For those unfamiliar with the race, every year there is a different animal "mascot".
The mascot adorns the website, the shirts, and the finishers pint glasses for that year's race. Also, the top 15 male and female finishers receive a handmade wooden plaque in the shape of that animal.
The mascot is chosen by a bizarre and shadowy ritual known as the Umstead Conclave. See here for details. The choice is kept in absolute secrecy until Friday, the day before race.
But we here at Running-Down are Umstead Mascotology experts and read the tell-tale signs to accurately predict what the mascot will be.
Adding further excitement to this year's mascot is that this is the 10th anniversary of the race. Anonymous sources have hinted that it will be "something special", and that "We will never be able to guess". We shall see...
Here is the chronology of the mascots so far:
- 2004 - Horse fly
- 2005- Flying squirrel
- 2006- Turtle
- 2007- Fish
- 2008- Turkey vulture
- 2009- Frog
- 2010- Hare
- 2011 - Tick
- 2012 - Bat
- 2013 - ????
Running-Down has been making the calls as to not only what the mascot will be, but also what it should be. We have accurately predicted the mascot 1 out of 3 times.
On the matter of what it should have been, we were right 100% of the time.
|Year||Should have been||Prediction||Actual||Prognosticator|
|2010||Deer||Opossum (see post)||Hare||?|
|2011||Opossum||Deer (see post)||Tick||Josh|
|2012||Opossum||Bat (see post)||Bat||Running-Down!|
This year I will be ranking the potential mascots along the according to the following categories:
- Presence: How often is the animal seen in Umstead?
- Inevitability: Given what has come before, does this belong with the list?
- Decennialality: Does it celebrate the 10th anniversary?
- Cool Factor: How likely will it be for someone to come up to you and say "Cool Shirt!"
- Intangibles: Anything else
We took submissions from facebook, and here are the nominees.
|Submitted By||Scott, et al.|
|Presence||Yes, quite a bit||7|
|Inevitability||Seems like this is way down the list of priority||2|
|Decennialality||Unless they did something with the wing pattern, not much||2|
|"Come my lady. Come, come my lady. You're my butterfly. My sugar baby."||3|
|Scott saw one in Umstead this past weekend. A sign?||10|
|Great Blue Heron|
|Submitted By||Kristine Pryzgoda|
|Presence||In the lakes, sure.||8|
|Inevitability||Yes, but not for a while||5|
|With the wings spread out, it wouldn't be too bad||5|
|I think it is too soon after the Turkey Vulture||10|
|Presence||Aaaa!! They are everywhere!!!||8|
|Inevitability||Yes, sooner or later. This one won't be a surprise at all||12|
|Decennialality||Hmmmm. Maybe they could hide the past mascots in the pattern on the scales?||3|
|This is a safe choice by the conclave.||8|
|Submitted By||Shannon, Josh|
|Would make a cool shirt, but an awful plaque.||6|
|Yes, a ten tentacled cephalopod would be popular with the kids, but let's be adults here.||0|
|10 Point Buck|
|Presence||Quick, name the last animal you've seen in Umstead. Yeah, that's right, a Deer.||15|
|Inevitability||Again, a certain faction of the conclave is adamantly against a Deer since it previously was the mascot of the Uwharrie Mountain Run. But COME ON that was years ago!||6|
|Decennialality||The 10-point Buck idea is brilliant, but maybe a little too subtle||8|
|A deer isn't intimidating, but it is majestic||6|
|Plaque would be difficult to carve.||3|
|Swarm of 10 Horse Flies|
|Submitted By||Brian Tajlili|
|Presence||In the summer, they are omnipresent||10|
|Inevitability||They already did the Horse Fly in year one. Would they bring it back?||3|
|Decennialality||Absolutely. Ten Horse Flies is a great celebration, bringing back the original.||10|
|One fly on a shirt is great. Ten flies and people will be keeping their distance from you.||3|
|There's already a horse fly on the back of every shirt. Maybe too many flies?||5|
|Someone got beat up a lot in high school||0|
|The Nine Part Decennial Hybrid Beast|
|Presence||It may be lurking in deep in the forest...||3|
|Inevitability||It's either this year, or never||2|
|Decennialality||The ultimate 10 year mascot. A combination of all 9 past years.||20|
|Disturbing? Yes! Cool? No.||2|
|Would be the worst plaque ever. It would be nothing but pipe cleaners||1|
Owl - Iris Suttcliffe.
Coyote- Steph Jefferies.
Dung Beetle - Debs Springer.
Horse Manure - Jim Wei
Finally, the official Running-Down pick for
the 2013 Umstead Marathon Mascot is...
the 2013 Umstead Marathon Mascot is...
Drum roll, please...
|Presence||Oh, yes. I saw this one perched in a tree just outside of Umstead last year. He told me things...||10|
|Inevitability||The Conclave cannot deny me forever||10|
|Decennialality||10 toes on the front feet. What could be more special for the 10th? NOTHING||10|
|With snarling teeth? Oh yes. And that rat tail? Oh yeah. And just for Shannon, let's throw in glow in the dark eyes. Would be the best shirt, plaque, and glass ever.||10|
|I know they have been purposefully NOT picking the Opossum just to spite me.|
And they know that I know that.
So that's why they think they can sneak it past me this year without me picking it.
HA! But I know that they know that I know. That's how I know.