I ran a 1/2 yesterday, and of course got a shirt in my packet pickup. I'm a small girl, but not that small so marked "medium". The guy handing me the packet switched my shirt to a small, upon seeing me. However, the SMALL still is almost big enough to fit my husband who is 6'2 and 240! I'll never wear it! And the design is pretty cool.
What is the deal with running shirts? I have quite a few shirts like the one I got yesterday - NB dri/active, mens small (translate: huge). I have many other race tshirts, all unworn because even the smalls are too big. AND also, all the shirts are boxy mens t-shirts - which are one of the most unattractive things most women could put on.
One would think that we wouldnt need oversized shirts, because after all, we are running and working out and basically in shape! If I'm going to wear a race t-shirt, I'd at least like it to be somewhat flattering.
So my question(s): Why are the shirts sizing larger and larger? Why are only mens cut t-shirts offered to women? If a race is only going to offer oversized sheets as the t-shirt, why isn't there a 'no shirt' option?
I hope I dont sound petty - it just seems like 'in this day and age' better options would exist then the traditional baggy mens tshirt for women.
I'm sure it's just a cost and logistics issue. Most of the races I enter are fundraisers or smaller community events, and they try to get the best deal on silkscreening at a local T-shirt shop with whatever brand/style of shirt they can get in bulk at an affordable price (i.e., usually Hanes Beefy T cotton, sometimes long-sleeved but usually short sleeve... very rarely a tech fabric unless it's a marathon, which I haven't done yet-!). There wouldn't be time for race organizers to order gender-specific shirts in the right quantities based on registrations, and it would be more expensive. I'm fairly petite too but the t-shirt thing isn't important to me so I just accept it. I asked for a size small at the race I ran on Saturday, but they only had M, L, XL and they were oversized, like yours! I'm enjoying my ginormous "medium" as a nightgown.
In my experience there has been a good variety of shirts offered depending on the race. While most races do offer t-shirts, some do offer technical fabric race shirts. Sizing has never been a problem. I ask for a large and that is what I get. No oversizing.
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Odds are there's also differences between particular brands of T-shirts and what's available in different parts of the country. I wear size women's small, and most of the T-shirts I've gotten at races (men's aka "unisex") fit me at least reasonably well. Some are a bit oversized, but not excessively so. Now size medium and up - that's another story.
As for men's cut vs. women's cut, I wouldn't be surprised if women's shirts cost more than men's and so cost-conscious races won't order them.
Some races (at least here in LA) do offer a no T shirt option, for an appropriate discount, but that's no fun...I always get the T-shirt.
@ 5K: New Balance Palm Springs 5K, Palm Springs, CA, 24:32
Angels Baseball Foundation 5K, Anaheim, CA, 24:24
Pride of the Valley, Baldwin Park, CA, 24:28
@ 10K: LA Chinatown Firecracker 10K, Los Angeles, CA, 52:15
Great Race of Agoura - Old Agoura 10K, Agoura Hills, CA, 51:40
Fiesta Days Run, La Canada, CA, 49:57
Yeah, I know in the big picture, its not that big of a deal, but sometimes I just want to wear a race shirt...but maybe thats just for bragging rights?;\ ...LOL
As it stands now, my kids have lots of nightgowns to sleep in! I have found that the 'worst' shirts in this category are the NB dri-weave type shirts....
At yesterdays race, I saw some others wearing really cool fitted shirts/tanks etc, like underarmour (?) I think they were for some different marathons...hmmm...maybe I need to move up a race!!!
There's a 12k race in Spokane, WA every May (http://www.bloomsday.org) that attracts 40,000 to 50,000 runners, and they have a pretty cool system for shirts. (I haven't done any other "big" races - maybe this approach is used elsewhere too.) Race finishers, whether running or walking, get a shirt with a comemmorative design that is kept a secret until race day. It's just a cotton T, but it says "Finisher" on it, which makes it worth keeping! When you get close to the finish line you start seeing runners who've already picked theirs up, and it's fun to finally get a glimpse of the color and design. The t-shirt pickup area is very well organized; you just get in line for the size you want (including Small! Yay!), and they move people through very fast. Then in recent years they've offered apparel in many styles for sale on their website that can be customized with a team name. They have the race logo and year, but are different from the "Finisher" shirts. Maybe the folks you saw in fancy shirts had ordered them somewhere.
I used to live there so I've done Bloomsday many times! Got quite a few of the shirts around here somewhere. You are right, the shirt system is cool and very efficient...I remember one year they had the public submit ideas for the shirts -- dont know if they still do that.
As far as racing goes, unless you are the elite runners, Bloomsday has to just be run for fun. There are so many people that you walk for along time before the crowd thins out, and then you have to 'fight' walkers and strollers...It would be hard to get a decent time.
But it is fun!!!
Cool, a fellow Westerner (or former westerner-?)! I think you're only the second person I've encountered on these boards who has done Bloomsday. I finally qualified for the Yellow start group this year, which is still going to be painful, crowd-wise. But it is indeed fun! Enjoy your races and the quest for good shirts!!
Yep I figured out the size thing real quick. I'm 5'8, never been a small but the small size in race shirts fit me fine, even a bit over sized so on someone 5'5 it could be a dress.