Wearing the Race Shirt To the Race | Tuesdays on the Run

TOTR 2 small 300This week’s Tuesdays on the Run is jumping into a profound and controversial topic. I hope we can all play nice and respect everyone’s opinions on this one.

Deep breath:  here we go.

Race shirts: wear TO the race or is this a heeeeelllll no in your book. 

We know you have an opinion on the issue.  We just want to know how deep your feelings on it run.  Are you a “side-eyer” or are you a “whatever man, it looks great on you” or do you fall into the “you’re doing it wrong” category when you see this?

Go for it.  Can’t wait to hear what you do about this much-discussed topic.

Link up with Erika Marcia and me for this week’s Tuesdays on the Run!


Wearing the Race Shirt To the Race

Race shirt

I don’t do it.

I have done it though because I thought that’s what you did!

I think my first big 10K was the Capitol 10K in Austin somewhere around 2002.  I wore that long sleeved cotton shirt to the race and walked a lot of hills that day.  I have no idea what else I wore, to be honest. I think I carried a Walkman and had headphones, though.  I remember being somewhat entertained throughout the course.

It was a total new runner experience, and I did everything wrong.

Evvverryyyttthing, y’all.

I think I just went out and ran that one- no training, no understanding of what 6 miles even meant.

Ah, the ignorance of youth!

I’m not sure where I picked up that it wasn’t the “cool runner” thing to do, but I haven’t worn a race shirt to the race I’m running in since.

I’ve worn the previous year’s shirt before, and that somehow gives me literal street cred. Since I had “been there, done that” I had quite a few fellow back of the packers strike up conversations about what to expect of the course or the finish.  That was kinda cool, actually.

I wanted to wear the race shirt last month to the Phoenix Half Marathon.  I really wanted to.  It is a gorgeous royal blue and matched the skirt I picked to wear that day.  It was also a flattering fit for a tank which we almost never see in race shirts.  I debated for way too long on this matter.

But I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Phx half 1

Patricia, on the far left in the Phoenix Half race shirt. I should have worn mine!

When I got to the race, I had instant regrets.  My pal was wearing hers, and I kept thinking how gorgeous that shirt looked on her.  And there I was, wimping out in my simple black tank.


Lesson learned. If I want to wear the race shirt, I’m going to wear it.

It won’t jinx me; it won’t make me look like a newbie.  But it just might make my race pics just a little cuter.  And really, isn’t that what matters?

Do you wear the race shirt or nah? 

[inlinkz_linkup id=618283 mode=1]


  • Marcia says:

    I’d be all over a royal blue tank as well. Why are tanks so rare??

  • Stacey says:

    No race shirt till you finish is my rule-I don’t wear anything new on race day and to be honest, I don’t want to jinx myself (yes, that is a silly reason) but you never know what can happen!

  • We never “plan” to wear the race shirt as we usually have an outfit already picked out but sometimes the weather doesn’t cooperate and we need something other than a tank. If that’s the case, the race shirt will do just fine. I’m with you in that if you want to wear it, wear it.

  • Haha I totally get that you have street cred when you wear a previous years shirt! If the race shirt is from a race two, three or more years ago, then I get really intimidated by the person wearing it because they’re obviously a pro!!

  • Lesley says:

    A royal blue tank? That’s awesome! I’m always nervous about a race shirt because there’s nothing about it until the expo. My first half, the shirt was white :-/

  • Rachel says:

    Hell to the no! It’s like wearing the band shirt to see the band!

  • I don’t wear the shirt until I earned it! But that’s just me. Hey, isn’t that why they make chocolate ice cream and vanilla? We are all different! 😉 Thanks for the link up!

  • Hope says:

    I usually never do, but as a track girl I never did my first road race until I was 14 and it was a 2 miler all the cross country kids were encouraged to do. I wore the COTTON t-shirt in the 100 DEGREES weather because I also thought that was what you were supposed to do LOL. Lesson learned. For me, I usually pick my race outfit days in advance. Sometimes weeks LOL. But I also don’t care or really think twice if people wear the race shirt during. The only time I’ve ever judged was when I ran the WDW Half in 2013 and it was SO HOT and people kept that dang long sleeve on the entire race. Really judge might be the wrong word. It was more of a “how???”

    Also, a lot of the more local races I do the shirts are cotton, which I enjoy wearing after but me, cotton and running do not mix. Oh and then a lot of the non-Run Disney tech shirts are never in a women’s cut and I HATE the boxy look and how the sleeves look long and awkward. I even told the race director of the WV 5K I’d pay extra for a women’s cut tech shirt. LOL.

  • Jessica S says:

    I’ve never worn the past year’s race shirt because I feel like it sets expectations that I’m going to know what I’m doing. 🙂 I never thought about it as something that could reassure people!

  • Jen says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever worn a race shirt to a race, either the one attached to that specific race or another one. I think I just don’t want my picture taken in a shirt covered with advertisements. I do wear them to run around my neighborhood, but that’s about it.
    Do I care if other people wear race shirts to races? Not even a little bit. Do what makes you happy.
    Also —that scene from Mr. Mom has been a joke line in my family for years. We always tell each other “you’re doing it wrong.” Too funny.

  • Cathy says:

    I wear it as I have nothing to prove to nobody:)))

  • Tabitha says:

    My very first race, I wore the shirt. I didn’t INTEND to…but MY MOTHER. It was a race held by our local news channel and that very morning, watching them while getting ready, the news anchor said “you may be seeing a sea of green today” and Mom, who she SAYS was there to cheer me on but was actually there to rub elbows, freaked OUT that I wasn’t wearing my shirt.

    She’s a tiny little 75 year old bundle of feist that gets her way a lot. So I put on the shirt. It didn’t bother me that I wore the shirt. It did bother me that I was wearing a green shirt with black and purple shorts and a purple headband so my first race pictures look like I dressed in the dark with a blindfold on.

    That being SAID…not against wearing the shirt during the race, it’s just that I usually have my outfit picked out before the race and don’t want to change! Exception to this rule is a race I do every year for ovarian cancer awareness (said feisty mom is a 5 time survivor). Teal running wear is HARD to find, so I’ll wear that one while running. Even though it’s cotton and it’s September in Memphis, TN. Did I mention I love my mom?

  • HoHo Runs says:

    I would def wear a tank! One thing that’s kept me from running in the shirt is the sleeves. I don’t run in sleeves. It’s usually too hot to wear the shirt anyway.

  • Anne says:

    As a rule I don’t wear the shirt until I finish the race — the one time I’ve made an exception was for the Disney Half last year – I was unprepared for the cold and since the half shirt was red it was perfect for my costume.

    I wore it inside out though… 🙂

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Patty Holliday

If she isn’t chasing her four kids around Northern Virginia, Patty is chasing four bars on her phone to share her authentic and fun stories on social media and her blog, My No-Guilt Life. She’s also one half of the Marvel Moms, an online community for discussing the Marvel fandom. You can catch up on her runDisney fun at No-Guilt Disney.

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