My Runner Swag Survey Answers

Last week I shared the results of my Runner Swag survey.  You can see what other people think here.

Here are my answers with a little elaboration ;).

Question 1/2: Where are you from? and if US, what city, state do you live in?
US, I was born in Pennsylvania, moved to Indiana when I was 11, went to IU Bloomington for college, studied at Universita di Bologna in Bologna, Italy my senior year at IU, moved to Florida after college, Phoenix, AZ in 2011 and then San Diego, CA in 2015.

Question 3: How long have you been running?
This question is a bit complicated. I remember running my first race, the 100 yard dash on a cinder track at a school event when I was maybe in first grade when I lived in Harrisburg, PA. I ran track from grades 6 – 12. Didn’t really run in college and then started running consistently again in 2009. I tore my hamstring doing something not run related, I slipped on wet rose petals at a wedding I was working, it took 7 months to heal and I started running with the Orlando Track Shack Galloway group in fall 2010. I ran my first half in Feb 2011, the Disney Princess Half at Walt Disney World.

Question 4: What is the longest distance you have run?
100k or 63 miles (trail miles are +/- the actual distance LOL) I’ve finished 2 100ks. Cuyamaca 100k in 2017 & Javelina 100k in 2019.

Question 5: How many races do you do in a normal (non Covid) year?
Typically at least 20 – 30

Question 6: How many races have you done in your lifetime?
Over a 100
63 Half Marathons
32 Marathons
21 Ultras
And a bunch of other races of various distances

Question 7: Do you run more road or trail?
Half & Half – I love trail but I have road goals too

Question 8: Do you like receiving finisher medals?
Yes, I like medals, it’s a small way for me to remember what races I’ve run.

Question 9: Do you want to receive a finishers medal?
Yes but see next question

Question 10: If you like medals what distances should get them?
For me, I want a medal for Half Marathon and up. I don’t need them for under the half marathon distance, but that being said, I know that for some people running a distance under a half is a huge accomplishment and that might be as long as they go so I’m say, if getting a medal motivates people to get out and run, then bring it on!

Question 11: For my ultra runners, what distances should get a buckle?
Personally, I’m good with a medal or some sort of souvenir (not a glass because I just don’t have room for them) for under 100 miles. I’m good with only getting a buckle for 100 miles or over.

Question 12/13: Do you like finisher/participant shirts? If no, why not?
For me personally, I don’t like most of them, they rarely fit properly, either too high of a neck which is an issue for me, weird tech fabric, sizing is weird or just plain uncomfortable. I only ever wear them for a post race photos and then I end up donating them. But if it is a shirt made from a company like rabbit, a really nice cotton shirt or from a big race I’m good with it.

Question 14: if a race gave you option to add on a shirt for an additional fee would that be appealing?
For me, yes. I would rather not get a shirt the majority of time. I would pay for an upgrade if it was a rabbit, lululemon or a shirt that I knew I would wear.

Question 15: If a race gave you the opportunity to choose your own swag from a list of a few items, what would you want?
I like Hats, goodr sunglasses like Revel did a few years back, running socks, maybe a tote or backpack if it was nice but just getting free photos would be cool. I run a lot of races & just don’t have a need or room for so much stuff.

Question 16: Should races offer free photos?
I would love to get free photos for all races but I know not all races can afford to pay the photographer who relies on participants purchasing to make a living.

Question 17/18: Do you purchase photos from races that offer them for a fee?
Yes, I do, if they are good high quality photos, mostly to remember a race &/or post on social media

Question 19: What is the most you will pay for a photo?
I prefer the photos that are free or cost $5 – 10 but I have purchased the pre-race specials for some bigger races.

Question 20/21: Does your opinion of swag change if you are running a road race vs a trail race?
In my experience, trail races have really nice swag – while I haven’t run a 100 + mile race, I’ve seen some of the cool stuff Sean has gotten and it’s way better than most road race swag. They also tend to have some more sustainable swag too, we’ve gotten bamboo silverware, nice winter hats, arm warmers, jackets, & bags.

Question 22: How do you pick races you participate in?
We look for races that are in cool destinations, that have good courses and are in places we want to visit.

Question 23: Do you pick races based off the swag?
Honestly, sometimes yes. Because I’ve run so many races, if I see a cool medal, I might choose that race. But normally no.

Question 24: Do you think swag is important to runners?
Yes & no – I think most runners want something but I think they want something they can actually use.

Question 25: Why do you run races? Question 26: What motivates you to run a race vs just running the distance by yourself/with friends?
I love the community, being able to run long with out having to support myself, for that feeling of crossing the finish line, seeing new places.

Overall, swag isn’t the reason I run races but it can be a nice plus and a way to remember different places we’ve been.

What are your thoughts on race swag?

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