Digressions – What Do I Do With All These Shirts?

One of the perks of running races are the free tee shirts, but if you do enough of them, the shirts can pile up pretty fast. Here is a picture of my pile of race shirts.

Race shirts pile.

Running Shirts from Various 5-Ks (2002-2016)

There are 35 of them there from races I have run from 2002 through 2016. As you can see the pile is over a foot high. These are only the ones I have saved, a few have been tossed over the years. They take up even more space when folded and stacked neatly.

The shirts include plain cotton ones, tech shirts, long-sleeved shirts, and short-sleeved shirts. They have been good running shirts, but I have come to the point where I have too many and will need to decide which to keep and which need to go.

What do you do with these shirts? I guess some can be donated, but it seems a little weird to give race shirts. Do people in need really need a tech shirt that has the name of some random race on it?

Some of the races I have done offer alternative giveaways. Sometimes they come with a shirt and sometimes not. Here are three samples of other types of swag.

Cap, socks, and beer glass.

A cap, socks, and a, um, water-glass.

Two of these — the cap and the socks — are from the Needham Running Club. They deserve credit for thinking beyond the shirt. They also handed out running beanies for one of the New Year’s Day races. The glass came from the Cambridge 5K series. If you are involved in organizing a race, think about alternatives to tee shirts. I am sure that I am not the only runner with a pile of shirts this high.


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