Recent years, as registration prices have gone up and the next running boom got well under way, every race doled out MORE FREE STUFF (read: stuff you actually pay for). Technical shirts with a running company's brand all over it. Then they started handing out medals for every freaking distance. Raced a 5K, 8K, 10K? No problem, you get a medal. At some races, they hand out more stuff after you cross the finish, like extra hats, touques, water bottles, small towels. (Personally, my favourite 'freebie' after the finish is food, beer and a space blanket.) I shake my head as I fill out my drawers with all this stuff.
To be transparent, I do love quite a few of my medals, have my marathon hardware up on a random wall. I love some of my shirts. In fact, I do have some favourites.
|Stay or go?|
Fast forward quite a few years and those first shiny medals, those first sporty T-shirts start to not only accumulate, but take over your drawers and closets. How many shirts do I have? Well, not counting the random actual running gear I buy, I have raced in almost 90 road races in the last nine years.
Um, yeah. I've got a gear problem. Today, I resolved to solve it as I embark on a massive spring cleaning exercise and threw away a tonne of my race gear.
|I owned these until a few hours ago. They've been donated.|
If I hadn't worn the shirt in the last year, or planned to this summer, they are dumped
If logos are faded and the shirt is frayed, they are dumped
If I have six versions of the same shirt from the same race, most have to be dumped.
It was a trip down memory lane. My first half marathon shirt (Scotiabank 2005, seen above) reminded me of that race that spurred on my Boston ambition. My pace bunny assignment at the Chilly Half Marathon or one of my many MCM race turtle necks.
Of course, this paring exercise spared a few shirts I love. The Night Crawler 5 miler, which no longer exists, had awesome shirts and I kept one of four. And I kept three Around the Bay shirts, saving the other three for their final assignment as a warmup shirt for a future race. Boston gear is safe, as is a lot of my favourite training shirts. But the point is, if I don't wear them, why am I keeping them.
|Spared, for now.|
The rest, yup, they're gone. And I've got plenty of running gear left.
|Goodbye race gear!|
Next paring exercise, those pesky medals.