone — from young families, to Mayor Vincent Gray and the city’s best-dressed drag queens — came to 17th Street to cheer on the runners and participate in the Halloween-week tradition.
And while this year’s winner, Inertia, took training seriously (the contestant was a former competitive runner in college and was “born in heels”), most participants came for a leisurely evening of costume and festivities (and some jogging).
“We just came to do our princess wave,” said Princess Celestia, a local resident who has been dressing up for the race for six years and prefers to casually participate in the race. “We’re just here to have people to cheer us on.”
Borderstan resident Lee Granados watched from the sidelines with her family. “We’ve been coming as a family since the race started,” she explained.
Costumes ranged from princesses, to witches (one from the West and three from Hocus Pocus), butterflies, Greek gods, vampires, dark angels and even the coral reef (think lots of colorful balloons).
As you can imagine, not all of the evening’s costumes were easy to run in.
“Miss Butterfly,” who competed on Thursday night for the seventh year, explained that her costume (a intricate headpiece made of monarch butterflies) took “several late evenings to construct.” Another participant, “Fannie Rice” happily danced to “Gangnam Style” in a detailed Asian-inspired costume, topped with a golden waving kitty.
So what, then, carried Inertia, a Columbia Heights resident and first-time participant, across the finish line so easily? “Oh, I was running on my toes the whole time, girl!”
Photos of the Day are pulled from the Borderstan Reader Photos pool on Flickr.
If you don’t already have a Flickr account, you will need to sign up for one, and then join the Borderstan Reader Photos group. Already a Flickr member? Join the group! You can submit up to five photos per day in the Borderstan reader pool. We are looking for photos from D.C.’s Dupont, Logan and U Street neighborhoods.
How time flies. The annual 17th Street Halloween High Heel Race is only week away: Tuesday, October 27. Starting time is 9 p.m., but 17th Street north of P Street will begin filling up between 6 and 7 p.m.
In what appears to be an historic change (yes, I’ve attended a few), the race course is reversed this year, with the contestants running south. The race will start at R Street and end at Church Street in front of JR’s Bar & Grill. The course is 0.2 miles–1/5 of a mile–in case you are thinking of donning a pair of heels and finding out just how fast you can run.
The Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets (HDCMS) program is the designated beneficiary this year. According to HDCMS Executive Director Paul Williams, the group has created a roped off VIP area at the finish line at Church Street “for those that wish to arrive as late as 30 minutes before the event for a secured, prime viewing area! Ticket holders will also receive a Bar Fast Pass to head directly in front of any lines at JR’s, Cobalt, and 30 Degrees following the event.”
The VIP section is limited to 50 ticket holders at $40 per person, and there are apparently some tickets left. Williams estimates a crowd of more than 15,000–an estimate I find entirely believable.
The annual Halloween High Heel Race, the original creation of JR’s Bar and Grill, is next Tuesday, October 28. I have lived in DC for almost 16 years and remember when this was mostly a neighborhood event. Not so anymore.
In fact, my partner and I sometimes don’t go because the crowds are simply too big and it is almost impossible to navigate your way through the thousands of revelers on 17th Street NW between Church and R, let alone see the costumes or the actual race. (Or perhaps I have just become a middle-aged old poop.) Still, it’s a good time and we are hoping for nice weather for next Tuesday evening.
You KNOW that what was formerly an event for the neighborhood and DC’s gay community has gone truly mainstream when the Washington Post lists the event in its City Guide of things-to-do. If you need more proof, this year’s sponsor is the Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets Program, the beneficiary of this year’s proceeds, according to the Washington City Paper.
Here’s the Post listing for 2008:
Traditionally held on the Tuesday before Halloween, this annual neighborhood event features elaborately costumed drag queens racing down 17th Street (from Q to Church streets) and attracts a large crowd eager to cheer them on.
The race begins at 9, but the real fun takes place before the main event, as the contestants parade up and down the race course showing off their outfits.
To get a street-side seat at an on-course cafe like JR’s or the Fox & Hounds, stake out your spot by 6. (There’s plenty of space along the sidewalk, though crowds often block the view.) The informal block party continues long after the last Mary Jane (size 13 EE) crosses the finish line.
The Police Service Area (PSA) 208 held its monthly meeting Tuesday last night, October 21, at the 3rd District headquarters on V Street NW. The meeting was led by Sgt. John MacDonald, PSA 208. Below is a quick summary of the major topics of discussion.
- Lt. Roland Hoyle, PSA 208
- Officer Stephen Fletcher, PSA 208 Community Outreach Officer; E-mail to [email protected]
- Rob Halligan, community safety activist
- Sol Levine, Neighborhood Network 208 Administrator
- Phil Conradt, Senior Engagement Manager, Roam Secure (DC Police Alert system)
- Community members
- Overall crime in PSA 208 was down 9% from the same month last year.
- Overall violent crime in PSA 208 was down 24% from the same moth last year.
- 21 of 39 Robberies in MPD’s Second District took place in PSA 208; 10 of those were in Borderstan.
- Robbery Excluding Gun in PSA 208; 8 took place in Borderstan.
- Robbery with Gun in PSA 208; 2 took place in Borderstan.
Community Outreach Officer
A newly created position, Community Outreach Officer, has been filled by Officer Steven Fletcher. Prior to his police career, he worked in the communication field for a bank. Fletcher is available to answer questions and provide community safety training and education.
The annual High Heel Race this Tuesday, October 28, on 17th Street NW, will have 22 extra officers detailed to help with crowd control.