How to make maximum impact – wear a box over your head!

Have you heard the one about……

……the cardboard box running a marathon?

All boxed up ready for the off!

All boxed up ready for the off!

I think I heard every possible gag there was when I took part in the Portsmouth Marathon yesterday in festive fancy dress.

Having run as a Christmas tree last year, passing lots of elves and santas, I thought I’d try to be a bit different again this year. Hence when a large parcel arrived through the post a couple of weeks ago, my first thought was – ideal running costume!

And so I lined up at the start in a large box covered in Christmas wrapping paper and gold ribbon.

The friendly, amusing puns started immediately: “You’ve got your costume all wrapped up.” “Don’t get boxed in will you!” And, from groups as they overtook: “Let’s play pass the parcel.”

A spectator called out: “You should have gone first class,” to much laughter from those around. And at the halfway turn, one of the marshals commanded: “Make way for a special delivery.”

The box itself worked remarkably well as a costume apart from one or two slight design faults. I expected a buffeting by the wind, but didn’t realise before setting off that I couldn’t actually see my feet, which led to me falling over on an uneven stretch at mile 17.

I was like an overturned beetle, all flailing limbs. Other runners rushed to my aid. It took three of them to get me up.

A rather boring stretch of road was livened up by group of children who chanted: “Present! Present! Present!” Several times drivers tooted and waved, and a passing bus driver hooted his horn.

Battered and bruised, but this box made it.
Battered and bruised, but this box made it.


There were lots of encouraging shouts of: “Go Parcel! Go Box! Go Present! Awesome costume!”

And from the guys quite a few expressions of: “I’d like to unwrap you.” Hmmm……some more appealing, than others!

One of the oddest, but sweetest comments was at about 500 yards from the finish line, when a lady called out: “Well Done Parcel. I’m so proud of you!”

And the moral of this story is – this Christmas forget expensive fashion, designer labels, costly cosmetics.

You can still have a laugh, enjoy yourself, make other people smile, be friendly and…..yes, you can still be chatted up – even if you go around with a box over your head!

This was the 3rd Portsmouth Marathon I’ve taken part in. It’s an terrific event, very well organised, friendly helpful marshals, fantastic atmosphere – a real fun way to kick start Christmas. And I’m not joking!


3 thoughts on “How to make maximum impact – wear a box over your head!

    1. Jo Earlam Post author

      I pulled it off myself as soon I crossed the line. 5 hours as a cardboard box is probably long enough for anyone!


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