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Imagine Goudarz Karimi’s surprise. The Oxford University student was out for a run yesterday getting in a little cardio work enhanced by his 30kg weight vest. That’ll get your heart going, too. Thirty kilograms is about 66lbs of added weight in the real world. You know what’ll also get your heart going? Having a police armed response team point their pistols at you and scream, “Stop! Stop! Put your hands in the air. Drop everything you have.”

We don’t know what the UK’s equivalent of Homeland Security’s informative color-coded threat level system is, but it must have been elevated. One of Oxford’s hyper-vigilant citizens had rung up the local constabulary with the alarming news that there was a swarthy young man on the loose wearing a bomb vest. The reports:

Iranian student Goudarz Karimi said he was shocked by the police response even after they realised he was not a suicide bomber.

He said he had gone out for a jog on Monday afternoon and was confronted by the armed response team in Southfield Road, East Oxford.

‘The police removed my weight vest and examined it. They started asking questions: “What are you doing?”

‘They said they had a report of someone walking in a bomb suit. There were police cars and the street was blocked.’

He said that when they realised it was an exercise vest they advised him to remove it to prevent any another call from a terrified member of the public.

‘They told me I’d have to take my vest off, I didn’t want to provoke anything else and that’s why I put my jacket over it.’

Mr Karimi said he feared his ethnic origin had sparked the concerns.

‘I am 100 per cent sure that if I was blond with Caucasian skin type, nobody would have noticed and said anything about it.

‘But I’m of dark skin complexion and from Iran and I’m sure that’s related to it,’ he said.

We’re guessing that, on a go-forward basis, Mr. Karimi will either keep his weight vest under wraps or confine his jogs to the Oxford gymnasium.

[h/t to AI member in good standing Huck]

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    • Put the word “bomb” on a vest is a sure ticket to paradise. How about, “it’s a weight vest, you limey schmucks!” That’s more accurate.

  1. I live in California. I have seen people wearing these at the gym and yes, running along side the road wearing them. At the gym you tend to think these guys are full of themselves. When they are running along side the road you just think they are stupid. You don’t think “bomb”. Out here you see bikers and hikers wearing camelback water packs on a regular basis. Those have a purpose. The weight vest doesn’t.

    • i have never seen one of these thing out in public, usually just professional athletes training. I’m not actually surprised that cops got called on a guy who was wearing a vest an appeared to be running away from something.

    • “Out here you see bikers and hikers wearing camelback water packs on a regular basis. Those have a purpose. The weight vest doesn’t.”

      Sure it has a purpose. It’s purpose is to make you shorter and cause chronic back pain and neurological damage by compressing your spine.

      If you want extra weight, get a pack with a waist belt and stick a weighted “pill” in it. You get a pack (something useful for other purposes) you get your added weight for blowing out those knees of yours, and you keep the weight off your spine by transferring it to your hips.

      • No the weight vest does have a purpose I use one to help me train for firefighting. It simulates the weight of the gear you have to wear. I been using it for a while and i dont have any back problems what so ever.

  2. He’s fortunate the Coppers didn’t tackle him and shoot him several times in the head. George Orwell’s grave must resemble a gerbil wheel, for all the turning over he’s doing in it.

  3. I’ve done some workouts with vests like that and it’s obvious that they take extra pains to make them look more streamlined/elegant and less like blocks of C-4. That is the ugliest one I’ve ever seen. Google search “weighted workout vest”. I suspect he used the most conspicuous vest he could find just to make a stink.

    What’s his problem anyway, that police responded to what appeared to be someone with a bomb strapped to them running down the street? They weren’t even rude. They realized their mistake and let the guy go, probably with an apology.

    Anybody familiar with my comments knows that I’m not exactly forgiving of police misconduct, but this stinks of publicity stunt.

  4. ‘I am 100 per cent sure that if I was blond with Caucasian skin type, nobody would have noticed and said anything about it.”

    That doesn’t matter these days. Look at the Blond guy that killed all those people in a resort in Norway.

  5. Goudarz Karimi is an absolute idiot.

    Second: How do we not know that this was some type of stunt reminiscent of the Imams who got on a plane, started walking around in groups while in flight and praying loudly? I am pretty sure they ended up suing and receiving a fairly large settlement.

  6. 66 pounds, eh? What’s the waiting queue time for non-emergency knee cartilage surgery in England these days? Probably over 24 months. Better lay off the weights, Goodarse.

    • Really?

      He was being a smart-ass by wearing a piece of exercise equipment? That is your take on the whole thing?

      Just itching to find some jackboots to lick, aren’t you?

  7. So this wouldn’t be considered anything like a “dry run” just to see if there was a response/reaction? Then again unlike others who’ve posted I’ve never seen anything like this vest for working out, but then I do live in the Midwest and don’t frequent gyms.

  8. I have one of these vests in 40lbs. I’m 5’7″ and 145 lbs so I don’t have a lot of my own mass to work against when trying to get exercise via short hikes and stuff, so I wear one of these when running over terrain in the woods after work. It’s a very neat feeling and when you take it off you feel like you are walking on a cloud.

    However, I would never exercise in public with the damned thing.

  9. He could always stencil POLICE on the vest. Anybody wearing anything that says police is magically exempt from fear or criticism.

  10. Why would an Iranian/Muslim/Middle Eastern man be subjected to more suspicion?

    I’m not a bigot so I can’t think of any reason. I’m politically correct so I especially can’t think of any reason. I’m sure this fine man has been speaking out against all the violence committed by “his” people. I’ll bet he’s been a real peace activist like his fellow Middle Eastern brethren all around the world have been.


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