This year’s Mustache Report is dedicated to every soul (all six of you!) that held the delusional belief that I would somehow materialize atop the precarious steps leading to the fabled Brass Taps (where I once iced a professor). Blessed be your innocence, for it has revived me.
Now that we’ve got all that sentimental crap out of the way, I’ll be scraping through this distance ed final like only I know how: through the magic of the internet google machine and all its glorious repositories. As all now hopefully realize, since hitchhiking and hobo-ing my way leftwards to seek my fortunes earlier this year (namely picking through random trash cans in Swift Current, SK/hiding in bushes at Jericho Beach), the rainbow connection that is the internet is all that binds me to the CIS/society in general.
And so let it begin, the The Annual Mustache Report, Edition V (foreshadowing?).
Spectator of the Year
Unfortunately I did not happen upon many spectator photos, and nothing seemed to catch the eyes of my ominipresent little birds on the day, so I’m going to with the default winner here: Jeff Mountjoy. This guy’s won this award four times, and judging by the early AM inebriated Snap I received from him, I shouldn’t be the one to deny him of this one pleasure (cleaning face paint/bodily fluids out of his beard for weeks).
|A dedicated look. (photo: Maxine Gravina)|
Bowling for Soup Award
In years past I’ve had trouble with this award as I tend to focus my obsessions on those with fine facial hair. This year however, I witnessed a few terrible (yet great) attempts. One can only presume that with the growing popularity of the XC ‘stache (note, never ‘stachies at nashies,’ this is Canada), this was the inevitable result. E’rybody wants to be a contender but some, inevitably, are just pretenders.
Luckily, since I am a noted schadenfreude enthusiast, there’s an award for failure. But don’t be too hard on yourselves boys, many of our past award winners have gone on to claim major brass in later years (if you start with the bar low it is easier to improve).
With that, I award Chris Balestrini of the Mustangs the Bowling for Soup Award for a great dirtstache.
|Cringey, I love it. (photo: Cross-Country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
In the runner-up position (up to you to decide whether that means “less bad” or just “worse, but in a less embarrassing manner”), we have Connor Black of the Gryphs. Not sure if there was anything there or not or if the lighting in the photos I looked at was just weird. At any rate, he’s a young lad, lots of time to grow here.
|There's something, I'm sure of it. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
Rookie of the Year
In the inaugural edition of this here report, I gave this award to a rookie sporting the Chad Kroeger from the Guelph. Four years later, I give this same award to a similar rookie, but this time his name is Ben Workman. I’ve kind of run out of Chad Kroeger jokes at this point, so you’ll have to forgive me.
|Nice work... for a rook. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
It is perhaps to be noted that my ROY award has a pretty good track record (Hendrickx, Labranche, Wilkie). And, it’s like every time I turn around I fall in love and find my heart face down and where it lands is where it should, y’know? (I was just kidding about the Chad Kroeger joke thing, so much so that I spent 20 minutes watching Nickelback videos to get a line I could work with).
Speaking of low bars and improving, it's time for the Most Improved Award. The winner here had a ‘stache last year, but it didn’t really speak to me, despite our having matched on Tinder. This year’s edition seemed a bit more substantial, so I’mma throw the dub to Scott Donald of St FX. I mean, that and I’m trying to cling to relevancy by expanding my fading fan club empire into the AUS (is it still 1980 there?).
|Super like material? (photo: Cal DeWolfe's mom or something)|
The runner-up in this category is some dude I’ve never heard of. It’s quite possible that he had a great ‘stache last year or his entire life or whatever, but he was dead to me until appearing in the race photos, so he might as well not have. Had he been more known to me, Patrique Bulloch of Manitoba might have been a contender for the overall prize. I’ll admit this doesn’t make much sense, but that (your success being dependent on whether or not I’ve had enough time to develop a decidedly unhealthy obsession with you) is just how it is.
|Shoot, eh? (photo: Peter Grinbergs)|
Janikowski wins this one with his old man beard as he did last year and the year before. Could be a lumberjack, could be a serial killer, could be both. But since he’s from Windsor, I’m going with serial killer. It’s just them mesmerizing blue eyes that'll do ya in.
|Terrifying... for Trees (or not as it turns out) (photo: Maxine Gravina)|
In the hunt for mid-November, it is always important to consider that there is likely to be a hefty breeze when considering your hair options. For some, that might mean restraining one’s locks with a hair tie or headband, but for those with more important aspirations (aesthetics, attracting off-centre purple wig-wearing individuals), there is no question about what is to be done: nothing.
Congrats to Elliot DeLange of the Golden Hawks for his golden, shiny hairs and #longhairdontcare attitude.
|But, what if he does care??? (photo: Peter Grinbergs)|
Community Service Award
My personal value system put me in a serious conundrum with regard to the principle of this award. I know, it’s shocking, I do have values and principles. See the thing is, I really wanted to give the winner of this award the overall title, because his effort was simply the best. However, my aesthetic principles dictates that the winner of the overall title adhere to traditional stylistic rules. They say rules are made to be broken, but like, nah, because this is my party and I'll make unreasonable choices if I want to.
And so, with my most sincere condolences, I award JD Labranche the Community Service Award. May his beautiful example of sheer confidence provide inspiration to rock that Jack Sparrow face fur thing.
|Why is the rum all gone??? (photo Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
In the vein of fictional historic figures, the runner-up in this category happens to be Alexandre “Lincoln Vampire Hunter” Ricard. If I had a bit more of a soul, I’d have worried mine had been stolen through the camera lens.
|History remembers the battle but forgets the blood. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
If you’re the type of person to use magical thinking to connect unrelated events, you might say that my relocation was the cause of some significant unrest in the CIS order of things. I mean think about it…the beginning of the Guelph streak (fall 2006) was the time of my birth so to speak, so it would seem that the men's banner has ever since been dictated solely by my approximate physical location. This might have less to do with magical thinking and more to do with increased easy run pace necessitated by training within my firing range, though.
But race be damned, in this here blog, the order of things is a bit different: I’m seeing the continuation of a streak. That’s right, not only did the UVic Vikes win the actual race, they also won the Team Mustache Title, repeating their result from 2014.
They not only had a 6/7 participation rate, but dang, these mustaches were on fleek. So much so that it made me regret not being there in person (so I could get handsy during the team celly huddle).
|Is polyandry legal? (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
Another team that presented well, as per usual was Laval. They had sort of a Community Service theme going on with their team, which I definitely dig, but lost out to Vic on two fronts. First, there was the actual race performance (mustaches + fast = profit?!!), but more importantly, I was kind of upset that I received no incoherent, broken English communications. Laval, you use to call me on my cell phone, late night when you needed my opinion on your hairs, late night when you needed to update me on whatever club you were devastating.
|#hotlinebling (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
Finally, rounding out the top three team we have another perennial contender: Windsor. Nothing too special here (except maybe Ullman’s nasty chin strap), just a solid group of blue collar ‘staches. Good work boys.
|A solid effort as always. (photo: Zack Jones)|
The one you’ve all been waiting for: the individual title. And believe me, some people other than myself have been waiting for this individual for some time as well. After years of increasingly spurious WEBB IS BACK BABY!!!!!!!-esque threads, our individual champ finally got to come into his own as the athlete we remember him to be (French sub-4 dude, very pretty). Madd props to Olivier Collin for busting out a clutch race with a clutch face.
|Still with the backwards ball cap tho... (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
A bit further back in the rankings we see some other notable ‘staches as well. Up in 2nd, we have last year’s Flowtastic Award winner, Guelph’s Andrew Gordon, werking that ratchet (as in pass me one) handlebar.
|Pink arm warmers, nice. (photo: Cross-country et Athlétisme Rouge et Or)|
In the the third position, we have Adam Marshall of TWU. He was sporting a timeless, classic mustache to absolute perfection.
|This 'stache is meat and potatoes (I am potato). (photo: Peter Grinbergs)|
And that’s it folks, there isn’t any more. Please remember to file your comments, complaints and restraining order requests in person to me on the evening of November 28th, appended with an adult pop processing fee.