From the Runners’ Closet: Race Shirts

When I can’t run, I have a lot of free time in the evenings. One of the ways I’ve been using this free time is by doing other things like yoga, my exercises so I can get back to running, and things like cleaning my apartment. You know, you run and your laundry just smells so you know you need to clean it and do something about it but without running my laundry just doesn’t have that strong, pungent odor like it used to have. Out of smell out of mind.

But I decided to tidy up and started with organizing my closet, and by closet I mean basically the anteroom to my bathroom. I pulled the winter clothes out of circulation and started organizing my running clothes for ease of access.

I used the "messy" filter.

I used the “messy” filter.

I wish I could say the mess really bothered me but I was easily distracted when I remembered I had a new episode of The Soup to watch. As I was cleaning out, though, I started going through my stack of non-work shirts, which is a nice way of saying my race shirts because I just don’t buy non-work shirts anymore.

Some of my favorite race shirts from the last two years are basically short sleeve tech shirts that I wear to run. I like them because they’re a) women’s cut and b) don’t go down to my knees.

They’re the 2013 Brooklyn 1/2 shirt, the 2013 Nike 1/2 shirt, and my 2012 Superhero shirt. White shirts, just FYI, get pit stains really fast around me so I keep a bottle of Shout handy and try to remember to treat the shirts after I wear them. That, or just resolve to never lift up my arms. My favorites, though, are probably my long sleeve tech shirts from Disney’s Marathon weekend this year. IMG_2937

The shirts are pretty comfortable and the sleeves are neither too long nor too short, much like the shirts’ hemlines. (Trick: a Youth X-Large or whatever the biggest youth size is in the 5k shirt is akin to the women’s medium in the tech shirts. The proportions fit me a lot better.) I wear these shirts all the time and not only did I enjoy running in them, wearing them to do nothing, but they were great for layering for running because they were loose enough that I could fit a tank top underneath no problem. Plus, I liked the variety of colors and thought the graphics weren’t half bad.

The worst race shirt I have is actually my Marine Corps Marathon mock turtle neck. It’s a spandex-fleece mix that’s great in theory but in reality it’s not flattering and it’s too hot for me to be able to actually run in and uncomfortable enough that I wouldn’t just sit around in it. I got no use out of it ’til I started rowing this spring, and for that it was just enough under my jacket to keep me warm in the morning but still too much to run. Plus, turtle necks are fashion’s way of literally suffocating you.

Survey: Your favorite and most disliked race shirt and why.


10 thoughts on “From the Runners’ Closet: Race Shirts

  1. Anything with a small neck hole and are not a women’s cut. So. Annoying. Sadly this includes my Dumbo Double Dare shirts and my 2010 Disneyland Half Marathon shirt… *insert sad, pouty face here*

    My favourite is probably my first half marathon shirt from the Fargo half in 2007–it’s a long sleeve, black, roomy half zip tech shirt…super comfy.

  2. I hate to admit it, but I don’t wear any of my race shirts…most fit terribly and I really only run in tank tops or long sleeves. I should maybe start wearing the Dopey shirts since they actually fit decently…right now they’re all in a suitcase waiting to eventually be made into a quilt (which I’m sure will never actually happen!).

    My favorite race “item” was from the Falmouth Road Race – instead of a shirt you get a mug with registration! I LOVED that!

    • Let me know how sewing tech fabric into a quilt is, I’m curious… I’d love to make mine into a quilt. I saw a post on NYRR’s facebook page that they were having a race shirt quilting class at a sewing store in the city and I wish I still lived in NY for that.

      Mug is pretty awesome…

  3. I would have to agree that my Dumbo Double Dare shirts are probably my least favorite. As a larger female, men’s cuts don’t usually bother me as much, but these just don’t fit right at all. That, and the NYRR Queens 10K shirt. It’s an ugly neon yellow and the fabric isn’t as good and the cut is horrible…on me.

    My favorites are probably from the Glass Slipper Challenge this year. I like the cut, feel,even the designs aren’t horrible (not overwhelmingly girly). I have yet to get a long sleeve race shirt I like (I’m looking at you W&D) so maybe this year will be better with the women’s cuts!

  4. So happy that runDisney changed to a women’s cut at all the races. My shirts from my Goofy Challenge 2013 are ridiculous. The neck hole is tiny, yet the shirt is like a dress on me. Unisex sizes are awful. The mock turtleneck was probably thought up by a creative person that does not run. It certainly would not be something most runners would wear unless they live in Alaska!

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