By CHRISTOPHER MARKHAM
The sudden and tragic death of running legend Steve Prefontaine sparked a social movement in the world of running. Apart from being a fairly decent runner, “Pre” was most well-known for his majestic hair styles, particularly that perched above his upper lip. The signature look spread like wildfire in the running world and eventually found its way into the University of Mary Washington cross country team. The look was not met with the same level of affection as other schools, however.
Since the tradition of the look began in the 1910s with recently retired coach Stan Soper’s signature mustache, the members of the team have also rocked the furry lip for decades.
However, as times have changed, less people have become receptive to the thinned-out mustache took. While there are a few out there who pull off the look exceptionally well, a majority of teens to 20-year- olds resemble Michael Cera more than Pre.
The creepy look often sparks outrage with UMW and Fredericksburg community members. UMW cross country runners have been suggested to “steer clear” of playgrounds and school buses, according to senior member of the team Kevin McCarthy.
“I’ve grown a mustache every year during cross country season and the reactions have gotten worse every year,” McCarthy said. “I can’t blame them. I wouldn’t want my kids to see shirtless men in short shorts with mustaches prancing around.”
Reports of provocation from local kids have surfaced recently as well. According to McCarthy, middle school-age children have called the runners “freaks,” “creeps” and likened the look to “a dead gerbil.”
However, the team is not letting the criticism get the best of them. Efforts to raise mustache awareness on campus have been made by the team to educate peers on the lifestyle and challenges that come with having a mustache. The event, called “I must-ache you about my mustache” will feature guest speaker Rick Hurley, UMW’s recently retired president who is an icon in the world of mustaches.
“President Hurley was my hero and inspiration for growing a mustache,” McCarthy said. “If a man of such great importance as him can live with a mustache, then so can I. I won’t be ashamed of it anymore.”
As of now, the team has no plans to end their tradition despite the demand from the community and only time will tell if their mustaches will begin to look less creepy.
This story is a part of our April Fool’s edition and is intended to be satirical in nature. All information or quotations are made up and not to be taken seriously.