To many marathoners, the finish is the cherry on the ice cream Sunday. It’s the crème of the crop and the completion of a well deserved training regimen that has lasted 4 months of gruesome, intense cracking the whip. You may remember getting a silvery flimsy tin-foil like blanket called a space blanket which keeps your heat trapped and prevents you from cramping up. Yes, that glistening shiny thing that you may have used as a reflector for the sun, or an umbrella like contraption if it was raining or even a bag like contraption to carry all the free bees at the end of the race, where two hands are not enough to handle the mounds of food that you would need to replenish all the calories burnt from your previous 26.2 mile run. Some of these blankets have the sponsorship logo while others are blank, what you do with your space blanket after the race though is entirely up to you, although most of these are left behind in the trash can or out on the field somewhere.
Ok…so you get that part? Now, what is the safe blanket part? Well, to many people when you grew up, you either had a teddy bear or a safety blanket. Sorry folks, I had the teddy bear and the bear was a koala bear named no other than: Little Brian. When you were little you had to carry the blanket or bear around with you everywhere. Every picture you have probably includes your bear or blanky around. You probably remember some moments when you were a kid, where you cried all night because you didn’t have that security blanket or bear around and your parents were going nuts! Well…I have longed removed myself from my koala bear, Little Brian and have now moved on to a special kind of blanky. My blanky was given to me today…and is so dear to me that words would not describe the joy and wonder of when I had first seen it. To my friend, who is an amazing designer, your touch on an image goes beyond words.
Last year I had ran in too many races, 25 to be exact including my marathons. Also, if you are a runner, you know that with 25 races, you probably would receive 25 different shirts, ranging from a short sleeved T-shirt, to long sleeved t-shirt, to a tank top to a technical shirt to a sweater, you name it, we got it with the logo of the race and date written right over the front. So what do you do with all of these shirts? Many people like to wear their race shirt the day before the race (which I find a fo-paux against), the day of the race or even the time after the race. To me, I have a strict rule about these shirts, I don’t wear them. Sounds crazy, but yes, I have only worn one of my souvenir shirts once, and that was because it had my nickname written in the front of it: Crazy Asian. Any other time, I take it home, awaited the race to end, pinned my racing bib on the souvenir shirt and hang it on my wall.
To some people, they hang on to the good shirts, throw out the bad shirts or give these to good will. Others will use these shirts on training runs and run them into the ground. To me, my shirts are meaningful and is a souvenir to all of my races, either good or bad, PR’ed or not, each one tells a story…and that is why I cherish the blanky that was given to me today.
What do you do with all of your race shirts?