At BadJocks, we can’t get enough of sports mascots. Even when they’re being good, they can be bad, and when they’re bad they can be even worse. We’ve been covering the British mascot race called the Mascot Grand National for years now. It features guys in giant mascot heads and foam animal feet running over a cross-country course similar to a steeplechase event. A hoot, really, because in the costumes everyone usually falls, stumbles, or both.
That is, until a few years ago when “ringer” mascots (thought you’d never see those words together, did you?) started entering the race wearing little more than track suits and masks. These non-mascot, mascots are now the subject of–wait for it–a boycott of the event by the traditional mascots.
Keep in mind kids, this is a charity event that raises money for Special Olympics and really requires no actual skills to win . . . just slightly better balance.
Here are the sad details from This Is Lincolnshire. Below that is a first for the race and BadJocks: Video from inside the head of one of the mascots. If watching that doesn’t make you want to lose your breakfast, we don’t know what will.
DISGRUNTLED Lincoln City football mascot Poacher the Imp is involved in boycott plans threatening to disrupt this weekend’s Mascot Grand National. The friendly face of football at Sincil Bank is part of the rebel group who say they are fed up with the increasing number of “ringers” spoiling the annual charity event. Football mascots say these competitors are not people who appear week in, week out at football grounds.
Preston North End’s Deepdale Duck, Captain Blade of Sheffield United and AFC Wimbledon’s Haydon the Womble are expected to be included in the non-runners on Sunday. Crisis talks with officials at Huntingdon Racecourse, the host of the one-furlong race, have failed to resolve the issue. But event organisers say the event will still go ahead in an attempt to raise cash for the Special Olympics.
Lincoln-based training adviser Gary Hutchinson has played Poacher since 1998 and raised hundreds of pounds for charity by competing in the event. The 31-year-old from Newtoft, near Lincoln, said the fun had been lost from the race. e said: “Recent winners include Finedon Volta’s Graham the Gorilla, and Saffron Walden’s Wacky Macky Bear.
“Basically, these are guys who are coming just for the win. We asked for football mascots to be given a fair race but weren’t accommodated.”