Philip here. We have a free movie night on Friday! It’s going to be the Big Lebowski, and I’m incredibly excited about seeing it again. There was a time in my life from about age 21-23 that it was my favorite movie, and I’ve watched it at least 30 times. The only problem with showing it in a trail running store, however, is that there isn’t any trail running, to speak of, in the movie. So I’ve been thinking: If the Big Lebowski characters WERE trail runners, what would they be like? I’ve written a few of my thoughts on this below. If you’ve seen the movie, then this may resonate with you! If you haven’t yet, then come to our movie night this Friday and see it for yourself!
1. The Dude
He’s the guy hanging around the finish line at all the races. He’s lounging around in his Hoka Ora Slides, taking swigs of an unidentified beverage out of a flask, and smoking what he swears are tobacco cigarettes. In other words, he’s a classic old-school trail runner. He’s mostly retired from racing, just crushing an ultra every six months or so. He volunteers at the finish-line aid station in between “smoke breaks”, which is nice, but this behavior has the unfortunate side effect of him devouring all the snack food at the tables.
(Enjoying a post race beverage!)
2. Walter Sobchak
He claims that he doesn’t run on Shabbos. But during race season, he’s the one carrying the American flag as he runs, and you’ll see him at least some Saturdays out on the trails. He’s certainly no speedster, but he’s got extensive rucking experience (as you might expect) and he’s weirdly obsessed with Spartan races. He open carries on all of his runs, and his favorite shoe to run in right now is the Hoka EVO Speedgoat, partly because it has Kevlar in the upper. He’s a stickler for the rules, and can often be seen yelling at the race director about some imaginary infringement another runner has committed. He may be a bit of a jerk, but he never leaves a runner behind; if he sees a runner having trouble on the trails, he sticks with them to make sure they’re ok.
(Just make sure you don’t break race rules…)
3. Donny Kerabatsos
He’s the one who always says thank you to each individual volunteer at an aid station. He feels guilty when he sees a runner coming up behind him – “they’ve been running so hard to pass me!” – so he usually just slows down and lets them go by. He’s not the brightest runner, and has been spotted numerous times running a course backwards. He’s a friend of Walter and trains with him regularly, but is often a target of Walter’s frequent verbal abuse. During race briefings, he’s the one always raising his hand to ask the questions that have already been answered, prompting many race directors to eventually encourage him to shut the f#%& up. He cross trains by surfing and bowling, and probably has a pair of 361 Merakis on his feet that are super stinky, but still in decent shape.
(He still has trouble staying on course).
4. Maude Lebowski
She runs in the Arc’teryx Norvan LD shoe because it’s both beautiful and functional. However, she lies awake at night worried that the shoe might not be vegan. Her running clothing can only be classified as “High Couture”, (probably Tracksmith) and her running playlist consists of Yoko Ono’s entire oeurve as well as 20th century avant-garde classical music. She engages in interpretive dance every time she crosses the finish line, and throws her medal back at the race director because in her words, “There’s no ethical consumption under capitalism!” She’s offered to design the T-shirts for various races, but her designs looks like what Jackson Pollock would paint after suffering a concussion, so no one has taken her up on the opportunity.
(She’s also an amateur sports bra designer!)
Does any of this seem to fit these characters? Check out the movie for yourself this Friday and let us know!