|The Canadian's shadow box in 2010.|
Naturally, 18 runners, including the 3 from the previous year, managed to run all of the races.
"Streaking" a year's worth of Brazen races officially became a thing. Streakers were given official numbers that would be theirs for life, and would appear on their race bibs at future races. All streakers get a custom shirt, and repeat streakers get something additional (duffle bags, coolers, jackets, a case of It's-Its).
The number of people streaking each year continues to go up. This year, there were well over 80 streakers, with a bit over 50 of those doing it for the first time. This is truly remarkable, especially now that there are 27 races you have to participate in. (You can either run any of the distances or volunteer at a race to be considered a participant.)
|It wouldn't surprise me if I have something wrong on this table, but I think it's pretty accurate. (White means no race, dark green means I didn't participate, and light green means I participated, with volunteering or number of miles indicated.)|
- 2010: I ran/volunteered at 13 of the 15 races. (I missed the initial Dirty Dozen and Bear Creek.)
- 2011: I only missed one of the 21 races - the inaugural Trailquake race.
- 2012: I only missed one of the 23 races - Summer Breeze. (Mrs Notthat and I don't really like this race since it's flat and a bit boring, compared to most of the other Brazen races. In this case, we chose to do a different race that day, knowing it would break my streak. But I didn't really want to streak without Mrs Notthat, who had missed several previous races.)
I was a bit surprised when Mrs Notthat mentioned at the end of 2016 that she wanted to streak in 2017. What makes streaking so hard, especially now that there are 27 races, is fitting all those races into your schedule. We made several sacrifices throughout the year to make this streak happen, but we managed to get it done. (We broke our streak of running a GECKO race in Pagosa Springs CO with my family every year since 2011, we had to skip several other races that we would have normally run, and probably the worst, we ran a couple of races that we probably shouldn't have due to injuries.)
Streaker Graduation DayA big secret and source of angst is finding out what your streaker number is. The first number to be assigned this year would be 174 (173 was the last number assigned last year). We weren't exactly sure of how many new streakers there were, but my best guess was that we would get up to 224. (Actually, we got up to 226.) People have been known to campaign for a specific number, sometimes even successfully. But generally, it's best to just roll with what you end up with.
|Picture by Jay B. Goofy smiles by us.|
I assumed we got the numbers we did just by random selection. I found out later that that wasn't true, and that in fact there was a bit of a campaign for me to specifically get #219 by the owner of #19 - who it turns out is my arch-nemesis Yram (not her real name). She wanted for me to always be exactly 200 behind her. (As it turns out, 219 is the area code for Gary, Indiana, and since my dad's name was Gary, this number works just fine for me.)
Mrs Notthat's #220 is special because it is the frequency of an A note. Of course she would get an A!
|Picture by Jay B. Awkward strut by me.|
But there was something special…
The Brazen Hall of FameMr and Mrs Brazen wanted to do something to recognize people that go way above and beyond to make these races special, so they invented the Brazen Hall of Fame.
|Mr and Mrs Brazen holding up replicas of the ring that Hall of Fame entrants will be given.|
The Shadow BoxesTo me, the best thing you get when you streak is a permanent bib number. To a lot of others though, it's the shadow box that contains all their medals from the year.
|We got a combined shadow box, which meant one of us gave up our medals and Mrs Notthat kept hers.|
Trying to keep that all straight was a nightmare, so a couple of years ago, they required the streaking runners to supply the medals. This also has some challenges since, if you volunteer for a race, you don't generally get a medal. For those cases, you fill out a form at the end of the year when you submit your medals and list the missing ones. This means Brazen still has to do some guess work, but not quite as much.
(One of the hardest parts of this process for the runners is that, after you turn in your medals, generally at one of the turkey-based races, you are not supposed to pick up a finisher medal when you finish your races for the rest of the year since they are automatically being put in with your other medals. "Double-dipping" is not good for the karma.)
Once you get your shadow box, and once you finish drooling on it, you are then faced with a dilemma - where do you hang the thing? It's huge! We've already given up a large section of our hallway to our medals (I bought a bunch of those things designed to keep your shovels and rakes off the shed floor, and we hang our medals on them.)
|This really doesn't capture the Wall of Medals very well - it's hard to take a picture in a hallway.|
Some shadow box notes:
- You don't have to get a shadow box. There is an alternative option of just getting a nice plaque.
- You can get a combined shadow box. This is what we did - rather than having two massive shadow boxes to deal with, we have one. This also meant that, while one of us had to give up our medals, the other could keep them (and between the two of us, we were able to cover all the races except Double Dipsea.
- There is no guarantee shadow boxes will continue to be a thing. They are expensive and I suspect a huge headache to manage. Don't be surprised if that perk goes away or is replaced with something else. Then again, there are eight years of shadow boxes out there, so maybe the momentum will carry them on. In any case, I think the permanent number is the real perk.
Wrapping Up (Finally)There is likely no way we will streak again, but I suspect many others have said that just before they ended up streaking again. There are a few trips we need to take this year though that will pretty much guarantee a broken streak.
Through 2016, two of the original three kept on streaking. Sadly, the Weasel broke his streak this year, so now there is only one - the Canadian. Her lack of good judgement likely means she will keep this streak going until It's-It goes out of business or Greece decides to keep her (neither of which is likely).
If you are thinking of streaking, be sure you have an amazingly flexible schedule. You can't travel for July 4th, Thanksgiving, or in the New Year's Eve timeframe. The volunteer angle works well for races you don't want to run (or find wildly challenging, such as we did for Double Dipsea this year). Even better, if you have a conflict on race day, you can often volunteer the day before the race during setup or at bib pickup - those options have saved many streaks. (Note that remote racing does not count. Also, you have to participate - you can't just register and count that.) Also note that, if you have to DNF a race, that won't break your streak.
And best of all, you get to keep your clothes on.
That's it - move along…
PS: An interesting thought experiment (to me, at least) - what about 2009? In 2009, Brazen's first year of existence, they put on four races. As best I can tell, there were several runners that ran all four of those races, although running four races isn't particularly amazing or worthy of the streaker glory that currently exists. But there is another kind of glory - the glory of knowing you were running Brazen races before it was cool! (Or at least as cool as it is now.)
PPS: Here is a link to a dodgy video I did about the streaking process. Use care watching this if you have just eaten.
PPPS: Mrs Notthat and I have "streaks" at six Brazen races that we have run every year:
- Stars and Stripes (this is a bit of a cheat since there has only been one so far)
- Winter Bear Creek (another cheat since this only happened once, in 2010)
- Trail Hog (this surprised me - we've run it every year for seven years)
- Quarry Turkey (funny that Nitro Turkey didn't make the cut - we've run all seven years Quarry Turkey has existed)
- New Year's Eve (all seven years)
- Badger Cove (Mrs Notthat has run all six editions of this race - I missed one)
- New Year's Day (I've run all seven times - Mrs Notthat missed once)