A friend of mine, Heather, who does some volunteer work for the Special Olympics asked me to suit up and attend a local Special Olynmpics 5K Benefit Race. I’m always looking for events to attend to spread the Bottle Gospel, especially those that don’t involve 12 hour flights and climbing 10 miles.
The Special Olympics 5K Charity Run was also attended by another celebrity – Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. The Jonas Brothers support the Special Olympics by attending a lot of the charity events and donating money and time to the foundation.
I arrived the morning of the race and drove close to the start so I could meet Heather and drop off the costume. As soon as I got close to the start a security guard ran up to me and shouted “Joe Jonas is on-site, you can’t park here. We need to secure the perimeter!”. Whoa, I guess the teenie-bopper crowd is more dangerous than they look!
I found a parking spot and carried Bottle Boy along with 40 bottles I was donating to the cause. Pre Tour de France I would have complained about having to walk my costume half a mile, but nowadays ANY event is a piece of cake.
I suited up and worked the crowd. I thought the event was going to be mostly Special Olympics athletes running, but it was actually an event to benefit them. So, there were a handful of them, but most of the 1000+ runners were 11-15 year old girls who were there to see Joe Jonas. I think I found the new way to encourage our youth to get active – hire a celebrity and have them chase him around.
I made my way to the start line and saw Joe Jonas there. He had with him an entourage of 5 of his buddies, and then there was a ring of at least 8 security type folks with him, including two police motorcycles in front of him and a follow car behind him. I don’t think Obama would have gotten that much security! They had Joe start 2 minutes ahead of the runners because if he would have started with them, I think there would have been a riot.
Joe left and then two minutes later they unleashed the girls. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen – a thousand 12 year olds sprinting as fast as they could in jean shorts and flip flops trying to catch Joe Jonas. I think they were on world record time for the first 200 yards.
The start was also the finish, and they had a Disney Radio Booth set up so I got to listen to some tunes and be entertained / annoyed by all these a little bit overly happy Disney people while I waited.
Joe and his security detail were the first to the finish. I was there to cheer on the athletes, but for old times sake I decided to try and run with them as they passed by. I must say, it is easier to chase Joe than it is to try and keep up with Contador. Although, it did have a similar feel to the Tour since there was a full camera crew covering Joe’s run for a documentary they were making on him.
I cheered on and hi fived the runners as they passed by. Here are some photos of some of them.
The race wound down and I started thinking about packing up. Off in a corner of the parking lot I noticed a big RV with a roped off area, guarded by security guards. I thought that may be where Joe was hanging out until the awards ceremony. Being the shameless self promoter I am, I thought I’d try to give some Clean Bottles to the security guards.
I started talking to the security guards, but they told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going to get through. As I turned to leave I heard someone shout: “hey, is that the Clean Bottle guy? Let him in!” I turned around and it was none other than Joe Jonas waving me in.
I was about to party with the Jonas Brothers. Backstage. Amazing.
I made my way to the RV and was greeted by his entourage. I handed out some bottles and explained the concept and told them all about my adventures in France. Then Joe turns to me and says, very politely and cautiously, “excuse me, do you mind if my friends and I take a picture with you?”
I still can’t believe it. Joe Jonas asked me if he could take a picture with him. Too funny. Don’t get me wrong. I am a 32 year old father, comfortable with my own sexuality, but I did have to repress letting out a high pitched scream.
I had told them that the Clean Bottle motto was “No More Riding Dirty”. And so, as we gathered to take the photo, Joe goes “alright guys ‘No More Riding Dirty’ on 3”. We all said “No More Riding Dirty” as the photos were snapped. All the while a full TV crew was filming it.
Before anyone asks, no I didn’t try to take Joe’s Chastity Ring. And no, I didn’t try to take Joe’s chastity either. But I did have an awesome time and came away with one of the coolest stories a 7 foot tall Bottle could have.
Then the next morning my wife wakes up to a bunch of texts from her friends. Apparently Joe had tweeted about me with a photo of us. Here is his post: http://yfrog.com/5yhokaj
Why my wife’s friends follow Joe Jonas, I don’t know. But hey, he made me a follower. He is a great guy who really went out of his way to support a great cause. Later that day he was doing a charity softball game and then following it up with a concert. What a guy. Well, at least now he can do it all while Riding Clean.