A group of us Angeleno HCNB’s arrived bright and early to the Frontrunners starting area, where runners were already checking in and warming up, when Lucy arrived in a cute miniskirt with her hair pinned up in that funny way she fancies (happily, she let it down soon after). We had no problem recognizing the Goddess as soon as she hit the scene and I was able to tape the first interview she did out on the sidewalk on Robertson, during which she wondered how it would occur to anyone to put fun and run in the same sentence (Frontrunners had billed this event as the Fun Run).
She greeted fans warmly and Tanya, her Frontrunners escort, oriented her to the set up. She then proceeded to sign autographs and pose for pictures with the many fans present, plus many of the race participants. I was continually impressed with how patient, kind and chatty she was with everyone who approached her. She is, without a doubt, the most gracious celebrity on the planet, and one of the funniest, cracking jokes left and right. Loudspeakers were blasting music and when some song with the lyrics "shakin’ that ass, shakin’ that ass" came on, she exclaimed, “That’s my song!” and started singing and moving to the beat.
The meet & greet with the fans went on for quite awhile then the frontrunners MC got up on the stage and talked a bit about the Gay charities the run was benefiting (Project Angel Food & GLASS). Finally, Tanya got up and introduced Lucy to much applause and Xena yells. Lucy noted that in the front row was, what she called, her “Xena Posse”, a group of us who show up to many of her public events in the Los Angeles area. She humorously noted that none of her posse were runners (which wasn’t true as one of us ran the 5K) to which someone next to me responded—“Hey, you’re not running either, woman!” She then went on to explain how she was going to start the race with an air horn (no guns allowed around Unco!) “…and then you can amble, sashay, vogue, you can even run, but where I come from that’s just showing off! So, we’re gonna put the fun back in run today. God bless Frontrunners, GLASS, Project Angel Food and it’s rockin’ to be here with you, thanks for having me.”
Everyone moved out onto Robertson for the race start where Lucy said via loudspeaker, “Brace yourselves, darlings” before blasting on that horn and they were off. It was really great to see all the runners take off and even greater to see the flushed looks of achievement on their faces as they crossed the finish line. Many of the women were from a running group and they finished with very good times, ahead of many of the men. I particularly enjoyed seeing two guys crossing the finish line together with their young son—it was Gay Pride day, allright!
We then all moved back to the stage area where Lucy continued to tirelessly sign and pose for her many fans. At one point she played around with a chakram that someone had her sign, going through the motions of throwing it and talking about how they filmed the different sequences; the throw, the bouncing off objects and the catch. It was great to see her with a chakram in her hand again and especially to see how enthusiastically she talked about filming the show. Her friend, the Tony award winning actor Marissa Jaret Winokur, had arrived by then and I was able to tape another interview with them both. As Lucy informs the guy that they’re going to ride in the Project Angel Food car for the parade, she hilariously mimics, very Meg-like, how Marissa called her the night before to tell her that she’d bought tiaras for them to wear.
After the interview, Lauri, a woman who’d just finished the run, asked Lucy to sign her race number card that’s pinned to her chest. Lucy, ever the trooper, happily complies, and as she’s signing this card, that’s literally on top of this woman’s breasts, a bystander comments to the runner “That’s just an excuse!” (to get Lucys’ hands on your breasts).
As they both grin that someone comments, somewhat mischievously, “Be sure and dot those I’s.” Lauri gives out a woo hoooo and exclaims, “Who the hell needs tassels!” Lucy laughs, and continuing with the rather naughty repartee answers, “Though they can be quite fun!” Oh yeah.
The awards ceremony was next, the MC introducing Lucy with a lot of background info he’d probably scoured off the internet. Lucy’s response: “That’s shocking that you eked out all that nasty trivia…” Lucy and Marissa then proceed to hand out the medals to the winners in all the different race categories. More lucky people posing for photos after Lucy puts medals around their necks. During this the MC starts reading more Lucy factoids and interview quotes that he’s dug up, things such as her nickname in school was “Unco”, that she was injured during a skit on the Leno show, yada, yada, yada.
Lucy seems increasingly unhappy with this turn of events and after he reads the quote about her admiring Madonna, but Xena not being like her cuz her breastplates never went all pointy, she mutters, “That’s embarrassing, now.” When he reads the quote about Xena being the best role she’ll ever have I thought she was gonna pummel him. Lucky for him he got the message and stopped with all the quotes and trivia as Lucy and Marissa continued to hand out medals. Lucy recovered her good humor during the raffle and was quite funny as she read off the numbers for the gifts. Quite a few went unclaimed as many runners had left by then and she joked that she got to keep any that weren’t claimed.
On to the Gay Pride parade, led by those raucously delicious Dykes On Bikes. Many of the “Xena Posse” were lined up on the grassy center median of Santa Monica Blvd. Jennifer Tilly went by on a huge float and bowed to us as we chanted her name. We were soon thrilled to see Lucy & Marissa approach sitting atop the back seat of a convertible.
When Lucy spotted her Xena gals she really turned it on and started vamping outrageously for us. She was one wild and crazy woman who put all inhibitions aside (don’t know if any Black Russians were involved) and had a fabulous time waving and cavorting atop the car along the parade route. Further along an adventurous young woman went up to the car and handed her a red feather boa and Lucy knew exactly what to do with it. A fun time was definitely had by all, with Lucy spending hours with fans for a good cause and then letting it all hang out in the parade. A truly Flawless woman, inside and out.