One of the benefits of running multiple 5ks and other races is with each event you get a free t-shirt (complete with bragging rights). After a year of running I have enough t-shirts to last me a little while. But, interestingly enough, I found out there is a right way and a wrong way to wear those shirts. I came across an interesting list of various ‘rules’ compiled online. Here are some examples:
- A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. There is an exception, though: “significant others” and volunteers are exempt.
- Never wear a race event shirt for the (same) race you are about to do. Only rookies do this. It displays a total lack of integrity and might put the bad-heebee-jeebee-mojo on you for the race. Wearing a T-shirt of the race, while currently running said race, is discouraged. It’s like being at work and constantly announcing “I’m at work”. Besides, you wont have the correct post-race shirt then…unless you like to wear sweaty, pitted-out clothes on a regular basis. If you do, then go back to the swamp, Gomer
- Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish. To wear a race shirt is to say “I finished it”. Exceptions: see guideline #1.
- No souvenir shirts: therefore, friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If your mom thinks that your Boston shirt is lovely, tell her to QUALIFY for Boston herself, & send in her application early for next year, so she can earn her own shirt.
- Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out-classes the event you’re running. It’s like taking a gun to a knife fight. Or like unleashing an atomic bomb among aboriginal natives. You get the idea.
- Also: never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown or at the mall among non-running ilk. People will just think you have a big head, which you do. You’ll also get stupid questions, like, “how long was that marathon?” If it’s a shirt to a 50 or 100-miler, they’ll think it’s a shirt for a cycling event or just think you’re totally nuts, which (of course), you probably are.
- A DNF’er may wear a race shirt if… the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question (using a fat Sharpie or a Marks-A-Lot).
Full List: Proper T-Shirt Etiquette