Beating the Blerch: A Run for Cake

Like running races? Like high-fiving fluffy, fictional characters? Like cake?

If you answered yes to any of the above then you would’ve enjoyed Beat the Blerch, a race I participated in this past Sunday. It is as unique a running experience as you could possibly have. The Seattle event, which actually took place in the small town of Carnation, WA, featured a 10K (my race), half and full marathons, and was crazy fun. We’re talking great swag, full-sized Blerches (including a one that tossed marshmallows at us as we waited at the starting line), a tent full of kittens (seriously), donuts, a beer garden, and post-race cake.

If you’re anything like my mom, then you’re probably thinking, “What the hell is a Blerch?”

Valid question. The Blerch is a popular character created by cartoonist Matthew Inman that appears in his books and on The Oatmeal. He’s a “fat, little cherub” that tries to talk his creator into not running. The Blerch is that voice all runners hear in their heads at some point as they train; that naysaying, vile creature that lives within us and urges us to “slow down,” “walk,” or “quit.” I’ve often referred to mine as the Run Devil, but the Blerch is a far more fun and imaginative manifestation of this phenomenon.

The goal of these races, much like the goal of running, is to defeat this negative little SOB by ignoring the temptation to stop and making it to the finish line. And once you’re able to accomplish this feat you are rewarded with a medal… and cake!

If my words haven’t painted enough of a picture, check out some actual pictures from this festive event.

Sometimes it takes a team effort to beat the Blerch.
Boxes of medals… waiting to be awarded.
Just an example of how the Blerch attempts to lure us into inactivity.
Lots of Blerch-beaters, ready to go.


A bearded Blerch triumphantly raining marshmallows on the crowd.
Another Blerch, encouraging runners as they head for the finish line.


Beer 2 (2).jpg
A frighteningly close picture of the author hydrating after a running his 10K. 

After looking at these pictures I know you’re thinking two things:
1.) Dave sure looks good when he’s drinking beer, and
2.) How can I Beat the Blerch?

First off, I appreciate the compliment. As for the races, there’s another event planned for Spring 2017 in Las Vegas. And if the Seattle event is any indication, the Blerch will be bring cake to a town near you in the near future.

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