I happened to stumble upon a set of Rocky and Mr. T boxing puppets that were for sale on Etsy, and, oh boy, talk about nightmare material: You can see them pictured above, and, if you care to purchase these dreadful babies, you can get them as a pair for $44.66.
How long does a grass-roots DIY run last before it gets co-opted by The Man? Based on recent evidence, about a year.
Last year, I wrote a piece mapping Rocky Balboa’s training run in Rocky II. By connecting the scenes in a montage, I discovered Rocky ran a shade under 31 miles. About three hours after the piece went up, I got an email from Rebecca Schaefer, a Philadelphia resident who runs in ultra races, asking if she could attempt to organize an actual 50K roughly tracing the course I drew. It’d be a “fat-ass” run: Lightly organized, with no entry fees, awards or road closures. “It’d be small, for sure,” she wrote.
It wasn’t. The article attracted a bit of attention. Schaefer’s run was widely covered; more than 100 people showed up to run at least part of it. Runners collected sneakers for Back on My Feet. A woman who ran it pregnant last year named her son Rocky.
And now MGM has threatened Schaefer with a lawsuit, sending her a cease-and-desist letter over the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run. “To be honest, I was shocked it hadn’t come sooner,” Schaefer, the run’s organizer, says. She’s changing the name of the Rocky 50K for its second edition on December 6th, a run that’s become much larger than she ever imagined. The soon-to-be-renamed Rocky 50K has no entry fees or actual sign-up list; Schaefer makes no money on the event.
People, squee with me.
Last week, local runner Rebecca Schaefer, who organized the inaugural Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run last year, forwarded me the following last week from a runner named Dana, who’d participated in the Rocky Run last December.
Tom Philips, BuzzFeed UK senior writer, asked people in the company’s London office what they knew about each U.S. state. They put the results on a map. Pennsylvania and other nearby states are on the map above.