As you know, the mascot changes every year, and is kept secret until the day before the race. For details on how the mascot is selected see the post from last year.
|2010 - Year of the Bunny|
- That year, we thought the best choice would be a deer.
- But we deduced that "The Conclave" was working their way through the animal kingdom and the next logical animal would be an opossum.
- This prediction did not pan out, as 2010 was the Year of the bunny.
|2011 - Year of the Tick|
- Last year, we considered opossum once again, as well as a snake and a horse.
- We went with Deer as our odds-on favorite due to its park presence.
- SometimesBareFoot Josh proved to be the expert mascotologist by correctly naming the Tick to be the 2011 mascot.
Here we are approaching the ninth running of the Umstead Marathon, and we have eight mascots behind us: Horse Fly, Flying Squirrel , Turtle, Fish, Turkey Vulture, Frog, Hare, and Tick. No obvious pattern has emerged, so we are left to judge potential candidates based on the following parameters::
Park Presence - How common is the animal in the park?
Runspiration - How much does the animal inspire a person to run?
Silhouettability - How well could the animal be made into a plaque?
Logotimidation - How cool would the mascot look on a t-shirt and a pint glass?
Intangibles- Has something similar been used before? Is it representative of the Umstead Experience?
Each quality will be judged quantitatively and scored on a scale of 1-10.
I took an informal poll on facebook and got a list of 10 candidates which I will review:
|Presence||In the summer? Oh yes. Not so much in the winter||8|
|Runspiration||Getting a face full of spiderweb can put a damper on a trail run.||2|
|Silhouettability||They managed to do the legs pretty well on the tick,|
but I'm not sure about another one with pipe cleaners
|Logotimidation||Could possibly usurp The Tick for coolest race shirt.|
I look forward to the day I can use these phases:
"Today I'm breaking out The Spider-Shirt"
"Pour me a cold one in my Spider-Pint"
|We just had an arachnid last year.||2|
|Presence||When you think about animals in Umstead, Deer are the first to come to mind.|
In 2008, the marathon briefly came to a halt as a herd stampeded across Graylyn.
|Runspiration||A deer flying through the woods is the ultimate trail runner||9|
|Silhouettability||It would be difficult, but if they could carve the antlers it would be freaking awesome.||6|
|Logotimidation||A majestic deer with a huge rack posing with his head turned? Or maybe leaping across the front of the shirt? Could be an instant classic.||7|
|I was told by a member of the conclave that a deer would NEVER be the mascot because it had long been a symbol of The Uwharrie Mountain Run.|
However it seems the last few years, the Uwharrie folks have abandoned this. Is it open season yet on Deer mascots?
|Presence||Depends on who you ask. I have seen a lot snakes in Umstead, but don't think any were copperheads. Others will say that they are slithering through the trees a foot deep like in the Egyptian tomb in Raiders of the Lost Ark||6|
|Runspiration||I have witnessed more than a few people running through Umstead screaming "COPPERHEAD!"||9|
|Silhouettability||This is tricky. If it was long and stretched out it be a pretty fragile plaque. On the other hand if it was coiled up, it would kind of look like a pile of poo..||3|
|Logotimidation||A snake would be a pretty intimidating logo. All wrapped around the lettering? I'm sold.||8|
|They could put any snake on the t-shirt. A common water snake or rat snake. Or even a cobra. But in NC, it would still be a copperhead. Just like all soda is "coke".||5|
|Presence||They are elusive, but Shannon and I have both seen them in the park.||6|
|Runspiration||If you can't be the deer, be the coyote chasing him!||7|
|Silhouettability||Good, but might be hard to distinguish from a dog.||5|
|Logotimidation||Something like the image above would nice change from the meek mascots we have had so far. Finally, a predator! Or they could go the Wile E Coyote route...||7|
|Even if they are in the park, "coyote" has a more of a Southwest vibe to it. It would seem out of place on an Umstead Pint.||3|
|Presence||Hard to miss.||10|
|Runspiration||Hard to imagine something less inspiring||1|
|Silhouettability||The plaque would be easy to carve, but it might take some explaining when you show it to people.||5|
|Logotimidation||I think this would be a very polarizing topic, between those who appreciate irony and those who do not. Split the difference.||5|
|Nothing says Umstead Bridle Trail like a pile of road apples.||8|
|Presence||I'm sure they are in there somewhere, but runners aren't likely to see them||5|
|Runspiration||Maybe if it was a 20 foot mutant crawling down the trail. Hey there are those PCB's in the lake...||2|
|Logotimidation||Would look too much like an ad for a seafood restaurant||2|
|Crustacean would be a good subphylum to cross off the list, and we are due for another aquatic creature.||5|
|Presence||Rarely seen during the day, though I have heard of runners encountering them on the trail.||7|
|Runspiration||Their slow, comically waddling gait hardly inspires running...|
except for maybe ultra-marathoners
|Silhouettability||Not sure if the silhouette would we be easily recognizable, and the tail would be problematic. Got to give it a 3...|
UNLESS... the tail was a rope! And the plaque hung by it! Can you see that?
|Logotimidation||A snarling, beady-eyed Opossum with its long bare tail would be pretty bad-ass||8|
|Come on! Marsupial is due! On the other hand, we pick this EVERY year.||8|
- Cicada - Might be too soon for another bug, I think.
- Turkey - Just had Turkey Vulture in 2008
- Beaver- Hmmmm. This seems plausible, but this post is already way too long.
- Raccoon- This would be another good one, but maybe too much like a Squirrel
- Duck - Would be disappointing
Finally, the Running-Down pick for the 2012 Umstead Mascot is...
Drum roll, please...
|Presence||Watch carefully at dusk.||6|
|Runspiration||Agghh! There is one stuck in your hair! Run, run!||4|
|Silhouettability||Would be the most coveted plaque ever.||10|
|Logotimidation||Bats are just fricking cool, period.||8|
|I can't say why but I when I look at the previous mascots,|
it seems like a bat should be next. On the other hand we did already have a flying squirrel. (Though it looked more like road kill.) Too soon for another flying mammal?
Just barely edging out the perennial Opossum pick and the tainted Deer by a single point, the Bat comes out on top in our expert analysis.
On Friday, March 2nd, the Conclave will reveal their mascot choice.
So come back here on that day to read our gloating, told-you-so post celebrating the Year of the Bat!
UPDATE 3/4/2012Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner:
Now, the mascot for 2013 will be...