The 2014 Sport Beard of the Year Winner was good enough to take some time out of his gruelling schedule of running and grooming to speak to us about his beard.
BW When did you start growing your beard and why?
WL As Beard 2.0 is currently in the works, I imagine you are referring to the beard which won me this prestigious honor, for brevity’s sake we’ll call it Beard 1.0 or B1. B1 came about in the wake of shaving off my mustache in September 2013. My girlfriend, bless her soul, had never seen me clean-shaven so at the end of my 2013 competitive season I agreed to remove the lip sweater. After a few weeks of looking like a respectable 20-something I began to feel an indescribable urge for change. As the preceding month was Octobeard, it seemed as good of a reason as any to start growing B1.
BW Do you feel your beard enhances your performance?
WL Absolutely. Very few of my athletic achievements have come about in the absence of facial hair. It took until this past season to realize the beard was my secret power source.
BW Do you have any tips for growing and maintaining your beard?
WL As the popular internet meme of my good friend, John Jefferson, emphasized, patience is a key ingredient to any successful beard.
WL Another key is support. Surround yourself with people who think positively about facial hair and will not try to derail your beard growing endeavors.
As far as maintenance is concerned one must exercise caution and care. It is well-known that the growing process for facial hair is slow and tedious, so when shaping your beard you cannot get too overzealous with the shears. I try to make short, precise trimmings and work towards and ideal look/length rather than bold chops with regrettable results.
BW Track running isn’t known for beards, why do you think this is?
WL Some would argue beards function as wind sails and are aerodynamically inefficient. It is primarily a result of this misinformation that beards are not popular in the world of athletics.
BW What other sports beards do you look to for inspiration?
WL I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the indefatigable beard of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Brian Wilson. The power he surely derives from his beard and the fear it puts into his opponents is truly incredible. It is one of the great wonders of the sporting world.
In the world of athletics, Martyn Rooney is a beard stalwart. While wavering in length throughout the season, its presence is always felt and appreciated by fans and competitors alike.
Thanks Will, we look forward to following B2 in the 2015 Athletics season!
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