Monday, August 23, 2010

Don't Wear the Event's Singlet

Since I started running last March, there were only 2 occassions (Buddy Run and Takbo Runfest) that I wore the race t-shirt.  For the rest of my runs, it was always my tried-and-tested drifit shirt.  There were several reasons behind it.  Singlet did not looked good on.  It was too small for my frame (someone registered for me).  I do not like the material.  I do not like the color.  I was not comfortable because of the fit.  Lately those reasons has evolved to: (1) easier to sift through event pictures especially when there is no PhotoVendo and (2) my arms won't get chafed

Oddly enough I found in the interweb that we should not wear the race t-shirt because there are superstitions associated with wearing it during the race and it makes you a rookie.  Does this answer the question as to why runners (on international events) doesn't wear the event's singlet?  I also noticed that our pinoy elite runners does the same as well

When I google'd for additional information, I bumped into a list of t-shirt etiquette and most of them are outright funny.  Here's the "somewhat edited and re-arranged" version:

1. A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. There is an exception, "significant others" and volunteers are exempt
  • If possible, runners should buy "significant others" T-shirts which can be worn without regard to running the race. Keep in mind, they support your "running Jones" more than you think. They also have ways of punishing you that you can't even imagine. Or maybe you can
  • Volunteers have full T-shirt rights and all privileges pertaining thereto. Remember, you can always volunteer for a race and get a shirt. I encourage this as your civic duty to be a member of the running community. Races don't happen without volunteers, folks
  • No souvenir shirts: therefore, friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If your mom thinks that your Boston shirt is lovely, tell her to QUALIFY for Boston herself, & send in her application early for next year, so she can earn her own shirt
2. Any race t-shirt, less than a marathon (42k) distance, shouldn’t be worn to an ultramarathon (eg TNF 100) event. It simply doesn’t represent a high enough "cool factor" and sends a red flag regarding your rookiness. It's like taking a knife to a gunfight. It's probably best just to wear a generic name-brand athletic shirt, and go hide in a corner until race time

3. When you are returning to a race in which you have previously finished, then wear the shirt from the first year you completed the race (wear your KOTR 2008 singlet in this year's KOTR). Don’t short-change yourself by wearing the shirt from the year before. It doesn’t adequately display the feat of accomplishment or the consummate veteran status that you are due
  • During a race, the wearing of shirt from a previously completed year is acceptable. Wear the oldest T-shirt you have from that race. This is probably a good practice because you now have no excuse to drop out since you’ve done it before
4. Never wear a race event shirt for the (same) race you are about to do. Only rookies do this. It displays a total lack of integrity and might put the bad-heebee-jeebee-mojo on you for the race.

5. Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish (DNF). To wear a race shirt is to say "I finished it"
  • A DNF’er may wear a race shirt IF the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question

6. Always wear the race shirt of your last race at the current race’s pre-race briefing, if there's any. The more recent the race, the better. This is a good conversation starter. However, avoid the tendency to explain how that it was a training run for this, and this is just a training run for the next, etc. It just sounds like your rationalizing mediocre performances. Sometimes it’s best to live in the here and now

7. Your t-shirt should be kept clean, but dried blood stains are okay, especially if it is a trail race or a particularly tough event. If you're an ultrarunner, you can even leave in mud and grass stains, (and porcupine quills). Not washing-out the skunk scent is pushing the macho thing a bit too far, though

8. Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out-classes the event you're running (BDM 102 on a 10k event). It’s like taking a gun to a knife fight. Or like unleashing an atomic bomb among aboriginal natives. You get the idea.

9. Never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown or at the mall among non-running ilk. People will just think you have a big head, which you do. You'll also get stupid questions, like, "how long was that marathon?" If it's a shirt to a 50 or 100-miler, they'll think it's a shirt for a cycling event or just think you're totally nuts, which (of course), you probably are

10. Never, ever, borrow a race finisher's shirt from another runner to wear to an event that you didn't run. If you do, remember that in Dante's Inferno, he wrote about a special Hell for characters such as you - right between Tax Collectors and Lawyers

11. The Bad Ben Guideline: All children or grandchildren of mine can wear hand-me-down race finisher's shirts for races that I've run in. When they are asked, "did you run in that 100-mile trail race?" They can proudly respond, "no, but my daddy (or grandad) did." If your progeny has put-up with you being an ultrarunner, they have said rights too. If you have completed an Ironman, your kids also have the same rights. They've put up with a lot of crap (or outright neglect) over the years, and deserve to wear them

12. The Bryner Guideline: Never wear a shirt that has more sponsors listed on it than people that ran in the event. (Are you listening, race directors?) A shirt with too many sponsorship logos on it is just plain ugly. If you're a race director, and have scored that many sponsors, how about sharing the wealth? By the way, you can let ANYONE wear this ugly shirt; non-finishers and distant relatives, alike. If you respect your friends, kids, spouse or mother, though, you won't let any of them wear it. It would serve well as bedding in your kid's gerbil cage.

13. Never wear a shirt that has any sponsors on it that you don't agree with. For instance, if you're a Vegan, you shouldn't wear a shirt that proudly advertises "Omaha Steaks" on it. If you wear this shirt, the "Karma Gremlins" will catch-up with you

14. The Spencer Guideline: If an event is cancelled at the last minute, but the event shirts were already given out, you can't wear the shirt unless you actually ran the race on that day. This means you will have to run your own unsupported event, through snow storms, hurricanes, or whatever lame excuse the Race Organizers came up with for cancelling said event. If you still want to wear the shirt, you have to mark it with a sharpie, "I didn't run this lousy event, and I'm all the better for it, thank you," across the front of it

15. This next one is a big one, and has something to do with the need for more good taste and asthetics in this sometimes ugly world. Never wear a shirt that is so old, thin, and threadbare that you can see the color of your nipples or chest hair through it. This seems to be just a "guy thing," especially and old-codger-runner-guy thing. Here's the test guys: if you're too scared to machine-wash your 1978 Tab Ten-Miler shirt for fear of it wafting down the drain as meer subatomic particles, then it's probably too transparent to wear in public. If you can (still) remember your great performance at that particular day and you want to save it for posterity, PLEASE have it framed so that you can keep it on the wall of your den or your "I love me" room, and (at least) out of public view. Better yet, have it sewn into a quilt. You can then sit on your couch and read back-copies of Runner's World, cuddled up with your "runner's binky," with a glass of warm milk.

16. By the way, if you don't know what terms like DNF, volunteer, or Significant Other are, then you shouldn't wear any race shirt until you know what they mean, and you shouldn’t have any meaningful relationships, either. You should probably become a hermit and/or New Age "Tantric" runner, sitting at home in the lotus position performing virtual marathons in your mind, while sniffing used GU packets, incense, and patchouli


Anonymous said...

If you follow these rules or even care about them i feel sorry for you. Stop worrying about fitting in to some imaginary group of seasoned veterans, just run your race.

Anonymous said...

I believe this was meant to be funny.

Anonymous said...

This post is BS. Yet entertaining to the least.

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