The Women’s Resource Center is inviting men to step into high heels next week, not to walk a mile, but to sprint for a good cause.
Racing in heels comes with some inherent dangers, mainly to ankles, but life as a woman also comes with some built-in disadvantages, such as the gender-wage gap.
The race helps symbolize challenges women face, such as pay inequality, and will help raise money for the Women’s Resource Center’s eight programs for women and girls, said Christy Schaerer, executive director of the charity. A portion of the proceeds will also support the Gena Rych Scholarship Fund to support women and girls.
The new event aims to raise $20,000, and it will help replace some revenue for the Women’s Resource Center that was previously raised through the Durango Double, a combined trail run and mountain bike ride, that was canceled this year.
Alpine Bank, a major supporter of the Women’s Resource Center, has sponsored a similar Men in Heels race in Grand Junction and pitched the idea, Schaerer said.
Each team of four men that signs up is responsible for raising $1,000 and learning to run in heels, she said.
The men are allowed to tape the heels to their feet and wear socks, so they don’t fall out of their shoes, she said.
Racers will likely balance on the balls of their feet as they compete in a short sprint about a half-block in length, Schaerer said.
But participants must also be willing to accept the inherent risk of the race, she said.
“We definitely have them sign a release,” she said.
Eight teams of four men had signed up to participate in the race as of Wednesday, and organizers are hoping for at least two more teams, Schaerer said.
The nonprofit is also expecting a large crowd to cheer on the elevated racers.
“There is a lot of buzz around town,” she said.
The race will be at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 on East Second Avenue between Seventh Street and College Drive.
Registration will be open through Friday at wrcdurango.org/events/men-in-heels.
No shoes? No problem. The Women’s Resource Center has heels in women’s sizes 11 to 17 for participants.
Video from the Grand Junction Men in Heels event.