Thank goodness for running hats – I’m not sure if I would’ve survived today’s 12 miler.  It POURED the ENTIRE time (literally).  That’s 1:58:35 of being soaked to the bone.  🙂


However, the rain wasn’t so bad.  It was a good distraction, and the miles just seemed to fly by.  I’m getting hopeful that I’ll be able to set a PR (under 1:58 for the Half) in my two upcoming Half Marathons on May 26 and April 2. 


Post-run lunch was two Bagel Thins with egg and sprouts, a sliced orange, and Brussel sprouts.




It usually takes a while for my post-long run hunger to kick in fully, but I’m about to make a protein shake because I know how important it is to get calories in ASAP. 


So, on my run, I was thinking about race shirts.


At most races, you get a free shirt as part of your entry fee.  Now, the really sweet races will give you a technical tee (sweat-wicking), not just a plain cotton tee.    I love race shirts, although they do really start to build up once you’ve done 32+ races.


People are very superstitious about race shirts, and (in my opinion), rightfully so.  I don’t think you should EVER wear a race shirt before or during the race.  The only time I did this was during the OUC Half Marathon (I didn’t have any long-sleeve tech tees and it was freezing), and it made me feel all weird the entire race.  Like I was jinxing myself!

I feel like wearing the race shirt during the race is asking to twist your ankle or get runner’s trots and be forced to drop out. 


I was recently reading Runner’s World and they said that you can wear OTHER race shirts to races, but you should never wear a race shirt that is more than one race distance above the current race.  So, if you’re running a 5K, don’t wear an Ironman shirt or you look like a bragging douchebag.  I don’t really agree with the one-race-up-rule.  Did they just come up with that for the article or is this a legit rule I don’t know about?


I think race shirts are cool to wear to other races because it starts conversation with other participants!  I love wearing my Disney Marathon shirt because people always come up to me and say, “I ran Disney too! But in 1995” and then we have an awesome conversation.


Oh, and if you don’t want to wear your race shirts, you can always turn them into a quilt, like Meghann did! :)  But you also need mad sewing skills.

img_6780 (1) 

So – what do you think?


  • Do you wear the race shirt on the day of the race? Or are you supersitious like me and wait to finish before pulling it on?
  • Do you think the one-race-up rule is a good rule or is Runner’s World taking things too seriously?


  • skinnyrunner March 10, 2011, 1:20 pm

    hahaha ive never heard any of this about superstitions and race shirts. i give almost all mine to goodwill. i honestly think you can run naked if you want and run a PR or twist an ankle. although not something id want to try….

    • Molly March 10, 2011, 1:42 pm

      I agree, I’d never heard about the race shirts, but I’m not superstitious. I kind of think the “don’t brag with your shirt” rule is a little ridiculous. If you have run a marathon, and you’re running a 5k, and you like the shirt, why not? I don’t really think people pay that much attention to what t-shirt you’re wearing.

      • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 3:10 pm

        I agree with Molly!
        I don’t race, but my dad does. As far as I know, he doesn’t wear the race shirt the day of the race, but I don’t think he’s supersticious about it. He’ll wear his previous race shirts, and he’s got at least one shirt from the “club” he’s in, but he doesn’t seem to care about which shirt he’s wearing to which race. The only real thing he worries about is the long-vs-short-sleeved thing, I think. And why should it matter? It’s not like people don’t go back and forth between which length of a race they run, right? Like, you don’t focus on 5Ks for a year, then move up to 10s and Marathons and stuff after that. Who cares if you’ve done a Tri or a Marathon or even an Iron-Man (Dad’s goal is to someday run at least a Half-IM!) and wear that shirt to a 5K? To me, it shows that you enjoy running, not that you’re bragging. If you’ve done an IronMan and feel like doing a 5K and wearing your IM shirt, good for you! Impressive. You’re not bragging, you’re just letting people know how much you enjoy running.
        Isn’t this kind of a judgmental attitude to have? Aren’t you kind of being negative toward others for worrying about the fact they’re possibly bragging through their shirts? Maybe they like the shirt. Maybe it was the only clean one they had that day. There are lots of reasons. It shouldn’t matter.

  • Ann @ Day by Day March 10, 2011, 1:24 pm

    I’m a new runner (only done 4 races so far and none over a 10-K), so I’m glad to know the “race shirt” superstition! I don’t think I’d wear a shirt to the actual race, the same way I wouldn’t wear a restaurant’s T-shirt to eat at that restaurant. Once I finish (hopefully) my half marathon, I’ll probably wear that shirt all the time just because I’ll be so proud!

    • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 3:13 pm

      Why would you not wear a restaurant shirt to eat there? That’s kind of like saying you wouldn’t wear a band shirt the night of that band’s concert…? Isn’t it showing support? I sometimes wear my “staff” church shirts to church, because it shows I’m part of the team. Nothing bad has ever happened to me while wearing a church shirt to church, that I can remember.

  • Elizabeth@The Sweet Life March 10, 2011, 1:25 pm

    Your lunch looks gorgeous! Pouring here, too, sadly. I think race shirts are the best part of running!

  • Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 10, 2011, 1:25 pm

    I never wear THE race shirt of race day either!! And I have never worn “higher up” shirts before…..but not because I wasn’t trying to look better than others, just because I didn’t pack it. I guess that makes sense though. haha. Love your lunch, and congrats on your run- i bet you’ll PR in those races 🙂

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin March 10, 2011, 1:25 pm

    Wow congrats on your run!! I can’t believe you’re doing two halfs two weekends in a row! I inadvertently signed up for a 10 miler the weekend after the National Half and I thought I was crazy! =)

  • Stacy @ Every Little Thing March 10, 2011, 1:26 pm

    Love that quilt! I’m not really a racer but I think it’s valid, like not listening to the music of the artist you’re about to go see in concert that day.

    • SaraRM March 10, 2011, 2:01 pm

      I have NEVER heard of not listening to the same music. I always jam out to the artist before a concert… Whats the reasoning behind that?

      • Stacy @ Every Little Thing March 10, 2011, 2:04 pm

        Just one of those superstitions I guess, so you don’t get a bad show or under-appreciate the songs you’re hearing. I see a LOT of concerts though (I’ve seen DMB 30 times, among other bands…) so maybe it’s just for that reason?

        • Carly March 10, 2011, 3:35 pm

          We have the same superstition and NEVER listen to the band the day of the concert 🙂

    • Johanna March 10, 2011, 5:39 pm

      I have the same superstition! I would also never wear a band shirt of the band I was seeing.

  • Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen) March 10, 2011, 1:26 pm

    I <3 my race shirts. I never, ever where the race shirt on the day of the race. It's kind of like going to a concert and wearing a t-shirt with the band on it. I think the one-race-up rule is debatable. I know that it has definitely crossed my mind when dressing for a race. I know I would feel a little weird wearing a boston shirt during a 5K.

  • Erica March 10, 2011, 1:28 pm

    I have heard not to wear the t-shirt for a specific race on THAT race day, and I never do. But as far as the one-upping thing, I think that’s a little too much…I would totally wear my marathon shirt for a 5k. Not for bragging, but it makes me FEEL like a rockstar. Good motivation I think! I love the idea of the quilt! How cute is that?!

  • britt will be fit March 10, 2011, 1:28 pm

    after the race…got to earn it!

  • Alexa @ The Girl In Chucks March 10, 2011, 1:29 pm

    I agree…I never want to wear the race tee until after the race is over.

    I don’t know about the whole only wearing a race shirt that is one up from the current race distance thing though. I don’t think it matters. I never see someone wearing a half or a full marathon tee and think to myself, “What a jerkface! He’s rubbing my nose in the fact that I can only run a 5K!”…I think…”Huh. A race shirt.”…and move on! 😉

  • Megan March 10, 2011, 1:30 pm

    Congrats on your run!

    It really bugs me when people where race shirts to the race. Almost like they’re jinxing me just by wearing them. I know a lot of people love to do it, but it’s just something I’d never do. I do wear my race shirts like crazy afterward though. The technical tees I’ve gotten are some of the best. They’re great to just throw on for easy runs and whatnot. I wish more races offered tech tees because I never wear them otherwise. I’ve heard of the one up rule. I wore a half marathon shirt to a 5K just the other day, so obviously I’m not strict on that one. There’s a big difference between wearing an Ironman shirt to a 5K and a half marathon shirt to one. Although, this doesn’t really bug me. I like seeing what people have accomplished and love seeing all the different levels that can have fun together at a race.

  • Marissa C March 10, 2011, 1:30 pm

    JUST picked up a race shirt for a triathlon Sunday–technical tee too!

    I never wear the shirt to the race. I don’t know why.

    PS–check out INFINITELY better than and the others.

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 10, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I don’t normally wear my race shirts on the day of the race because they don’t tend to fit that well. I have a really long torso so some shirts are wayyyy too short. I usually throw it on over top of a clean sports bra post-race though.

  • Emily March 10, 2011, 1:31 pm

    congrats on the strong, rainy 12!

    i saw this runners world article too and totally don’t agree! I’m with you, race shirts strike up conversations with other participants. One of my favorite race shirts to wear is from the Vermont City Marathon, one of my favorite races and my home state. It’s crazy how far away I can get from VT and still meet people who ran the race or LOVE Vermont (as they should.) Also, I have almost no tech shirts from smaller distance races…most 5ks give away cotton things I would never run in. So if I want to race in a race shirt I HAVE to wear one more than one up (okay, maybe not really…but kind of.) Also, if you’ve done a marathon or an Ironman, I think you should be proud of it and wear your shirt wherever you want to! Okay, now I’m done. Usually I love Runners World…but this one got me heated.

    • Mary @ stylefyles March 10, 2011, 2:43 pm

      haha Emily I TOTALLY agree. Don’t let others dictate what you can and can’t wear! People who consider it bragging or probably just self-conscious. What a silly idea, to dress to please others. Yikes!

    • Ashley March 10, 2011, 2:53 pm

      No kidding! I thought that article was ridiculous. Most shorter races have crappy cotton shirts. The longer distances give out technical shirts more often.

      Besides, it’s not bragging IF YOU’VE DONE IT.

  • Beth March 10, 2011, 1:31 pm

    I think it’s definitely uncool to wear the race shirt before you finish the race! I think I’ve actually fussed at friends for doing it. I don’t have any race shirts I love, so I haven’t worn any to other races. But I do wear them around.

  • Therese March 10, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I’m not a fan of wearing my shirt on race day either. I don’t feel I’ve earned it yet until I finished.

    I ran a different race shirt during my first half though, I really didn’t give the distance a second thought although it was a 10k. I don’t know if I really have an opinion on that though, I figure whatever shirt works is what I should go for!

  • Kristina @ spabettie March 10, 2011, 1:32 pm

    I never wear the race shirt DURING the race, but I usually put it on after and wear it the rest of the day, or the next day! I think I have been guilty of wearing an 18k during a 5k… oops!

  • Kayla March 10, 2011, 1:33 pm

    Way to go on the 12-miler! In the rain! I have my first DOUBLE DIGIT run planned this weekend… EEK!

    I never wear race shirts to races. I don’t want to brag (and I think the Runners World rule is perfect), and I don’t like how most of them (the cotton T-shirts) feel for racing or working out. I wear them to do other workouts or to other random events or out and about, hoping someone will notice and strike up that conversation, etc. I hope one day to make something out of all of them…maybe a quilt or a banner to hang on the wall is the right idea. 🙂

  • Brie @ Brie Fit March 10, 2011, 1:39 pm

    I don’t wear the race shirt on the race day, but it’s less about superstition and more about “I don’t want people to think I’m dorky and super-duper excited for my first X distance race!”

    I’m the jerk who wears my marathon and half marathon shirts to 5Ks. I’m too cheap to buy other workout clothing, and I’m proud of myself! I’ve done this a few times, and it’s actually kind of fun because people doing their first 5K will be like, “wow, a half marathon!” and then ask me about it and I usually encourage them to train for one.

    I also am the annoying person in races who sees people wearing shirts from races I personally want to run and trots up to them and asks for a full review. I did this twice in my last half. Oops.

  • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story March 10, 2011, 1:39 pm

    No way. Don’t wear the race tee shirt to the race and don’t wear the concert tee shirt to the concert.

    • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy March 10, 2011, 1:42 pm

      I said the same thing about the concert tshirt before seeing your comment. It feels so nerdy to me when I see others wearing the concert shirt AT the concert!

      • Clare March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

        I said the same thing. and I thought I was so witty. 🙂
        Doesn’t everyone know that rule? Hopefully we’ve helped some people out.

        • Jessica March 10, 2011, 2:45 pm

          I was totally going to comment the same thing! 🙂

    • Johanna March 10, 2011, 5:44 pm

      I definitely agree, and it includes shirts from the band’s previous tours 🙂

      • Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story March 10, 2011, 6:22 pm

        YES! I would avoid wearing the band that you are seeing in concert’s tee shirts entirely. Bad call. 😉

  • Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me March 10, 2011, 1:40 pm

    You’re a trooper! Running in the rain? Not my cup of tea haha.

    Not a huge runner but I can see the superstition. I also think, who cares what you wear? Everyone is there for their own reasons. If you want to wear a triathlon shirt, go for it. It wouldn’t bother me. But everyone is different.

  • Lauren @ Sassy Molassy March 10, 2011, 1:41 pm

    For me, I’ve stopped buying the extra race shirt if they have the option to just pay for the race. I’ve had too many ugly race shirts that I’ve just donated to goodwill so now I only take them if they’re included. I never wear a race shirt during a race and definitely wouldn’t wear the race shirt during that race just because I think it’s kind of like wearing a concert shirt of your favorite artist DURING the concert. It just feels nerdy to me and maybe a bit superstitious for a marathon day. But that’s just me. I know everyone has their own reasons for wearing what they do on race day. 🙂

  • Ali @ Ali Runs March 10, 2011, 1:41 pm

    I would never wear a shirt from the actual race I’m running in during that race. It is definitely a superstitious thing, but it also used to annoy me when people would do that at track meets in high school. I’m not even sure why, I just felt like it was bragging.

    And the one race up rule I definitely broke the other day. I ran in a 10 mile race and wore my marathon long sleeve wicking shirt. In my defense though, I don’t have as much cold weather running gear as I should and it was the only thing clean. But I definitely see how that could also be kind of obnoxious.

  • Caitie @ The Caitie Experiment March 10, 2011, 1:41 pm

    My coworker and I are running a 5k this weekend and had this debate last night after we picked up our packets and shirts! I am definitely NOT a fan of wearing the shirt either before or during the actual race — for the same superstitious reason you are! I feel like if I wear it before, it’s like daring Fate to say, “oh so you’re running this race, huh? NICE TRY!” and gift me with mono or a broken toe or something. I’d rather not tempt it!

    Sparkly shamrock tattoos on the other hand… 😉

  • Ali March 10, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Few things:
    1. I have the same hat 🙂
    2. I NEVER wear the race shirt at a race except for the Tufts 10K because everyone does during that race.
    3. I don’t know if I agree 100% with the one-race-up rule. But I will say that I ran I 5k last April and there was a lady there in HEAD TO TOE Boston marathon gear and everyone was talking crap about her. So, I can see were it can be “douchbag-ish”.

    Oh and I heart you 🙂

  • Kayla March 10, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I think that you should wear the shirt at a fundraising or charity run. Sometimes we get so concerned about our race time and PRs that we forget that many of these races are raising funds for important causes. For instance, the Canadian Cancer Society has its annual Run for a Cure. This run is about more than just completing 5K, it’s about supporting people battling cancer. I think wearing the shirt builds up the feeling of support and community on race day.

    This is just my opinion about charity runs in particular.

    • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe March 10, 2011, 2:04 pm

      I feel the same way. I almost always run 5Ks that are for charity, and it seems that everyone there wears the Tshirt while doing the race. I feel awkward NOT wearing it.

      PS I didn’t even know about these superstitions.

  • Julia March 10, 2011, 1:43 pm

    I think you can wear whatever t-shirt you want! I mean….sometimes I don’t do laundry for a while, and I don’t really have a choice what shirt I’m wearing for a race! Plus, maybe if you’re wearing an Ironman shirt to a 5K, you’re one of those people who run 16 min 5ks, in which case you should be able to brag a little bit!
    I’ve worn race shirts to the race before, but I don’t most of the time, because I like to run in tank tops.

  • Jess March 10, 2011, 1:43 pm

    Grrreat run! 😀

    I adhere to superstition pretty much only in this area–you haven’t FINISHED the race, why wear the FINISHER’S t-shirt??

    I once ran a 5k in my Disney marathon shirt. Oops. 🙂 I don’t think it’s a problem at all. RW is being silly.

    • Jessica @ Fit Chick Wannabe March 10, 2011, 2:07 pm

      I thought that they were T-shirts for participating. If it were a “finisher’s” T-shirt, wouldn’t they give it to you at the end of the race? Like they do with a finisher’s medal?

      • Jess March 10, 2011, 2:32 pm

        Hmm, you’re right. Still, you haven’t participated yet… 😛

        And if I didn’t finish the race, I wouldn’t wear the shirt. I’d feel as though I was lying.

        • Mary @ stylefyles March 10, 2011, 2:41 pm

          I thought the shirt was part of your fee. If I pay $80 to run a race but get injured and can’t run (or defer a year) you can bet I’m going to collect my tee and wear it whenever I feel like it.

          Everyone is over-thinking this way too much. It’s a tee shirt! It’s not false advertising to wear, even if you couldn’t finish, or didn’t run at all. Ai yai yai!

        • Heather March 10, 2011, 4:52 pm

          what about people who volunteer for races and get the same shirts as the runners? Racing is a lot about the COMMUNITY aspect too – especially races that are fundraisers for a cause.

          If I am injuried or just not advanced in my training or ANY REASON, really, -even if i just don’t WANT TO- not to be able to participate in a race, and it’s benefiting a cause I care about- especially in my community- shouldnt I want to help promote and advertise the race even if I didn’t run?

        • Jess March 10, 2011, 4:57 pm

          Sure, Volunteers worked HARD at the race! They deserve the shirts, too! I organized a 5k last year and my coworkers and I proudly wear the shirts we designed for our racers. Organizing the race was much harder work than running a 5k…

          I *personally* feel that if I didn’t earn it–even if I trained and then was injured–I would feel wrong. But YOU can wear WHATEVER you want to. 🙂

        • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 8:44 pm

          I have to agree with Heather on the volunteer thing. I have a shirt from a 5K that was in memory of a girl from church who died a couple of years ago. It’s a different color from the runners’ shirts, and says “VOLUNTEER” on the back, but it’s the same logo on the front, and I love it. I wasn’t expecting to get a shirt; they handed it to me and I was like, “Oh. Sweet! :D”

      • Mary @ stylefyles March 10, 2011, 9:04 pm

        Oh! Also, sometimes I wear my boyfriend’s thrift store tees, that have logos from races that I didn’t even run in! I even have one that is from some gymnastics tournament, and I don’t even do gymnastics! And sometimes I wear my Mo Williams Cavs shirt, even though I’m not Mo Williams, and I don’t play for the Cavs. Come to think of it, neither does he……(tear).

        I guess my entire tee shirt existence is a sham!

        • Clare March 10, 2011, 9:41 pm

          When my students wear a jersey I always do the same thing to them (which some find uber lame and some find funny). If they’re wearing say a Carmelo Anthony jersey or something I like to exclaim, “look it’s Carmelo Anthony! Oh wait, it’s just you.” Please note I work with high school boys from NYC, so they can handle it and I’m not a total a-hole. Most of the time.

  • Kara March 10, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I don’t wear the race shirt that day because I hate that “new shirt” smell and I need to wash it first.

    I don’t care about the “one race up” rule. After I do my 50K in June, I will wear that shirt at every 5K I do from now on 😛

    Although when I did a half marathon I saw a guy in an Ironman shirt walking at like mile 3. I almost yelled at him to keep going, just to honor his shirt, you know? So maybe the rule should be that you have to perform at the level of your shirt. 🙂

  • The Chick March 10, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I’m not planning on wearing a shirt till I run the race. I have one exception to this.

    I didn’t run the Jingle Bell Dash in 1999 – my Dad did, and it was after that race we found out his Dad/my grandfather had just died. My dad didn’t want the shirt because of the date on it but I wear that 12 year old shirt any time I need a little extra inspiration or love on a run.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 10:16 pm

      <3 What a lovely memory to keep - a positive memento of someone's life.

  • Amy March 10, 2011, 1:44 pm

    I agree that some people can give off an “air of douche-bag-ness” at races, but I think that’s more based on the attitude they give off and less on the race shirt they’re wearing. Personally, I ran a marathon and it was a HUGE struggle and thus, a HUGE accomplishment for me. Therefore, I feel like I deserve the right to “brag” with my shirts–hello, I RAN A MARATHON! 🙂 I am proud of myself!

  • jen @ taste life March 10, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I only own two race shirts, one cotton, one sweat-wicking, so I’m not sure I have too much to say about this. I wouldn’t wear the race shirt during the race, because I haven’t raced it yet! But I don’t think it matters what the mileage was on the shirt you were wearing if you wore a previous race shirt. Who cares?

  • Michelle (The Runner's Plate) March 10, 2011, 1:46 pm

    I always think it is weird when people wear the race day shirt to the race. Maybe I’m just an elitist.

  • lauren March 10, 2011, 1:50 pm

    I don’t wear them prior to or on race day, but have worn other race shirts (tech) during a race.

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey March 10, 2011, 1:50 pm

    I would never wear a race shirt during a race – no way!!! That is totally asking for something bad to happen!

  • Holly @ Couch Potato Athlete March 10, 2011, 1:50 pm

    I have never worn the race shirt at the race because I like to wear my old running stuff — clothes that I know won’t chafe! And many of the races I have been in give me my shirt after the race, not at packet pick up.

    The one-up rule is hilarious. I have never heard that before!

  • Amanda- The Nutritionist Reviews March 10, 2011, 1:51 pm

    Turning them into a quilt would be awesome. I usually wear my race shirts to bed.

  • Amy March 10, 2011, 1:51 pm

    LOL. There is one race I do every year (in fact the only race I do every year) (it’s the Women’s Four Miler in Charlottesville, VA, represent!) where EVERYONE wears the race shirt to the race. It’s probably because it’s mostly made up of non-“serious” runners, but man, I love it. I would be a total dork at any other race offering a tech tee, and I don’t care who knows it.

  • Theresa @ActiveEggplant March 10, 2011, 1:51 pm

    12 miles in the rain? I don’t think I could have suffered through that!

    I never wear race shirts during the race I got it for-instead I wear it afterwards. As for the “one up” rule, I don’t think it matters – show-off or not, I think it’s a good conversation started and maybe even a motivator (think if I could run THAT race, I can make it through THIS race no problem).

    My problem is that I never ever wear cotton race t-shirts, and rarely even wear short sleeve tech shirts! They just don’t look right on me (I rarely wear t-shirts to begin with) so I usually take a picture of the logo and then donate the shirts! Long sleeve shirts are different though – I save those for handfull of cold days we get here in FL!

  • Clare March 10, 2011, 1:52 pm

    I think wearing the race shirt during the race is kinda lame (especially when it’s not a tech tee, who can run in cotton? Crazy). I compare it to going to a concert and wearing a shirt of the band you’re seeing. Lame.

    I’ve never heard the one up thing, and I’ve definitely been “that guy” I realize now. But I agree with you, I wore my Disney marathon shirt to a race in NYC and made a friend.

    • Zulkey March 10, 2011, 2:25 pm

      I feel pretty lame now 🙁

      • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 3:21 pm

        Yeah. If I were going to a concert of a band I enjoy and had a band tee, I’d totally wear the tee. My sister went to a Superchick concert a few years ago and bought me a tee, and you can bet that if I ever go to a Superchick concert, I am WEARING that shirt.

        • Amy March 10, 2011, 3:52 pm

          Seriously, me too. People are overthinking this way too much. I don’t care if someone thinks I’m “lame” for wearing a particular shirt to a particular race – get over yourselves!

          • Melissa September 22, 2012, 10:16 pm

            I had never heard of this before and I completely agree. If someone is going to take the time to call me lame for wearing a race tee on race day… They have nothing better to do.

            Also if your weren’t suppose to wear it then why do they give it to you before the race?

            I’ve worn mine…mind you I’m a newer runner….but I wear mine because it’s a good quality race tee. And I want people who are passing by to know what I’m running in. I’m proud!

        • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 8:41 pm

          Come to think of it, I saw Superchick at Sonshine (got there right at the beginning of their set), and I think I was wearing the shirt… 😉

          And my dad says he follows those rules, but he doesn’t know the reason behind said rules. He read them in the “humorous” running books written by the editor of Runner’s World.
          Personally, I think it’s dumb. If I ever take up running, I’m probably going to say “Screw the [unwritten] rules. I’m wearing whatever I want to a race.” Who cares? I’m not supersticious; doesn’t matter to me.

  • Legs March 10, 2011, 1:53 pm

    I’ve never heard about this superstition before. Mind you I am NOT a serious runner, but in the last year or so I’ve done about 10 races. I’ve worn the race shirts on the day of the race without thought on several occasions. For instance, I ran a Christmas race and they gave us great red shirts and jingle bells for our shoes. Since I don’t own many workout tops I was happy to wear the themed shirt for the run. I felt the same way at a St. Patrick’s day race (green shirt w/ shamrock) and a race to end breast cancer (great pink technical shirt). The only time I felt weird about a shirt was when I bought a “Finisher” shirt before my first half marathon in Disney World. I didn’t wear it to race in but I was still so worried that I wouldn’t finish the race and then I would be stuck with a finisher t-shirt. I ended up making it through and now it’s my favorite shirt. I wear it all the time to yoga! 😀

  • megan March 10, 2011, 1:53 pm

    I never wear the shirt to the race, bc I know so many other people will and I don’t want to be dressed the same! And I think the one-up rule is ridiculous. Be proud of your distances!

  • Melissa March 10, 2011, 1:53 pm

    Congrats on a great run!

    Great topics today, too 🙂 I don’t wear race t-shirts until after the race for all of the reasons described. Never thought about the “one up” rule and could see it going both ways…inspirational to be running your 1st 5K and see someone in a marathon shirt…”hey that could be me some day”…wearing a marathon race t-shirt at a family fun run…I would feel self conscious. Sometimes I will wear my half or full marathon shirts when I’m going out for a tough run to remind myself that I CAN do it!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 10:15 pm

      I agree, I would be more INSPIRED than INTIMIDATED by someone else’s race shirt, but everyone is different!

  • Katy (The Singing Runner) March 10, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I never wear a race shirt before or during the actual race. I just think it’s stupid (unless you have a legit reason like you did!). I’m not sure if I agree with the “one up” rule. If I have a certain race shirt that makes me feel better, than I’m going to race in it. For instance, if I run a 5K, but I want to wear my Disney 1/2 shirt, then I’m going to wear it!

  • Liz March 10, 2011, 1:55 pm

    I definitely don’t wear the race shirt on race day. Last year I trained for the National Marathon and got a stress fracture a few weeks before. I decided to pick up the race shirt and packet anyways since I paid so much money and it was too late to get any money back. But I didn’t let myself wear it until I completed another marathon. Truth be told, I still feel a little weird/bad about wearing it, but I did all the training!

  • Roberta March 10, 2011, 1:55 pm

    You have to earn the shirt before you wear it!!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 10:15 pm

      Love it. I agree!

  • Michelle March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I think Runner’s world is being a little to serious. Half the time I don’t even think about what shirt i’m pulling out of the closet. And i’ve never thought twice about what anyone else was wearing.

    I do sometimes think that wearing the shirt of the race you’re running is a bit like wearing the t-shirt of the band you’re seeing. Fine on other people but feels weird to me. 🙂

  • Carolyn March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

    What brand of running hat is that you wear? I like how reflective it is. Just wondering if it’s still on the market.


  • Carolyn @Eat Well. Live Well. Be Well. March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I never wear a race shirt on race day unless it is possible from a previous year. Why would I need to? I have a huge stock pile of other shirts from lots of other races.

  • Lauren March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

    I don’t wear the shirt before/during the race, but my last half, they gave us our shirts at the end of the race – which was kinda annoying because they were running out of sizes when I picked mine up.
    My friend’s family has SO many shirts because all of them run (marathons, cross country, track), so they have quite a few quilts now from all the t-shirts. They’re pretty cool quilts!

  • Samantha @ Health, Happiness & Skinny Jeans March 10, 2011, 1:56 pm

    Personally I think if you trained for and ran a race, whether it be a 5k or Ironman, then you earned the right to brag! Its an accomplishment and you should be proud to show it off.

    Now running the race with your finishers medal is another story…. 🙂

  • Julie (A Case of the Runs) March 10, 2011, 1:59 pm

    I might have violated that one-race-up rule without knowing. I rely on my race shirts for working out in general because I don’t buy any other shirts too often.

  • Ashley @ Feeding Ashley March 10, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Bahaha “So, if you’re running a 5K, don’t wear an Ironman shirt or you look like a bragging douchebag.” I haven’t had the privledge of earning a race shirt yet, but I can imagine they would build up after awhile. I like the quilt idea, and I’m sure you could make other stuff. I hate regular tees so I would probably never even wear the shirt.

  • faith @ gracefulfitness March 10, 2011, 2:03 pm

    During the year that I lived in Peru I took part in 3 or 4 races, including a marathon, and everyone but me wore their shirts for the race. I was too nervous about wearing something new for a race but it was kind of cool to see all of these runners in matching tops!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair March 10, 2011, 2:04 pm

    I have a couple race shirts that I love (both from half-marathons) and wear a lot, a lot. Then I have two race shirts that I NEVER wear for running and only for lounging (they are both technical tees too, but both races hold a special place in my heart and I don’t want them to get stinky. hehe)

    Also, when I did my first marathon (Portland) in October it POURED RAIN the entire time. 4:45 of being SOAKED. At the end of the race water was squishing out of the mesh in my shoes and my hands were wrinkly like I’d just had a bath!!

  • Maggie March 10, 2011, 2:07 pm

    I definitely don’t think you should wear a race’s shirt during the race, it just seems weird, like you haven’t earned it (which I know sounds stupid). My snobby-runner father says that only inexperienced runners wear a race’s shirt during the race, but he likes when people wear old race shirts from the same race they’re running.

    As for the distances, it doesn’t really bother me. I tend to think people don’t have bad intentions about that type of stuff. Maybe the shirt is lucky or that’s all they have clean or they’re coming back from injury and trying to give themselves some inspiration.

  • Lindsay March 10, 2011, 2:13 pm

    I have a different race shirt issue – i have a few awesome race shirts from my TNT staff days from races I did not run, but I worked at…they would give us the extra shirts sometimes. I ALWAYS feel weird wearing them and I feel like its a big no, no, but they are really great wicking shirts and so sometimes I just wear them anyway…ok, confession is done 🙂

  • Mary March 10, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Agreed! I think you should never wear your race shirt the day of the race… it’s like asking for lightning to strike you or something.

  • kalin March 10, 2011, 2:14 pm

    I wore one for a holiday race because we were dressing up (you can see the outfit here ) and none of my other shirts worked well for a Chrsitmas-y race-I needed to match my Mrs Claus apron!
    I was def not the only runner there in my race shirt-I think a lot of people were lacking in holiday running attire but wanted to be festive 🙂

  • SaraRM March 10, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I dont ever wear the race shirt on race day, but never thought of it being supersticious. I have no problem with people wearing other race shirts if thats what they want to do but also agree that it is a good conversation starter, ive done that several times….

  • the veg meg March 10, 2011, 2:20 pm

    I try them on after I pick my packet up, because it seems my race shirts will always be too big (I may start ordering youth sizes if they have them), but I won’t wear the race shirt to the race…my husband, on the other hand, MUST wear the race shirt to the race. Makes it difficult to keep track of him..

  • Zulkey March 10, 2011, 2:20 pm

    Oh my. I feel like such a yokel. I guess I thought it makes perfect sense to wear your race shirt on race day–it helps you feel like it’s more of a communal experience, plus then you’re secretly bragging about what you did when you go out ot brunch later.

  • Cristina March 10, 2011, 2:22 pm

    I agree about not wearing the race shirt during the race you got it for. More so because you look like a newbie :p

    However I think the one-race-up rule is silly. If your most comfortable/luckiest shirt happens to be from an ironman, and you want to wear it during a 5k, so be it.

  • Laura H. March 10, 2011, 2:24 pm

    I read that RW article, too! For some reason, I was taught that it isn’t “cool” to wear the race shirt on the actual day of the race because it labels you a “newb” in the running community. Usually I will wear another shirt of my own – usually a non-race shirt. As far as wearing other shirts to races, I think it is a little tacky to wear an ultramarathon or ironman shirt to a fun run. You’d have to think that those people participate in enough races to have a stack of shirts that they could wear instead. And I think it just makes the other people feel bad / consider the shirt-wearer kind of a douche.

  • delia March 10, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I’ve never worn a race shirt on the day of that actual race, but I can see how you might be compelled to if you were picking up your packet that morning and didn’t have time to stash it in your car or something. I’ve also never made the distinction of the length of the race advertised on the shirt to align with the length of the race I was running at the time although I guess it’s rarely an issue anymore because I mainly run half marathons now.

    I LOVE my race shirts, even the cotton ones. They bring back nice memories, and as a result, I never have to buy workout shirts!

  • Zulkey March 10, 2011, 2:26 pm

    I need to quit reading the comments on this post–they’re giving me a complex! I never realized that there’s such an air of elitism to running. I never cared about looking like a newbie–I was just proud of myself for being there.

    • Jess March 10, 2011, 2:44 pm

      Aaaw I’m sorry…you SHOULD be proud of yourself for being there! You ARE being awesome and if you don’t have the same silly superstitions the rest of us have, actually way more power to you. 🙂 <3

      • Zulkey March 10, 2011, 2:45 pm

        aw thanks. I am being whiny partially because I had a bad last few weeks of running and was not feeling it–today I did a nice slow 4 miles and was like “I’m back!” and then let myself feel all sorry for myself. I’ll keep coming back for the inspiration/aspiration.

        • Caitlin March 10, 2011, 9:54 pm

          Way to go 🙂 You’re doing great. Plus, remember everyone ebbs and flows!

    • Amy March 10, 2011, 3:55 pm

      Me too! I can’t believe some of the snobbish, elitist attitudes coming out on this thread. It’s ridiculous.

      • Kayla March 10, 2011, 4:01 pm

        I’m glad that I’m not the only one getting super annoyed at these comments. I cannot believe how snobby and elitist they are. I thought the running community was about being healthy and active, not about being this judgemental.

        • Amy March 10, 2011, 4:04 pm

          I know, right? God forbid I wear the wrong thing on race day. People might snicker at me behind my back! I’d be outed as a – gasp – NEW RUNNER!!

    • Heather March 10, 2011, 8:53 pm

      AGREED – Reading the comments, I had no idea it was so “lame” and “stupid” to wear a certain article of clothing! Ridiculous.

    • SaraRM March 10, 2011, 9:10 pm

      Ok ZULKEY and to any other new runners do not take this to heart…. High five for wanting to run, trying to run and DOING IT! Do not let this silly thing make you feel bad about yourself. You should definitely be proud no matter what you are wearing!

      • Caitlin March 10, 2011, 9:53 pm

        I agree – guys, it’s just a fun debate about whether your superstitious about wearing race shirts on race day! No one is saying (well, I certainly am not) that people are stupid if they do. It’s just a fun little discussion about runner’s quirks.

  • Susan March 10, 2011, 2:27 pm

    I don’t wear the race shirt on the day of the race because I follow the rule “Don’t do anything new on race day” and that includes wearing something I haven’t worn before.

    For races, I tend to wear non-race shirts or if I’ve done the race before, I’ll wear a shirt from a previous year.

  • cindylu March 10, 2011, 2:29 pm

    I change in to my race shirt, tech tee or t-shirt, immediately after the race. The feel of a dry tee is so, so nice.

    I’m not superstitious about it, but wearing a NEW tee goes against a common sense and well-known racing rule, “nothing new on race day!”

    I think wearing a race t-shirt or tech tee at the race is a little corny. It’s like driving to a concert and hearing the car next to you play the band you’re going to see.

    • Rebecca March 10, 2011, 3:26 pm

      It’s like driving to a concert and hearing the car next to you play the band you’re going to see.

      I would LOVE for this to happen. I’d take it as a positive. It’d just get me MORE excited for the concert.
      But maybe that’s just me.

  • Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table March 10, 2011, 2:30 pm

    12 miles in the rain = super impressive!

    I keep all my shirts, but never wear them on race day. My mom had a quilt made of a bunch of them… but now I’m ready for quilt #2 and 3!

    …Then I start thinking “what am I going to do when I have 10 quilts?!”

  • Jill March 10, 2011, 2:37 pm

    Never ever ever would I wear a race t-shirt on the day of the actual race unless it was absolutely necessary (and I cannot think of what would make it absolutely necessary since I have every variety of running shirt out there). It would jinx the race. Also it is a little like wearing a concert t-shirt to the same concert you are attending and everybody knows that is against the rules.

    As to the Runners World article, when would it not be considered bragging to wear the iron man t-shirt. I say brag it up, wear it, you earned it, whether its a 5k or an ultra marathon.

  • Heidi March 10, 2011, 2:37 pm

    I’ve haven’t heard of these superstitions either, but I’ve never worn any of the shirts BEFORE race day. I’ve only done races in Chicago and wear my shirt on race day and most other people here seem to as well. During the Turkey Trot last year they gave us hideous yellow and orange shirts and it was a sea of neon colors running down the road!

    • Zulkey March 10, 2011, 2:46 pm

      I loved those shirts! I have a picture of my husband and me wearing them and we look like a coupla of dorks.

  • Maren March 10, 2011, 2:41 pm

    I love your hat!! I’ve never thought about that, but I don’t really race that often! I do have a shirt that my sister got from Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN and it doesn’t fit her so I’ve been wearing it on all of my long runs this winter!! I usually wear clothes over it, but it’s the only long-sleeve tech tee I own!

  • linny March 10, 2011, 2:42 pm

    I’ve run dozens of races and strangely am not familiar with the race shirt superstition. I don’t have any race day rituals. I’ve found that no matter how much I prepare and train, I cannot predict how the run or race will turn out.

    I don’t wear or even save my race day shirts because I’m super petite. I wear a XXS women’s and unless it’s a women’s only race they don’t provide women’s sizes. Even then the shirts are too big. I don’t like bulky, billowing clothes when I’m running.

    Thanks for the post. I’ll have to check into the race shirt superstition now. 🙂

  • Emily March 10, 2011, 2:44 pm

    I would wear another race’s tee but never the one of the race I’m in. I also would probably stick to the type of race I’m running, but I’m also only a 5k girl thus far so the selection is pretty limited 🙂

  • Jen March 10, 2011, 2:44 pm

    Never ran a race so I can’t comment on the race shirts, but your lunch looks absolutely delicious!!!!

  • Rachel March 10, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Haha NEVER heard about this. I always wear the race shirt for the race I’m currently running!

  • Rachel @ Grateful Girl Goes Gluten Free March 10, 2011, 2:45 pm

    Awesome 12 miler! I’ve never thought about race shirts, but I totally understand don’t be a douchebag rule.

  • Mary @ stylefyles March 10, 2011, 2:46 pm

    Starting now, I’m going to wear my race tee shirt to the race every single time I run. If you see a red headed chic doing this, come over and say hi. I’m Mary. There can’t be that many red heads out there all committing the same runner’s faux paus, can there?

    I’ll report back with any injuries acquired while doing so 🙂

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:27 pm

      Heehheh love this comment.

  • Courtney Leigh March 10, 2011, 2:52 pm

    My first race, a Komen, I wore my shirt and so did thousands of others. I haven’t raced in one since then, but I did wear one, a long sleeved tee, the morning of a race because it was chilly. I never considered it bad luck and didn’t even know that some people did until today. I think if I run a race again that hands out tech shirts I might do it.

    I think the attitude of the shirt wearer is more important than the one level up rule. If you have an I’m better than this race attitude its going to show even if you wear a 5k shirt to a half marathon.

  • Roselyn March 10, 2011, 2:56 pm

    Haha, I didn’t know there was a race shirt superstition! I just never wore my race shirt to race in because I hate running in cotton. (I have yet to get one of those cool tech tees as a race shirt).

    As far as the one-up thing…I don’t see it as bragging…just pride in your accomplishments. 😉 One day, I’ll be able to wear a marathon shirt to a 5K. 😉

  • Sarah for Real March 10, 2011, 2:57 pm

    LOL I think it’s really interesting that Runner’s World thinks there are people out there who look for tips on not being a douchebag.

    In my opinion, a d-bag is defined by not knowing it and would never look for ways to reduce their douchbag-i-ness.

  • Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner March 10, 2011, 3:01 pm

    I love the shirt!!! 😀 I want one! 🙂


  • Kate (What Kate is Cooking) March 10, 2011, 3:02 pm

    I am not a fan of race shirts because I am really picky about short sleeves! Inalso have never gotten a shirt that fits well 🙂

  • Elizabeth March 10, 2011, 3:03 pm

    I totally think it’s bad race juju to wear that race’s shirt on the course. As for the RW one-race-up rule, I sort of love when people wear their Boston jackets during a 5k… and then I pass them (going slowly, nevertheless). Maybe that makes me a dbag. 🙂

  • Jaclyn March 10, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I totally agree, I wouldn’t wear a race’s shirt during the race itself! I don’t feel like I have “earned” the shirt until I cross the finish line. However, I reserve the right to wear my race shirt for the rest of the day!

    As for the “rule” about the one-race-distance-up, I think it’s considerate mostly when at shorter distance races. At my first 5K after taking up running again, there were a bunch of people in marathon shirts. Just looking at them freaked me out. I mean, here I was, plenty nervous already and not even sure I would make it through the race, and it just felt like these people were bragging about how awesome they were. I know it wasn’t directed at me, but seeing those marathon shirts at a little community 5K made me feel even more out of place and embarrassed. I can see the other side of it, that it’s a good conversation starter, and at a longer race (say 10 miles and up) I wouldn’t think twice about seeing marathon or Ironman shirts in the crowd. But at a little community 5K – and this is just my opinion – a marathon shirt smacks of “I am a running God(dess) who has blessed you, mere mortal, with my presence and I will now proceed to make you look stupid. Kiss my D-tag!”

    • Gracie (complicated day) March 10, 2011, 4:51 pm

      Kiss my D-tag, LOL!

      • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:27 pm

        Kiss my D-tag WIN

    • Chantal March 10, 2011, 10:34 pm

      Jaclyn, I had the same experience at my first 5K – I was SO intimidated by people wearing half-marathon and marathon shirts. It made me feel quite out of place, like I wasn’t good enough to be there. It was disheartening.

  • Mary (What's Cookin' with Mary) March 10, 2011, 3:32 pm

    I’ve never been in a race, but if I did… I would def NOT wear the race shirt during the actual race. I’m totally superstitious!

  • Alex @ Healing Beauty March 10, 2011, 3:33 pm

    I seriously admire you for running in the rain for that long! Way to go!!

  • Juli D. March 10, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I run most my races as part of the husband’s running club, so I wear a team shirt. Otherwise, I’ll wear whatever color one I like – I’ve never thought about the “race distance” rule. Honestly, who gives an F, wear what makes you feel good. 🙂

  • zoe (and the beatles) March 10, 2011, 3:37 pm

    i just ran in the rain too! all seven miles of being soaked. but it was probably one of the best runs i’ve been on in a long, long time! AND i had brussel sprouts for my lunch post run. funny coincidence 🙂

  • Emma (Namaste Everyday) March 10, 2011, 3:41 pm

    I was uber deressed when my first race didn’t give us shirts. but I do plan on collecting more!

  • Jeni @ stepping out March 10, 2011, 3:41 pm

    I used to not wear the race’s shirt on the course. Although, that was more because I didn’t pick up my shirt and bib until the day of the race…not much time to change.

    The first time I wore the race’s shirt was my first half marathon becaues I had zero long sleeve shirts and that was my first one.

    I was actually really disappointed at my last 10k when they ran out of my shirt size so I couldn’t wear the shirt on the day of the race. I love wearing them and actually haven’t worn a different race shirt on the day of.

  • Alison March 10, 2011, 3:43 pm

    I don’t wear race tshirts during the race, with the exception of the Girls on the Run 5ks. I do wear mine, then.
    I’m not superstitious, but I feel like I should earn the shirt before I wear it.

  • Emily @ Comfortable Home Life March 10, 2011, 3:51 pm

    Is it weird that I can tell you’re wearing the Spinx shirt in your first picture? I only know because I have the same one (I ran the 5k)!

    I don’t ever wear race shirts during the race. My sister told me once that it was bad luck, so I never have. I’m not opposed to it though. I was actually going to wear a race shirt this past weekend because I didn’t have time to run it back to the car, but they ran out of shirts anyway. Bummer.

    Also, I don’t care if you wear one-ups to races. I saw a guy wearing a Boston Marathon jacket this past weekend at my 5k . I thought, “cool!” If you can do it, you might as well be proud of it!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:27 pm

      Yay for Spinx! Isn’t that a comfy race shirt?

  • Laura @ Starting Out Fit March 10, 2011, 4:01 pm

    I’m not exactly one to talk considering I’ve only ever run 3 official races… and only 1 where I got a shirt. BUT, I definitely did not wear that shirt on race day. HOWEVER, out of the 15,000+ runners who ran that race (the 2010 SportingLife 10K in Toronto for Kids with Cancer), at LEAST 50% of the runners did wear the shirt! I think it’s sort of a tradition for that race… to show support for the kids.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:26 pm

      I think you’re right – charity races are different.

  • Kacy March 10, 2011, 4:07 pm

    I’ve never thought of this! I definitely don’t wear them the day of because I like to wear a favorite running outfit that I know if comfy and won’t chafe. The one-up thing does make sense though.

  • Ashley @ Ashley's Adventures in Alaska March 10, 2011, 4:11 pm

    I’ve never thought about this! I only wear the shirts after the race, but only because I want to wash them before I wear them. 🙂

  • April @ Crazy Fabulous Life March 10, 2011, 4:19 pm

    Hmmm..well, I’m running my first race in April so I can’t really weigh in on this, but I’m enjoying the comments!

  • Heather March 10, 2011, 4:48 pm

    you bet your bippy when i get my half marathon shirt this october i will be wearing it to other races (5Ks and such) to “brag” – I am working damn hard for that shirt! is it bragging to say “this is what i worked hard to accomplish, and I havent given up on you sweet little 5K race” or – “you were my first, 5K…and I will always hold you close to my heart, 5K!”

    also – isn’t saying that wearing a higher distance race shirt to a smaller race a bit of race-snobbery in itself?

    Don’t wear your AWESOME Ultra Marathon shirt to a measly little 10K, because then all the 10K runners will know that they are lame and don’t really matter to the world of running…..eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwww.

  • Gracie (complicated day) March 10, 2011, 4:50 pm

    My little brother ran his first marathon at age 19, and he wore the race shirt because at the time HE DIDN’T OWN ANY OTHER WICKING T’S because he was so new to running! And he smoked it with a 2:49. It was weird to see all the elite athletes pass the finish line in their fancy sponsored jerseys and singlets, then see my brother in a race T and hand-me-down shorts come in 16th. So cool.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:25 pm

      He ran his first marathon in 2:49?! That is incredible!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog) March 10, 2011, 4:52 pm

    I dont wear the race short until I have crossed the finish line!

  • Theodora March 10, 2011, 5:04 pm

    Oooh…the only time I would ever wear a race shirt to the race was if it was a distance I’d already accomplished. Since I’ve run everything from 5K-marathon now (whoa!), I would *maybe* break that rule for a 5 or 10K. For a half-marathon or a marathon, it would feel like I was jinxing it, since they were longer races.

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In March 10, 2011, 5:07 pm

    I appreciate the one-race-up rule for what it’s worth, but quite honestly I don’t own enough good shirts to follow it. I use my technical race shirts and good running options instead of spending more money, so when I choose to wear one it has to do with wanting a dry-fit shirt, not showing off!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:24 pm

      True that. Good and valid point!

  • Kennedy March 10, 2011, 5:09 pm

    I agree Caitlin! Never ever wear the shirt to the race. My running group had a discussion about this – our leaders told us it was a ‘faux-pas’ and even though I’m not really superstitious I’ve fallen in line on this one. Plus – I’ve always followed the logic that you should never do anything different on race day – and that includes wearing a new shirt! No one wants to chafe right?

  • Alexa @ Simple Eats March 10, 2011, 5:15 pm

    I’ve never been in a race yet, but I’m running my first 5K in June, yay! I definitely would NOT wear a race shirt in a race, that’s asking for something bad to happen.

  • Trisha March 10, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I think it is super weird to wear the race shirt during the race. Super weird.

    BUT my mom made me a t-shirt quilt of my “high school career” when I graduated. It has race t-shirts, volleyball and track shirts as well as some other things to remember. I LOVE IT! Such a fun idea for race t’s too!

  • Ashley @ Thefitacademic March 10, 2011, 5:21 pm

    uh, i usually wear my race shirts as sleep shirts (unless they’re the tech-type material). What’s that say about me? haha!

  • Kristen March 10, 2011, 5:25 pm

    I defiantly dont wear the race shirt for the race. I dont know why (maybe its one of my superstitions haha)

  • Theodora March 10, 2011, 5:29 pm

    Also, Nike tech tees are the best. I think all superstitions can be broken if the tee in question is a Nike one.

  • Jillian@ Reshape Your Life March 10, 2011, 5:31 pm

    I’ve only run one race, but I didn’t wear the t-shirt until after the race. I wouldn’t expect to wear the shirt DURING the race anyway, I want to make sure that I’m not going to chafe or get too hot.

    As for the one up shirt… I think I’m on the fence, because at my first 5 k there were people wearing marathon shirts and at first I was like “great what the heck did I get myself into” and “who am I kidding, I’m not a runner!”… It really started to get to me… UNTIL, I passed one. Then another. Then my confidence kicked in and I realized that I can run and if I trained too I could run a marathon (or half marathon) like they did. But seeing all of those accomplished runners definitely freaked me out at first!

  • Cait March 10, 2011, 5:38 pm

    Race shirts usually just hang out in my bottom dresser drawer ’cause I hate cotton. No luck for me on technical race tees yet.

    But that hat is baller- where did you get it??

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:24 pm

      Athleta and it IS baller – very comfy!

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss March 10, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I’ve never heard of that superstition before! But I never wear race shirts anyway because I’m usually already dressed in whatever I want to run in that day..and changing would throw off the groove. I do have plenty of race shirts, though..just not for racing in.

  • Fit Chick Britt March 10, 2011, 5:48 pm

    I would never wear a race shirt to the race, not because I think it’s bad luck but just because it’s not “cool” lol. I don’t think I agree with the “one up” rule. I love my marathon finisher shirt from the Houston marathon to a local 5k and there were tons of people wearing the same shirt. I think it is a conversation starter and I think it’s just a good way to show where you’ve been.

  • maria @ Chasing the Now March 10, 2011, 5:50 pm

    I have only done two races (and received a shirt at only 1), but I won’t wear a race shirt before running the entire race, not so much out of superstition but because I want to earn that shirt and if I haven’t finished the race, I haven’t earned the right to wear it yet!

  • gabriella @ embracement March 10, 2011, 6:18 pm

    I have never done a race so I don’t have any shirts, but I guess I wouldn’t wear one during the race. Not really because of any superstition more because I have tanks that I know fit perfect and I can run comfortably in and I just don’t want to change it up. My long run tomorrow is 12 miles too, we’re on a similar training track 🙂

  • Fawn March 10, 2011, 6:22 pm

    I did the Maui Marathon last year but didn’t finish and I was given a finishers shirt anyway. My friend who did finish was so mad I accepted it. I can understand why she would be upset I wasn’t trying to take away from her being able to finish but I told her it wasn’t like I would lie and tell people I finished when I actually did not. It was my first marathon and I was proud of myself for even reaching over 14 miles since I’ve never even done a 5k, so I just accepted it as a souvenir. She was pretty bent out of shape nonetheless.

    • Susan March 10, 2011, 9:47 pm

      That’s crazy. It’s not like you plan on going around telling everyone you did the marathon.

      I was injured last fall and ended up not doing two races I paid for. For the first, I was able to transfer the bib to my BF. He didn’t want a long sleeve shirt, so I kept it. For the other, I couldn’t transfer it and didn’t feel right about selling it to someone else, so I went ahead and picked up my packet along with the shirt. I don’t care if I didn’t do the actual races. I’ve done the distances before and that’s all that matters to me.

      • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:23 pm


        Congrats on running 14 miles!!! 🙂

  • chelsea March 10, 2011, 6:45 pm

    I LOVE getting race tee’s, however my husband made me throw out most of them because they are all I wear! I didn’t know about any superstitions about race tee’s, but it makes sense….Does it count if I wear my Shenendoah 100 shirt even though I only helped out and not raced??? Thats a major jump up in races….I wont sport it at anymore 5k’s promise!

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:23 pm

      Well people in THIS comment section seem to think it’s OK -so screw RW! Do whatcha want.

  • Kelly ( March 10, 2011, 6:59 pm

    I was going to recommend the quilt!!! When my hubby and I moved from Pittsburgh to Nebraska, his family made us a quilt made of each family members favorite t-shirt (not race related) and it’s one of my favorite things – it represents everyone!!

    Anyhow – I’ve read about the rule “don’t wear a tshirt more than one level up from what you’re racing” from No Meat Athlete.

  • erin March 10, 2011, 7:08 pm

    i don’t race, so i’m not surprised i haven’t heard of this. BUT it reminded me of the time i went to barcelona. my brother-in-law bought one of those t-shirts with a bull on it and wore it the next day, while still in barcelona. we were totally embarrassed (hello tourist!). and still tease him about it (and he still thinks it’s completely fine).

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:22 pm

      HAHAH YES. Tourist fail.

  • Melissa @ Be Not Simply Good March 10, 2011, 7:09 pm

    LOL, the Runner’s World piece was funny. I guess it is a little douche-bag-ish to do that. I don’t put on my shirt for the current race at that race. I’m already dressed when I get there! I never thought about jinxes.

    I have a race shirt with a fire truck on it (wearing it right now, actually) that gets a lot of attention from children when I’m out and about. “Look, mommy, a fire truck!” We have a 5k in my town that raises money for the fire dept. 🙂

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin March 10, 2011, 7:09 pm

    I’m not a racer (yet) so I’ve never heard of any of these rules or superstitions! But I’m pretty sure I’ll be so proud about my first race that I’ll end up wearing my race shirt everywhere! 😛

  • Camille March 10, 2011, 7:11 pm

    There is a website, it is called… I want to say College Quilts, and you can get them to sew all your shirts in to a quilt there!

  • christine March 10, 2011, 7:25 pm

    I agree with not wearing the race’s shirt at the race- it’s like the groupies who wear the band’s shirt to the concert. The one-upping thing is silly, though, I think.

    I know Garmins are water-resistant, but do you wear yours in the pouring rain? I just got one last week and am fearing an upcoming race is going to be a wet one.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:22 pm

      Mine is always fine in the rain! They really are water-resistant 🙂

  • Ellie@fitforthesoul March 10, 2011, 7:31 pm

    It doesn’t sound like something I would be bothered by, but if it makes one create an awesome quilt, then so be it! 😀 Cool quilt!

  • Hannah March 10, 2011, 7:31 pm

    I definitely think it’s a sort of taboo to wear the race day t-shirt during the race. I would feel weird wearing it! T-shirts are better to wear after so you can tout your accomplishments!

    And, I have never heard of the one-race-up rule. I’m running a 10K on Sunday and was planning on wearing my half-marathon shirt from last year for good luck since it’s filled with good memories. I sort of thought it might be weird to do, so now I’m not sure what I’ll end up wearing!

  • Lee March 10, 2011, 7:33 pm

    I don’t wear the shirt until after the race…usually. I did a 5K last fall and they handed out the shirts at the start and I didn’t have time to walk back to my car so I wore it.

    As for the one upping thing, I think it’s pretty silly. Every marathoner had a time in his or her life where a 5K was the most they could run. Why is it bad to show your accomplishments? And plus, you might just like the way the shirt fits.

  • Allison @ Happy Tales March 10, 2011, 7:33 pm

    COnsidering I’ve only run winter races… i guess it doesn’t matter what kind of shirt I wear under my running-jacket thing… I’ve never worn a race shirt on the actual race day, though. Not superstitious about it, just think that I’d wait itl afterwards!

  • Julie @ Lettuce Choose Healthy March 10, 2011, 8:04 pm

    I’ve only ran a couple of races.. I cant get rid of my shirts! .. one has a hole .. but I was so proud of that particular race .. i cant throw it out!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) March 10, 2011, 9:22 pm

    I have a big superstition about wearing the race shirt until after I finish. But I love throwing it on after I finish because I sweat a ton and I’m all wet…sorry TMI.

    I actually like other race shirts because It gives me an idea of where I’d like to travel to run. I have very few local races so I like recommendations just like I do with books.

  • Caitlin @ TPL March 10, 2011, 9:53 pm

    Great job on the run!! What do you do about soggy shoes in the rain?

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:21 pm

      Pray I don’t get blisters and stuff them with paper towels when I get back!

  • Sarah March 10, 2011, 10:19 pm

    I wouldn’t wear a race shirt the day of for three reasons.
    1. don’t do anything new the day of the race 🙂
    2. I would want something comfy and favorite, since I’m new to this and races still make me super nervous
    3. I HATE the smell of new clothes…

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:21 pm

      I hate the smell of new clothes too!

  • Jennifer March 10, 2011, 10:26 pm

    I don’t wear the race shirt on the day of the race, simply because I’ve had issues with different shirts rubbing, and I don’t want to take the chance.

  • Chrissie March 10, 2011, 10:29 pm

    Oh, I would never wear a race shirt before – that’s just bad juju! From a more practical perspective, I like to be able to tell my fam “I am in bright blue” (or whatever), and if I’m wearing the same thing as tons of other people, it’s harder to pick me out of the crowd.

    I have a tshirt quilt and I love it! My mom, grandma and aunt all worked together on sewing it and gave it to me for college graduation. Another thing I have done with an old race shirt is make a reusable bag.

  • Laurie March 10, 2011, 10:56 pm

    My thing is to take a nice hot shower after the race and then don my new shirt! Sometimes I feel like a show off, but screw it, I worked hard for it!

  • Sharon March 11, 2011, 3:56 am

    The only race we wear our shirts for is the Mother’s Day race in our area, because if you have your race shirt on, you can use the c-train and public transit for free. As the race also raises money for Neonatal Intensive Care (and we have a son who was born at 28 weeks and hospitalized for several weeks), we decorate our shirts as well. Otherwise, I’m of the mind that I would never wear a shirt before or during a race, and only if I complete the race (wouldn’t feel right wearing a shirt for a race that I wasn’t able to run for some reason).

    • Shanin October 23, 2013, 12:39 pm

      See my comment below, but I think that everyone is forgetting those local just for fun runs where its cool if everyone wears the race shirt.

  • Amber K March 11, 2011, 12:40 pm

    Wow, people have such strong opinions about superstitions! I don’t have any so it all seems silly to me. But it’s whatever the particular person is comfortable with!

  • Amy March 11, 2011, 2:21 pm

    I think a one race up shirt rule is crazy! I’ve never heard of it and I wear what is comfortable. I’m scheduled for my first ultra in a week. Once I finish that, I mighht just wear that shirt every day – race or not. 🙂
    And you don’t need mad sewing skills. My friend makes shirt quilts! Check out Quilts by Leslie.

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:20 pm

      Oh how awesome!! Thanks 🙂

    • Caitlin March 11, 2011, 6:20 pm

      Oh how awesome that your friend does this!! Thanks 🙂

  • Heather March 5, 2012, 9:13 am

    I remembered reading this last year, but hadn’t run a race yet at this point. I have now run 3 races in Bogota, Colombia (I live here) and I have noticed something weird here – it is suggested to wear the race shirt for that race, and everyone does it! In one race, we were VIP so we started near the front of the race and my friend was asked to start at the end because she didn’t wear the race shirt. Apparently they do this because of the photos of the race! So funny that it totally depends on where you are racing!

  • Haley May 20, 2013, 3:55 pm

    I wear my shirt from the race before, even if it is a longer distance. I’ve never heard not to, and agree that is dumb 😉

  • Shanin October 23, 2013, 12:34 pm

    I would think there would be some exceptions to the race shirt wearing on race day debate. Such as a classic fun race for all ages and levels such as Jingle Bell Runs and Turkey Trots where it looks pretty darn cool if everyone is in their race day shirts (I actually think its rude for people to NOT be in their shirts, like “come-on, be part of the crowd!”). But in a technical competative race, then no.

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