A hot dog in this race, plus a bottle of ketchup and mustard
So this happened.
Rachel and I have developed a reputation around the newsroom as the two willing to do ridiculous things probably because we are willing to do ridiculous things.
So, obviously, sportswriter Patti Arnold asked us if we’d be interested in dressing up as a hot dog and condiment bottle for a promotional race across Suplizio Field for Wiener Wednesday, where Wienerschnitzel, the official hot dog of the Grand Junction Rockies, ingeniously, in our opinion, sells $1 hot dogs.
We recruited former intern Sam Waters to be our mustard for Aug. 7, fulfilling one of her final goals for this summer before going back to college.
This is how the race unfolded.
Melinda: On a scale of 1 to 10, Rachel, where exactly would you rate your experience dressed up as a Wienerschnitzel hot dog?
Rachel: You mean Der Wienerschnitzel? Eleven, obviously. It's long been my dream to don a giant, plush hot dog costume (and by "long" I mean ever since Patti mentioned the opportunity to us) and here's to dreams coming true:
I only wish I had one of these for my very own to wear as I go about my day. How was your foray into condiment-ville?
Melinda: I'm pro-ketchup. I mean, it's not ranch dressing, but it's pretty good.
The soft ketchup bottle costume was pretty comfortable, albeit it a tad big for my toddler-sized head and elementary school-length body.
At least I could run in mine. You, well...
Let's preface everything we are about to write with the following: We were told to have fun and be goofy. We were NOT told there was a time limit, although it probably should’ve occurred to us that there was a time limit.
Apologies to the GJ Rockies and the Orem Owlz. We really still have no idea how long we were out there.
In our defense that warning track is LONG. We would've had to sprint, and, as previously mentioned, Rachel couldn't run.
Instead, thinking our primary object was to be crazy and fun, we schemed.
I, the ketchup bottle, pulled a fake hamstring, leading Rachel, der hot dog, to come to my aid.
I pulled her down, and Intern Sam, the mustard, helped her back up. We did not, repeat DID NOT, anticipate Rachel would have such a difficult time moving.
What was going through your mind, Rachel, as you lay on the Suplizio Field left field wall?
Rachel: My thoughts were, "Welp, that's it: I'll have to live here now. I'll live here, face-down, for the rest of my prostrate life, because there is NO WAY I'm getting up in this thing."
The giant plush hot dog is, shall we say, unwieldy. I certainly didn't anticipate it being so difficult to run in, so while you and Sam scampered off like you were squeezed from a bottle, I ran at my absolute maximum. And it was dismal. Wowser. I was puffing like a locomotive inside that heavy thing.
But regardless of what the grouchy, rule-stickler umpires thought, our antics were funny! And distracting, considering what the score was at that point. Ketchup with a fake pulled hamstring will always make me laugh. Plus, I admire your commitment to keeping it real. Why were your arms inside your costume, again?
Melinda: I thought it’d be more authentic to the overall look. How many bottles of ketchup have you seen with arms? And yes, this was my reasoning.
For the record, Sam was fast. I think it's safe to say, had we legitimately run the thing, she would have won. It probably didn't help that neither one of us could see all that well.
What could you see?
Rachel: I could kind of see you and Sam when you veered across my direct line of sight, but the rest was a mesh-blinded haze. Thankfully, the outfield dirt is so well-groomed, because I certainly couldn't see where I was stepping.
But that's OK! Worth it! I was a runnin' wiener, flanked by my saucy, primary-colored homies. The only thing that could have improved the experience was sauerkraut.
Now that you've had a few days to reflect, how would you summarize your shot at ketchup glory?
Melinda: Fan-tastic! Thanks to Tim Ray and the Rockies for letting us do this ridiculously funny thing. Besides, we each ate a $1 hot dog. You cannibal!