I’ve recently just gone through and cleaned up ALL of my running gear. This meant throwing out the old stuff that I had accumulated over the last couple of years (and haven’t worn in ages), but also to go through my race shirts. Unfortunately here in Australia there aren’t any companies that transform your shirts into quilts, and shipping to the US is crazy expensive. That said, the shirts I let go weren’t the most awesome (excluding the Toronto Yonge Street 10K shirt – but that was almost threadbare!), so it occurred to me – what makes an AWESOME race day shirt?
Does awesome design = badge of pride?
Seriously, there is nothing better than a shirt you want to wear as soon as you get it (although I generally wait until after I’ve ran the race), and luckily the Disneyland 10K with Stitch was one of those shirts. I’m a huge Stitch fan so I naturally gravitate to this one as a go to when I need a shirt. It really doesn’t have anything to do with broadcasting to the world where I ran, I highly doubt that the majority of the world out there knows who Stitch is, but more I think it just rocks! I really think that they had the design and colours right on point, I love the navy blue – it seems to go with everything. The 2014 Half Marathon shirt however is another story. It’s a grassy green colour, with soft pink, yellow and blue for the logo (with the writing on an angle).
On the other hand, I had a race shirt that was super uninspiring, just really the name of the race and the distances that were covered – Yes, I could have ran anywhere between 1 mile to 42km with this shirt. And while I wore it for a bit, it was rather a boring shirt.
This sweaty betty needs a tech shirt!
If you’re going to get me to wear your race shirt it better be a tech one! I only wear event shirts when I run, so cotton can’t really be in the picture. I’ll happily pay for an upgrade to the tech version (provided the design is awesome) otherwise it will be one of those “working around the house” type of shirts.
Another thing is that not all tech shirts are equal. I’ve experienced crazy size differences between brands and it tends to be the non-running gear companies where I tend to find the sizing a little off (fine up top but maybe a little tight around the bottom).
I’m really bias towards my runDisney shirts – all runDisney tech shirts (events of 10K and over) are made by Champion, so not only do you know that they are good quality, but they fit like the regular Champion gear.
I’ve also had some great race singlets from Nike for the She Runs events. These are the standard Nike Miler tanks, with the race theme design added. Again, it’s easy knowing the size of these tech items when you’ve got the same clothing sitting at home.
The shirt tells me that I’ve got a future goal….
So I may not be running the Great Smoky Mountains Half anymore, but I do have an awesome In Training shirt that I am going to wear. Why? I’ll eventually get there one day, so technically I’m in training for it. It’s a visual reminder to keep this one on the list. Additionally I have a 2016 WDW Marathon In Training tech tee that I’m picking up from the US later this year, given that I’m going to be running my first marathon – there was NO WAY that I was missing out on the branded tech tee.
…Or the shirt that tells me that I’ve rocked it
It was sad for me to part ways with my Toronto Yonge Street 10K event shirt. It was my very first race back running (and first long distance race). It’s when 10K was the furthest that I could ever think about running, and even then I was super concerned that I wouldn’t even make it. It’s the one that I have been the most proud of, so much that I wore it to death (literally, it was my only tee in a wardrobe full of running tanks).
I was a little sad that there was no race tee when I entered my first half marathon.
In some way, although the shirts that I decided to get rid of weren’t the funnest, it was still hard to get rid of them. Each one tells of a tale, an obstacle that happened mid-race, or the extreme methods that were behind it to keep motivated in the weeks leading up to it. So be free, boring race tees! You did your job, and I’m proud to be making room for more (and longer distance) race tees in the future!
Who’s with me and has an absolute favourite race tee? Tell me all about it!