Race Swag: To Keep or Not To Keep

Good morning!

Today I’m sharing what the people really want to know “Are you a race gear hoarder or minimalist?” Okay, so it’s not a “exciting, need to know the scoop” topic, but I am linking up with Erika, Patty and Marcia for another edition of Tuesday on the Run.

After six years of running races, I would consider myself somewhere in the middle of hoarder and minimalist when it comes to race swag. When I first started running I was a total hoarder probably because it was an exciting and new hobby. I kept everything from the t-shirts to safety pins I used to pin on my bibs. Seriously, I had a little box of safety pins.

Then as I de-cluttering one day, I found that I needed to buy another storage container just to keep all my race stuff. I’m in the “if you need to buy more storage to store things then you probably have too much” camp, so I just got rid of it all. Yep, my safety pin collection, race guides and my bibs all went in the garbage, my old race t-shirts to Goodwill and my medals to Medals 4 Mettle. Maybe a bit extreme, but at that time it felt so good.

Nowadays, I pin my bibs to the wall in my pain cave for inspiration and reminders of past races (what was good/bad/ugly) and my medals go on a medal hanger on the same wall. I’m in my races for the experience, not for the swag that comes along with it, though sometimes the goodie bags are pretty awesome.

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I’m pretty picky about which race t-shirts I keep—of course I have to like them but they also have to fit. If they’re too big, I’ll see if Tyler wants them but usually he’s not interested. I don’t need five cotton or poor quality tech shirts taking up space in my drawers, I have some pretty awesome running/cycling clothes taking up that prime real estate already. I have really only found that there’s only one type of shirt I like the keep: the VTSMTS shirts. They are the softest cotton-blend race shirts I have ever gotten. Perfect for the gym-will definitely keep these for the foreseeable future.

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softest shirts ever

So, are you a race gear hoarder or minimalist—or somewhere in between?

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17 comments

  1. I definitely keep the medals, though right now I don’t have a good way to display them. I get rid of bis right away, but usually hold on to a couple sets of safety pins “just in case”. The race t-shirts (and, in some cases, race towels) I re-use as throwaways before other races. The only race t-shirt I’ve kept is from my first marathon, because it’s honestly a great shirt, even if it does have a hole in one armpit. I also have a beer glass from that marathon and don’t plan on getting rid of it.

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    • Oh yeah I forgot about my pint glasses-I definitely keep those and they get used several times a week 🙂 I got my medal holder on Etsy-it was reasonably priced and they have so many varieties.

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  2. I am a definite hoarder, but I also get rid of things periodically.Never heard of medal to mettle — I’ll have to check that out!

    But I must say it never even occurred to me to keep pins. 🙂

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  3. I am picky about my race shirts. If they are not tech and not a women’s shirt, I don’t wear them. I give them away.

    I hang up my half marathon medals but I just keep my age group awards in a basket.

    I am definitely not a hoarder but I still need to de-clutter even more.

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  4. When I ran the Indy Mini back in 2008, I think it was maybe my 3rd half, Medals for Mettle had a receptacle set up in the finish area collecting medal donations and I looked at them like they were nuts. Back then I had very few medals and could not imagine giving one up. Haha! Now I feel a little differently.

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