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Posted at 10:21 PM ET, 10/25/2011

Dupont High Heel Race draws a mixed crowd

The annual Dupont High Heel Race passes in about three clickety-clackety minutes. Preparing for the main event, on the other hand, can take weeks.

Joshua Beeson spent two hours Tuesday donning a royal-blue evening gown, a blond wig and a pair of heels. But the past two weeks? He devoted them to crafting a glittering headpiece.

(View #highheelrace photos and tweets after the jump.)

(Jahi Chikwendiu - WASHINGTON POST)
“I think everybody likes to wear a nice heel,” said Beeson, 30, a Columbia Heights resident who works at the University of Maryland. “I do it at home, why not in public?”

On the District’s unofficial kickoff to Halloween — and the race’s 25th anniversary — it was in the spirit of freak flags flying that a sidewalk crowd looking typically Washingtonian intermingled with drag queens in the streets around Dupont Circle. Toddler-toting parents took photos with Lady Gagas. Dogs on leashes sniffed at winged fairies on roller skates. And men sauntered by, post-work, in business-casual slacks punctuated by sky-high patent-leather heels.

“People just think D.C. is just a lot of politicians,” longtime race organizer David Perruzza said. “This is one of the prime examples of why it’s such a fun city.”

Perruzza said that obtaining permits for a race crowd of thousands has become too much for one person to handle. So next year, he’ll hand the event over to Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets, a nonprofit group that aims to attract businesses.

Near the starting line, Beeson stood with three friends. He said the race of about 70 runners was less about winning the trophy — a glass slipper filled with brandy — than it was about celebrating Washington’s flashiest alternative community.

But the running-in-heels part — is that comfortable?

The answer, unanimously, was “no.”

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By  |  10:21 PM ET, 10/25/2011

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