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I run a lot: eight marathons so far, one ultra marathon, and one of each on the docket for spring 2017.
I don't think much about what I wear while running (I have 20 of the same running tank top — thanks, eBay!). For most of my ten-year running career, athleisure has been whatever sweats my dog hadn't made into a bed while I was out beating up my quads.
When I need to present myself after a workout, though, for a trip to the bagel shop or that mythical post-run coffee where you can look athletic and cute in $150 tights (which I certainly do not own), I pay attention to one thing and one thing only: my head. I have a lot of hair, and post-run, it's a flyaway mess. Solution: Headsweats’ Bigfoot Hat ($25).
Does this sound stupid and not something that a 36-year-old woman who is sometimes tapped as an authority on running should wear? Possibly. Do I care? Not really. The absurdity is part of its appeal.
"Being from the Pacific Northwest and growing up camping and hiking in the forests there, you couldn't help but hear stories about the big fuzzy guy, and I guess he always stayed with me," said Tim Ray of Headsweats, who designed the hat. "When I think of a scene of the outdoors, he's always lurking back behind a tree somewhere keeping an eye on you."
It's technically a trucker hat, but not in a "OMG the 2000s are back, everyone put on your low rise jeans!" kind of way. It has mesh panels on three of its four sides, which is great ventilation if my hair is still sweaty when I put it on. It has an opening in the back to shove my braid through. And unlike my college baseball hat, it's not cotton, so I'm not stuck with a soaked hat pressed against my forehead while I eat that bagel or drink that coffee (after which I will promptly take a nap).
The first version came out in 2015, and in one style: a sunset. Mine, which is a blue/violet/white mountainscape, was added soon after, and now Headsweats sells a few dozen items, including visors and beanies, with Bigfoot blazed on it. In 2016, four of its top ten products in revenue were from Bigfoot truckers, according to a Headsweats spokesperson.
Of course this hat has other functions: I can wear it when running errands, when I drive my Jeep with the windows out, and I usually wear it hiking, too. It's been a hit at Home Depot and Nordstrom alike. And when I need to throw a shadow across my face, like when I cried for days on end after I put that beloved dog down and the sight of sweatshirts left unmussed sent me reeling, Bigfoot provided that cover.
Life can be an ugly business. Running can be, too. If I'm going to cover it up sometimes, I might as well do it with the help of a mythical beast.