The title of my blog is beards and triathlons, so I thought that it was about time that I had an entry about beards. Two weeks ago I travelled down to Bath for the 2014 British Beard and Mustache Championship. It was a fantastic weekend. I met many old friends and made many new friends. In the pub the night before I met a man with a beard so long he has to throw it over his shoulder when he goes to the toilet so that he doesn’t pee on it. I met a very drunk Norwegian with a beard, some Glaswegians, all with beards and a couple of guys from Liverpool, also with beards. There was a lot of beards, and some mustaches.
The night before the event there had been a casual post on the Facebook group about meeting in a pub in Bath. I arrived with the Norwegian, who was staying at the same hostel, and we both felt a little out of place in the pub, as we were the only overtly bearded people in the place. It wasn’t long before another beard arrived, and soon many more turned up, until we had definitely made ourselves known. I have what I consider to be a fairly good beard, but mine was dwarfed by the specimens there. I was suffering from beard envy.
There were beards from America, Germany, Italy and Australia. There were mustaches of all shapes and sizes, some styled, some not. There were also some very impressive bushy beards.
The next morning the was a parade through the streets of Bath, with all of the bearded people meeting up in one of the communal gardens. We stopped traffic as we all paraded to the Pavillion, where the competition was to be held.
I had originally entered the full beard with styled mustache category, but with over 30 other competitors I decided to change over to freestyle. With only three other beards I was in with a very good chance of a trophy, although mine was a very simple back combed beard.
I was going with a simple spread out look. My beard naturally wants to part down the middle due to all of the cycling and swimming that I do, so my plan was to extenuate this look. I was also going for the natural freestyle look, as I didn’t use any hairspray, gels or waxes, all of which are perfectly acceptable in the freestyle category.
Two hours after registering the main competition began, starting with four mustache categories. Up next was four partial beards categories before finishing off with the full beards. There were four classes here, full beard with styled mustache, full beard less than 12 inches, freestyle and lastly the big boys, the class everyone wants to be in, full beard over 12 inches. Size matters.
Every competitor also received a quality goodie bag, containing enough beard oil and mustache wax to last me for a few years. There was also a competition for the ladies, with best fake beard, as well as another competition for children.
So how did I get on. Well, considering that there was only four freestyle beards, I would have been disappointed not to have won a trophy. I managed third, which I was well pleased with, especially as first and second had spent a couple of hours styling their beards, as opposed to the five minutes mine had taken.
Once the competition was over, I headed off to get some food before meeting up with the Liverbeards and Glasgow Beard club for a few more drinks in a Bath. The next morning I had a long train journey home, with a hangover from hell. I can’t wait for the next one.