Favorite Race Shirts
Everyone has their favorite race shirts. Some race shirts have sentimental value, some look great and some wear well. Some runners get rid of all of their shirts and don’t seem to have any favorite race shirts!
I keep all of my race shirts, much to the consternation of my wife! I have piles of my favorite race shirts.
There is some debate about race shirts. Race sponsors like them because they get there name on shirts and potentially get years of exposure. What better way to associate health and vigor than to have your company name on a runner’s shirt?
Most running shirts are made from “engineered” or synthetic materials.
When washed, small pieces of these synthetic materials break off and are drained away when the washer drains. Municipal waste water systems are not designed to filter these particles out of waste water, so they end up being dumped back into the environment.
Cotton shirts do not have this problem, but growing and manufacturing cotton has it’s own set of issues.
Here are a few of my favorite race shirts
The inaugural BAA 10K shirt isn’t particularly fancy. Just a blue shirt with the BAA logo in gold. The shirt is 100% polyester and is very comfortable to wear. This is one of my favorite race shirts because it’s from an inaugural race and is comfortable to wear.
Another reason this is one of my favorite race shirts is because I have run this 10K race each year since it began. This is the only race that I have run every year since it began and for that reason this shirt will always be special to me. Hopefully for many years to come.
Moving Beyond Witness
This race took place in 2015 in Medford. This was the summer I was on my quest to run 50 5K races before I turned 51. I was happy to find a 5K close enough to walk to.
The Congolese Genocide Awareness organization sponsored this race. This was also an inaugural race and had less than 100 runners. Probably due to the low turn out, they decided not to hold the race again. This shirt is 100% cotton, which makes it a casual shirt, not a running shirt.
This shirt is one of my favorites because I love the design. Runners of all colors running together in harmony. The message, “Moving Beyond Witness” imploring us to not sit idly by watching the news while our fellow human beings are being killed. The design was well done and the message was delivered gently.
AIDS Walk Boston
The AIDS Action Committee has held this event for the past 31 years. While much progress has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, much still needs to be done.
I like this shirt for the clean, simple design. If you look closely, the Boston skyline is in the tread of the shoe. I’m not sure what the significance of the three colored dots are, but I’d like to find out.
This shirt is a cotton/poly blend which makes it great for wearing around. The high contrast logo makes it easy to raise awareness just by going for a walk.
Boston Marathon 2016
When I started running the Boston Marathon in 2003, the shirts were long-sleeve cotton shirts. These were good for late summer, early fall kicking around shirts. But the print, much like memories, fades too soon on cotton shirts.
For the past ten years or so the BAA has provided tech shirts from Adidas. While I generally do not run in long-sleeved shirts, sometimes I will wear one of these tech shirts on a cool summer run or over an Under Armor shirt in the fall.
Each year the BAA has to come up with a new design and color scheme. This year they went with stripes on the Marathon and 10K shirts. I have not seen the BAA 5K or Half-Marathon shirts, but I imagine they also have the same stripe design.
While not my favorite Boston Marathon shirt, I did run this race.
Each Boston Marathon shirt is special to me. Much like a nice medal, which Boston also provides, looking at, holding and wearing these shirts brings back rushes of memories.
Over the years, all Boston Marathons meld together into a collage of memories on a mental bulletin board covered in photos, clippings and little videos. And then a moment will pierce through the haze of memories and reminiscences and become crystal clear.
For a moment a tear or a smile will appear on my face spontaneously. I am alive in that moment. I can feel the excitement of being in the starting corrals in Hopkinton. A moment shared with a stranger in the crowd or a hand slap with a young spectator.
The smell of food, the sound of bands and spectators fill my ears. The burn in my legs as I made my way up some hill and the feeling of it never-ending and then of it ending all of a sudden. Too soon.
Sometimes the tear the smile and the adrenaline surge are one. While every recollection is not glory and joy; the richness of the memories is priceless.
While every shirt doesn’t hold the memories of a Boston Marathon, may hold similar memories and that is why I hold onto so many of them. Life is about memories. If we don’t have memories of our lives what’s the point? What did we do with our time?
While total recall is impossible for most of us, many rich gems can be teased out of something as simple as an old cotton shirt.
Cambridge City Run 2015
This was another race in my quest for 50 5Ks by 50. During this quest, often I worried that a race would be just a check box race on my way to 50, where the only thing that mattered was finishing.
Being in the moment at each race and experiencing the day invested meaning into each race beyond the finish.
I was really in the moment that day. I ran a hard 4 miler the day before and took advantage of a warm gym to do a good stretch before the race. I recall really feeling like a runner. I met some new friends for the first time that day and we have run many races together since.
I like the clean simplicity of this shirt. It is also a cotton blend and I wore it during the race over my Under Armor, it was March after all.
This was a 5 mile race around Fresh Pond Reservoir just down the road from Alewife.
I came back to this area for a long run last spring when I was training for the 2016 Boston Marathon.
There is NO parking for non-Cambridge residents at the res.
While the trail is great, the unfriendly parking situation kind of sucks.
JP Morgan Corporate Challenge
The shirt pictured here is the one my company provided for our team. It is a high quality Brooks shirt. It is a poly/Spandex blend and is very comfortable. It is also a v-neck t-shirt which is a style I have come to like.
I loved running this race and spending time with my colleagues outside of the office. T-shirts and shorts have a way of leveling the field. No one cares about your title or the car you drive. We had managers and new hires on our team, and we were all runners.
I have several of these shirts and each one reminds me of those special evenings spent getting to know my colleagues better, doing what I love and enjoying a beautiful summer evening in Boston.
Do you have any favorite shirts? Maybe a shirt that has seen a few too many runs and a few too many washes?
Send me a photo of your favorite shirt and why it is special to you.
When I get a few photos I’ll create a post and feature your shirt and your story.
Run well my friends!