Monday, March 23, 2009

SCENE: Angela bites the dust at Stiletto Stampede

Posted by Erica Jackson on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:44 PM

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If you watched the video we posted on Saturday, you know that Scene writer Angela Hanyak really gave her all at the Stiletto Stampede. Following is her first-person account of the mayhem. Check out our photo gallery here. Thanks Kate Reynolds for taking pictures while we pulled videographer duty!

Anyone who's ever had an occasion to wear high heels has probably found themselves running in them. Whether racing to make a dinner reservation or chasing after a drunk friend, the slow-paced saunter that makes high heels so sexy is not always real-world practical. With all of this practice trotting around in tall heels, it was natural that Charleston's inaugural Stiletto Stampede would have a strong and lively turnout. Participants packed the grassy knoll next to the Whole Foods Market in Mt. Pleasant early Saturday morning, many of them dressed in costumes with the hopes of snagging the $1,000 cash prize for best get-up. A couple favorites were the gorilla wearing purple pumps and Marie Antoinette.

As I stood at the starting line, I began daydreaming about how I would spend the $10,000 prize and which lines from "We Are the Champions" I would recite at the finish line. I knew I could win. The early morning temperatures were hovering around the low 50s, but I had worn socks so as to block out any adverse climate effects. I was gripping a small FlipCamera so that I could record the exact moment I pranced to victory. All systems were go.

My time in the Stiletto Stampede went something like this: Right foot, left foot, pavement. That was it. I would later liken the 100 yard race to the length of a football field — I didn't even make a first down. As I went falling, I had a few options. I could have face-planted, thereby guaranteeing a dateless couple of weeks. I could have done an open-palm fall onto my hands, but the Stiletto-Cam in my right hand made that choice unreasonable. So I instead let my right knee break my fall as the rest of my body rolled onto the asphalt in embarrassment. My black lamé leggings, an integral part of so many biker-themed outfits, were now ruined, destroyed by the collision with the pavement of Houston Northcutt Boulevard.

For one fleeting moment I considered acting out Nancy Kerrigan's post-injury performance from the 1994 Winter Olympics, holding my knee while allowing tears to stream down my face as I screamed "Why me? Why here? Why NOW?" Thankfully, I remembered that the Stiletto-Cam was still recording and nixed the dramatics. I instead opted for the opposite- complete cluelessness. As I walked over to the sidelines, I answered questions of concern with "Oh, that? No, not a big deal at all." "But you're bleeding from the leg." So it appeared that I was. I flashed a big smile and mumbled something about "a great cause" and "charity event."

Upon watching video footage of the race while icing my knee, I noticed several red flags in the Stiletto Stampede. For example, several pairs of kitten heels, the diminutive little cousin of the high heel, as well as knee boots, which provide the runner with full ankle and calf support. I also noticed that the nice old woman I was chatting with just prior to the race had lept like a gazelle over my fallen, defeated body. Thanks a lot. The fact that a man won also implies that next year's event will need to be divided into heats for men and women. It's only fair. When I e-mailed my dad a picture of my knee, a swollen, purple badge of honor, he immediately relegated me with his usual perspective. "In a high heel race, you need to run on your toes — never let your heel hit the ground." He delivered this advice in the same way he used to critique my brother's curveball. Uh, thanks for the pointers, Dad? —Angela Hanyak

Stiletto-cam from Charleston City Paper on Vimeo.


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