Posted by: Karen | November 9, 2005

Race Shirt Rules

Do you know that there are RULES for the proper wearing of a race t-shirt? For example, Rule #1 states “A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. (crew, significant others and volunteers are exempt)”

There’s more – Nancy helped me find these sets of rules for Ultra competitors and Triathletes.

I must admit that I adhere to much of this superstition myself, with the express addition of this rule, that I can wear any race shirt given to me in the annual Penguin t-shirt exchange or as an award or door prize. I believe that when I wear the race T another runner sent me in a trade, they give me good vibes, and I can send them back the same way.

I have a Calgary Marathon race shirt I particularly enjoy wearing in training. It’s a long sleeved tech shirt that perfectly matches my navy shorts. It makes me feel like I AM a marathoner, even though I haven’t done my distance yet. I’m on that journey, though, and it reminds me of my goal. Even though the standard rule says it should bring me bad Karma because I haven’t raced the event yet, the year I received the shirt I volunteered at the event for two days for I’m sure longer than anyone raced, so I’m exempt.

I never wear a race shirt during the race for which it was given. I like to wear my Penguin Brigade Sugoi shirt whenever I can, or otherwise I’ll wear a shirt from a previous race. I like to save the race shirt for after I’ve raced, and then come home and bathed. Then I’ll curl up for a nap in the nice, clean newness of it as a reward.

Do you follow a race shirt protocol?



  1. 1. Never wear a race shirt that has not been washed for more than three consecutives races.
    2. Never wear a race shirt without first applying the bandaids.
    3. Always request the race shirt one size larger than you normally wear because they shrink, and are made extra small to save on cost!
    4. For guys: bright pink race shirts should NEVER be worn, and should be mailed to Dawn.
    5. For women: Uh, was going to add a rude comment about women’s race shirts but want to keep it clean. 🙂

  2. This post makes me laugh it is sooo true! The people that wear their raceday shirts on raceday kill me! Hello…the shirt is a badge of honor…not to mention somethign clean to change into for afterwards!

    Great post!

  3. Since I use all my short-sleeved race tshirts for sleepwear, my race tshirt from that day always becomes my fresh clean nightgown the night after the race.

  4. Oh my gosh…I wrote a whole article about this earlier in the year. I’ll post it to my blog soon.

  5. OK, the article called “Bad Juju” is posted at Running and Rambling.


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