2.5 Inches

A few months ago I wrote about schwag, the stuff runners get with their race entry fees. When schwag used to be just a cotton shirt and the occasional medal, I saved both. These days it’s a little tougher to save everything with all the goods runners acquire at the average race.

At the beginning of every racing season, I go through my closet and donate my non-stained cotton shirts. The cliche idea of making my shirts into a quilt went out the window as tech fabrics became popular (and I realized no one would want to snuggle a bunch of faded, pit-stained cotton shirts). I keep my non-marathon medals at my parent’s house because I’m just sooo fast  hipsters don’t wear medals  my parents use them as Christmas tree ornaments  I don’t have a porch to hang homemade wind chimes (sigh. Just get to the truth, Li…) every race gives out finisher medals and my studio apartment can’t handle over a decade of perfunctory bling.

Every medal tells a story, but these babies could write a novel.
(Thanks to Kelly for my beautiful and incredibly appropriate medal hanger!)

I love the occasional pint glass (since I’m apparently still too juvenile to buy adult drinkware), throw the sample lotions in my purse, and the reusable shopping bags are pretty handy, but the only things I’m completely committed to saving are race bibs. I can honestly say I have my bib from every single race I’ve run, excluding most high school and collegiate races, which didn’t usually have them.

That’s a lot of sweat.

The collection started as a scrapbook supplement, and I wrote the date, the distance, and any notable personal or team placing on the front of each bib. If they were splattered with mud, I did my best to preserve the muck. If I wore team ribbons in my hair, I tied them on. A NYRR race in memory of a late sheikh gave out pins, so I attached those, too. Thirteen years after my first race, I have a nearly complete saga of my races that’s a stack only 2.5 inches tall. Pretty amazing.

One day I’ll wallpaper a room, but I haven’t set down roots quite yet.

What do you keep from races? Have you made the quilt happen? Do you do something with your medals?


5 thoughts on “2.5 Inches

  1. Awesome stack! I have most of my older bibs w/ my time/place/other notes wallpapered onto my wall at home. The most recent ones are being stacked on a tie rack. The booklet looks like a great idea. Will be a nice keepsake.

  2. Amazing!! I just started my second shoebox that I throw them in. I write the date, distance, and time down. Some have happy faces with the letters PR circled and some have angry faces or a scull and crossbones…hahaha, it’s funny because it’s true. I kept the stupid space blankets from Boston, New York, and maybe Philly. Why?? But I can’t bring myself to throw them out. You know, because I’ll use them again????

    • Love that you put your mood or PR on your bibs, too 🙂 Haha, I forgot that I kept my marathon space blankets! I actually have them in my car “for emergencies,” aka I just want a reason to have them 🙂

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