Silly reason for a post, I know, but I needed to show everyone out there what I consider to be the saddest bag of race schwag ever! My shin injury forced me to skip the National Marathon this weekend in DC, but since I had already paid my non-refundable $95 to run (ouch!), I at least wanted to get my bag o' goodies at the pre-race expo yesterday.
Now, I'm not one to criticize any race for the $$ they charge to run (I have no clue how much money it takes to close down the streets of DC on a Saturday, but I'm sure it's not cheap), but for a race of this size, I really expected the sponsors to contribute more to the expo bags. Maybe it's a sign of the economy, who knows? Anyway, I thought the bag was a little light as soon as I picked it up, and when I dumped it out at home, here's what I found:
1) A surprisingly nice running shirt. I like to refer to it as my "$95 Running Shirt". I'll definitely wear this one, so I applaud them for their choice of material. I'll even ignore the fact that the back says "26.2 Mile Finisher". So as to not feel like a liar when I wear it, I'll just choose to interpret that as meaning "26.2 Mile Finisher for some other run in the past".
2) A sticker from lead sponsor Sun Trust Bank. I know banks are having a rough time right now, but seriously, a sticker? What am I supposed to do with this, put it on my Trapper Keeper from 3rd grade? Oh wait, since the slogan on the sticker is also grammatically incorrect, a grammar school probably isn't the best place to show it off. Hey SunTrust, how about you use some of those ATM fees you charge us and buy yourself an adverb?
3) When I say they gave us peanuts, I literally mean it. We got an airline-size bag of peanuts from who I can only assume to be the Peanut Lobbyists here on the Hill in DC (they also gave us a pen to remind us of their cause long after the nuts are gone). Well done, fellas, by supplying the only edible item in the bag, you've definitely got my support. Runners aren't picky: If you give us something to eat, we love you.
4) While technically the little packet next to the peanuts in the photo is also edible, I'm pretty sure I'll never eat it. It's called "Instant Energy Beans"...but without any NASCAR drivers or NFL players plugging it awkwardly in TV commercials, I don't think I can trust it as much as "5-Hour Energy". We all know celebrities don't lie. If these professional athletes say they've reached the highest levels of their sport because if this product, who are we to question them? If they can stay up fishing until 3am while on this stuff, it must be good for us!
5) A pack of Duracell AAs. These were a gift of the DC Amory (where the Expo was held). They lasted long enough in my digital camera for me to snap this very picture of my goody bag items. Then they died. Seriously. Although, if you look at it from a philosophical point of view, the batteries may be dead, but they lived long enough to take a photo of themselves...and now that this photo is posted online, their memory will live forever. (Note: When you have to go to these lengths to speak positively about a goody bag, it's not a good thing).
6) The folks advertising the Maryland 1/2 marathon could teach a few things to the people at Sun Trust. Namely, put your ad on a MAGNET. From now on I will think fondly of the Maryland 13.1 milers every time I add something to the grocery list on my fridge.
7) Lady's Secret antiperspirant. About as useful to me as Paris Hilton is to the cast of a Shakespeare Theater Company. Enough said.
In closing, there's one lesson to be learned here: If you're running the National Marathon, forget about getting anything fancy or useful in your runners' packet. Just keep reminding yourself that you're running this race for the sights (amazing), the accessibility (doesn't sell out in 2 seconds like the Marine Corps), the weather (45-55 degrees today - perfect for running!), and maybe the Peanut Lobby pens....you won't be disappointed!