When Kevin Jacobs and Michael Stewart of Somers Point signed up for the April Fools Half Marathon, which was held on in Atlantic City on April 7, they had one goal: to top last year’s costumes.
The 27-year old friends, who’ve run about a dozen races between them, had dressed up as a leprechaun and Green Man from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia for the 2012 race, and ended up on the cover of this year’s race packet.
“We decided we needed to step it up this year,” said Stewart.
The answer? A horse, of course.
To create the design, they enlisted the help of the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S.T.E.M.) Club at Seaview Elementary in Linwood, N.J. “The students drew pictures, researched, and presented different ways we could build our horse,” said Jacobs.
They ended up using wire hangers, bed sheets, and pillow cases. They ordered the horse mask from Amazon.com, and clothing for the “rider” from Goodwill.
Stewart, who was the back of the horse, said that the costume was – no surprise – “very, very, very awkward,” and that they were lucky the race was held on a cool day because the costume was hot, too.
“The boots were consistently hitting my knees, my fake pants kept falling down,” said Stewart. “We also cut the ‘reins’ a little short, so I accidentally kept yanking Kevin back.”
Jacob’s biggest issue was the horse mask. “My visibility was very limited in the mask and I didn’t want to make and turns in fear of bumping into someone or cutting people off,” he said. It was also – again, no surprise – extremely hot. “The rubber mask allowed little to no ventilation, When I exhaled I could feel my warm breathe bounce back on my face,” he said.
Still, they have no regrets. They finished in two hours, 10 minutes and 57 seconds.
“The first few miles, Kevin would get really close and stare down runners as we passed them, and they’d have a mini heart attack when they caught him out of the corner of their eyes,” said Stewart.
“Seeing the confused, shocked, happy, and impressed looks on people’s faces made it all worth while,” added Jacobs. “The only concern I have is, how are we going to top this next year?”