Moustache Run 5K celebrates facial hair, men's health through jogging

Last Saturday, nearly 1,500 mustachioed Minnesotans assembled under the banner of the Moustache Run 5K.

The event  heralded the end of Movember, a month-long mustache celebration that raises awareness for men's health issues, such as testicular cancer and depression, while encouraging smooth-faced men around the world to risk their vanity and sprout some facial hair. At the event, there were both genuine mustaches and faux ones. Mustachioed women showed up, too, some with mos made from colorful felt. Other women had fake facial hair so wild -- elaborate, finely coiffed Fu Manchus, for example -- that folks with the real thing may have felt emasculated by their luxuriousness.

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Moustache Run 5K celebrates facial hair, men's health through jogging
Photo by Scott Haraldson Photography

As Dressing Room's Movember correspondent, I showed up to jog with my mustache curled by Man's Stuff Ginger Dandy wax. But I'm no jogger. My first 5K was this past Thanksgiving, and before that I'd not jogged more than a mile since middle school. Plus, I was wildly hung over on the day of the Moustache Run 5K, having soaked my 'stache with copious whiskeys the previous night.

After checking in at Aster Café, the race began on the Nicollet Island railroad bridge. It's hard to think of a more scenic spot to start a jog than Main Street, an overlook on the Mississippi River that's been the site of a trillion engagement and graduation photo shoots. From there, folks jogged en mustachioed masse to the recently reopened Plymouth Bridge, then hit West River Road.

The day was misty and gray, and just about everything -- from the tan apartment buildings off the river to the trees above the forest paths on Boom Island -- looked more beautiful in the morning light. After a jaunt across the Stone Arch Bridge, the 5K ended back on Main Street with coffee and hot chocolate from Aster, plus Southern Comfort for 21+ participants.

I performed the 5K about as well as I'd expected. The first mile of the Moustache Run 5K took me about 10 minutes to jog. Wearied by the poisons in my body, and over-layered in preparation for what I thought would be a cold morning, I gave in after the first mile and walked the rest of the route. I was pretty miserable. Somehow, it hadn't occurred to me that drinking too much the night before a 5K might destroy my performance. Post-race, instead of getting a shave from the on-site groomers, I trudged home and slept for another three hours.

A real athlete, that Patrick Stephenson.

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