Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Shirt on My Back.

I've got a policy when it comes to running shirts: I won't wear a shirt from a race I haven't ran.

My Wife thinks I'm crazy.

Whenever we go to a Race Expo to get the Race Package (Shirt, swag, information, etc) we always take a moment to go through the sales area and see what the merchants have - you can usually get some pretty good deals on gear or whatever.

Every single time, my Wife stops by the rack of previous year's race shirts and asks if I want any of them. They are nice shirts, and deeply discounted, but she can't understand why I don't want to wear the 2004 Half Marathon finisher's shirt.

I'm sure other runners understand what I'm talking about - to me, wearing the shirt says you finished the race. If I see someone with a Las Vegas Rock n' Roll Marathon shirt on, I'm going to ask them how it was, what they thought, and how they did. If I get a blank stare back, I know that they haven't run the race, and just like cheap shirts. (Either that, or they're an asshole.)

My shirt rule also applies to the race you are running. We picked up my Comox Valley Half Marathon shirt on Sunday before the race, and the Wife asked if I was going to wear it during my run. I'm hoping my puzzled/ewww face conveyed my thought on the matter.

It's inconceivable.

Wearing the race shirt for the race you are in is just bad karma waiting to happen. It's like wearing the medal and that silver blanket they give you afterwards at the start line instead. What if you DNF'd? I've never had it happen, (and hopefully never will) but I know if it did, that shirt would go into the closet or drawer and never see the light of day again. (I'd probably burn the thing - along with my shoes, hat, and possibly whatever underwear I was wearing that day.)

So am I crazy, or what?

It's not like it's some sort of weird fetish where I have to have my shoes tied by left-handed midgets from Ontario before I run, it's just that I believe wearing the shirt says you did it - you ran it, and can now proudly show it to everyone. (I'll admit, I did wear my race shirt to the gym today.)

C'mon, Internet - tell me it's not just me.



  1. I am with you. With this exception:

    I signed up for a Sept '11 marathon. I couldn't do it ... I was beat from the tri season and couldn't do the early am long runs to beat the heat. I still got the race packet, but decided I just couldn't wear the shirt -- at least until I've run ONE marathon.

    And then I saw the shirt. It's a long-sleeve tech tee and it's cut for a woman. I've worn the shirt. But when people ask, I tell them I'm a sham.

  2. I kind of had the same experience as Triple T. I signed up for a 1/2 marathon and it was cancelled because of the weather...but I did get my packet and shirt. And same thing, the shirt is a nice tech material, nice color, etc... I usually wear it under my jacket, and if someone asked I would def tell me the truth.

  3. Oh and if it was a DNF shirt...it would have to be SUPER nice for me to keep, otherwise I would goodwill it!

  4. With you all the way - I proudly wear my London Marathon shirt with my pyjamas in bed and it's jolly comfortable too.

  5. Anonymous8:42 am

    I agree with you!! It's like going to see your favorite band and wearing their band shirt to the concert!!