Every so often, I’m unable to run a race I’ve registered (and paid) for. I have a thing about not wearing gear from these races — I feel like the t-shirts are for those who do the work, not just pay the fee. I used to think of it as earning the right to wear the shirt by finishing the race, until I spent $125 on a jacket at the 2006 Chicago Marathon Expo and then was unable to finish. I feel a little weird about it, but I wear the jacket; I did the work, I just couldn’t get to the finish line.
This year’s Soldier Field 10-Miler wasn’t a hard issue, though; I registered, I didn’t make it to the starting line, and I never picked up the t-shirt. No fuss, no muss, no bother, right?
Got home last night from a long trip, part work, part family time, and picked up the mail this evening from the wonderful neighbors who collected it while we were gone. Guess what I found when I went through it:
An envelope, mailed from the company that put on the race, containing the technical shirt from the Soldier Field 10-Miler.
My best guess is that they ran out of shirts and mailed them to everyone who didn’t get one — including those of us who didn’t pick one up.
So now I’ve got this decent technical shirt, utterly unsuitable for using as a rag or other ordinary t-shirt use, that I feel morally unable to wear.