Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wearing a Race Shirt to a Race

There are plenty of rules in racing, but there are plenty of unspoken rules too. Let's call them racing faux pas. They are debated in groups on long runs, during brunch after said run and in the "Ask Miles" column in Runner's World.

Here's one that has to be in many runner's top ten: Wearing a race shirt at the race

There's a rule that keeps race preparation simple: Don't try anything new on race day. From the food you eat to hours of sleep, from hydration to outfit. Who wants to run the risk of chaffing in a new shirt on race day?

Then there's the runner's need for a sense of accomplishment - I can't wear a race shirt until I've ran the race (and crossed the finish line).

But it's obvious not all runners share the same thoughts. From a 5k to a half marathon, you see people wearing the race shirt during the race. I wonder, do they think they are supposed to wear the shirt? Do they not know any better? Are they chaffing?

The inspiration for this post came last weekend as I was driving to Ravinia with my friend Corbin. As we drove, we got on the subject of his training - Corbin is training for a metric century ride. He has raised an impressive amount of money for a charity in conjunction with the race. The charity called him last week thanking him for his contributions. They offered him a few premiums for his fundraising efforts, including delivery of a jersey to wear during the race. Corbin thought the jersey was a nice offer and told his wife Margo.

Margo's an experienced runner and marathoner. Instead of showing excitement, she showed concern. What if the jersey was the race jersey? She told Corbin about the unspoken rule. Corbin challenged her on it. Her response was, "Ask Laura. She'll tell you."

And so the conversation in the car continued on this subject. Corbin is now well-educated on the subject. Let's see what he wears on race day.

1 comment:

Mo said...

I never ever ever wear the race shirt to the race... I think you have to earn it before you can wear it. Other race shirts, from ones that you have already run? Perfectly acceptable.