Monday, January 7, 2013

Yet another race T-shirt?

Dallas Half Marathon

I am not sure about you, but I have accumulated a zillion T-shirts over the past few years from all the races I have participated in. And it is getting worse as now many of these events actually give out two shirts, one when registering and one when finishing. Some of them are rather cool, and worth keeping, but the vast majority are blah…, with silly graphics or screaming colors. Most of them I would not want to be seen in even if you paid me. My last triathlon actually earned me a sweatshirt, again with terrible graphics. What I did is use it to keep warm before the start of a race, and then throw it away in the hope that some homeless person would benefit from it.

My kids used to raid my closet for any T-shirts and my wife used them when she needed a shirt for painting, but even after that, I still have many more left. I just cleaned out my closet (good thing to do at year-end) and threw away quite a few, but then, what a waste. Why don’t race directors make this an option and lower the price of admission (which is often ridiculously high anyway and prevents many students and others who can’t easily spend more than $100 to participate). It appears that they use the same silly marketing technique as the cable companies: if you sign up for one channel, you get another 100 you never watch. In this case, signing up for an event, you get one or more T-shirts whether you like it or not. I actually would argue that they and the sponsors should pay me for advertising their event. The main Dallas race sponsor of many of these events is Metro PCS, I don’t even use a Metro PCS phone, why would I walk around with a shirt advertising them?

So, my New Year’s resolution is to forgo the T-shirt thing. Even though I pay for it, it is not worth the effort to stand in line for a long time for a shirt, which cost wholesale most likely less than ten bucks anyway. As a case in point at the recent Dallas half marathon, I had to spend an extra hour at the “exit” as about 25,000 finishers were shuttled into the convention center, where they had to go up an escalator two persons at a time, while soaking wet from sweat. I just wanted to get to my wife, who had warm clothes and a snack, so I could go home and relax. All of that for a lousy T-shirt. Not for me anymore. I can go to Ross, buy the shirt I want in the colors I want, without the silly graphics. That is my resolution, at least one of them.