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November 13 2012 / Emily

You Might Race Too Much…

You might race too much when you have a pile of discarded goody bags – from months upon months of races – that you haven’ t sorted through.  I finally decided to look through them and take care of the mess.

Before (and a cat)…

After – so much stuff!

I found:

  • two pairs of socks
  • two race shirts
  • three pens
  • one pencil
  • one toothbrush
  • one pack of flossers
  • one plastic bracelet
  • one squishy earth ball
  • one magnetic clip
  • one keychain
  • four safety pins
  • one pack sticky notes
  • two raffle tickets
  • one Luna bar
  • one pack Sport Beans
  • one pack trail mix
  • one Honey Stinger gel
  • one jar lid gripper
  • one pile coupons
  • one pile sponsor advertisements
  • one pile race flyers
  • and a few empty bags

Most of the coupons were expired and the race flyers were for events that had passed (exclusion: Mistletoe Half Marathon/5k).  I threw away the bracelet.

Looking through all this made me think about what I like to find in race goody bags.  Obviously free samples are great.

Socks are a rather nice perk too, as long as they are organized enough to give reasonable sizes.  The top pair is some Smartwool ones that I got from the Umstead Trail Marathon, and they should fit me based on the label.  I don’t remember if we gave our shoe size at some point or if all the women got one kind of socks.  The lower pair of socks are custom made for the Belews Lake Sprint Triathlon, and those were in bins at packet pick-up, and the volunteers distributed socks accordingly.  I’ve gotten socks once or twice before and once they were these silly-big men’s socks, so those were rather pointless, and I even have big feet for a girl.  I think I gave them to my father.

As for the promotional items, pens are decent choices: unlikely to be thrown away, but also just jammed into a cup or drawer of other random pens.  The pencil is less functional since I don’t have a pencil sharpener, but I could bring to work, since I do use pencils there.  The key chain I kept but I don’t really know why.  The magnetic clip has a new home on my fridge.  The bracelet, as I mentioned, has a new home in the garbage can.  Got to think that’s a rather unpopular item.  The jar lid gripper is a great choice, as it has good company with a few other jar lid grippers and since it’s on top of the pile now (and green!) I will use it at least weekly.  The sticky notes are tough to throw away, but the logo takes up like half of the note, so that makes them less functional.  The squishy earth ball is definitely being kept, whether for throwing at the cat or just needing something to squeeze now and then.

Food samples are nice, though I’ll admit to having a fairly big collection amassed of random foodstuffs I’ve gotten at races.  I rarely end up wanting to try something new when running a long run, which is when I’d need a bar or gel.  Maybe non-running foods are best.  Like cookies and granola.  So some of those things are probably kind of old and gross by now.  I should sort through that.  Well while I’m writing, I’ll take a photo of that stash too.

Overfilled box of foods:

the box is almost bursting at the seams

Oh jeez some of this stuff is really old.  That Clif Bar expired March 2010 and wow the Odwalla bar expired December 2009.  Ew.  Well, blog, thanks for giving me a prompt and a reason to throw gross old food out of my running food box!

goodness that is a variety

Left pile of expired items is already in the garbage.  The right selection of bars and gels has gone back into the box.

most was expired

I have also gotten (in goody bag or as finisher prize): duffel bags (Flying Pig), posters (Flying Pig), grocery bags (Flying Pirate had a race logo, assorted other races with sponsor-logo bags), lunch boxes (Flying Pirate, Shamrock), hat (Shamrock), string back packs (Rock ‘n’ Roll, Shamrock, San Francisco, Cooper River, Estes Park, Disney Princess), water bottles (Estes Park), plastic cups (Shamrock), spi-belt knockoff (Outer Banks)… I’m sure there has been more!

What are your favorite items from race goody bags?  What would you like to see?  Besides the shirt of course!  A well-fitting technical shirt is a special treat, especially for the womenfolk.  And if it also has a good design in addition to a good fit?  PAYDIRT.  I’ve often thought running shorts (or lounge sweatpants) with a logo might be neat, and would differentiate from all. the. shirts. we get from so many races.  Not that I don’t like shirts, but getting something different is usually a treat.



Leave a Comment
  1. hinsone / Nov 13 2012 8:34 PM

    With the cold weather training/race season upon us, I was very happy to get a pair of gloves at the City of Oaks in Raleigh. They aren’t fancy, and a whole lot of people threw them away in the first couple of miles, but I kept mine since I couldn’t find my other gloves and my hands are always freezing. I don’t get too excited about the Gu samples since they are usually in some “HEY TRY ME” flavor like blueberry pomegranate or raspberry espresso. As a food scientist I understand sensory testing and trying new flavors but some of them are like.. “Ew.. really?”. I wear my race shirts to run and work out in so of course I love those. I have a blue chip clip just like yours (maybe even the same one) and I have a pink one from the Komen run, and those are functional so of course those are great. Some runs give out hats, which would also be functional if you happen to wear one when you run/workout.

    • Emily / Nov 15 2012 10:35 AM

      Gloves are nice – I don’t think I’ve gotten those before! LOL at your flavors… blueberry pom sounds palatable and probably a decent flavor combo but raspberry espresso sounds hideous. Of course I think coffee all tastes bad, so that adds to the opinion. I think the chip clip was in the bag from St. Leo’s, so yep, probably the same one.

  2. Mary / Nov 13 2012 10:51 PM

    That’s quite the collection of race kit goodies! I rarely receive more than food products or small samples in my race kit, but I think socks would be a great addition like you received..but you are right, sizing might make it more difficult.

    • Emily / Nov 15 2012 10:37 AM

      thanks for reading my blog! food samples are definitely the most prevalent, and surely some of the cheaper items to provide. at least socks don’t have as many sizes as shirts, but if a race was giving out both, it would be pretty complicated to coordinate sizes of multiple items and keep the race bags organized.

  3. Darrel Wells / Nov 14 2012 3:39 PM

    Cool! Which race gave out cats?! The “Flying Cat” Marathon?

    I also like socks, and I like to try bars and foods I may not have seen before. I’ve probably rec’d enough string packs by now, but I still like them!

    • Emily / Nov 15 2012 10:44 AM

      I think most people would complain about getting a cat from a race… I would probably look at it as “cool, now I have a reason to have two!” haha. After having run Flying Pirate and Flying Pig, I someday need to run the Flying Monkey Marathon. It sells out really quickly so I have to be on my game some future year. Google can’t seem to find a Flying Cat race, so perhaps we have a new idea there?

      I use the string bags the most if they are unique. Cooper River Bridge Run gave out a really colorful one with a big picture of the bridge on it, which makes it stand out in a bag check or similar. I don’t need one more solid black one!

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