There is a relatively new phenomenon of a la carte registration fees for races. For example, the Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run now requires that you request a finisher’s medal and pay a little extra to receive it. Other races, such as the Falmouth Road Race, do not provide t-shirts along with your race registration. While there are critics of these policies, I think there are some valid reasons for a la carte race fees.
For example, there are environmental benefits to not offering people things that they do not want/and or need. Rather than simply throwing out unwanted items, you can have the option not to add to this waste by simply choosing not to purchase the medal or t-shirt. While I appreciate receiving a medal after a race, I don’t display them and would be hard-pressed to find them in my house right now!
Another option for those not interested in keeping those finisher’s medals is to donate them to Medals 4 Mettle, an organization that distributes the donated medals to adults and children fighting debilitating diseases. What a great alternative to simply tossing them!
On the t-shirt issue, I must say I would much rather not receive a unisex tech shirt that never seems to fit. I would rather save the money on my registration fee or use the difference to purchase a women’s fit t-shirt if available. I love seeing all the race shirts, I just think it’s unfortunate that with all the female participants in races, race organizers still can’t offer a women’s fit shirt. One of my favorite race shirts ever is a great v-neck tech shirt from the Ronald McDonald House of Providence Women’s 5K. I love that you got your choice of a long-sleeve or short-sleeve tech shirt, both of which were women’s fit! I wear my shirt from that race ALL the time!
Do you save and display your finisher’s medals? Would you rather save money on race fees by opting out of shirts, medals or other race swag?