run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Tour of Ugliness...

Here's a Monday morning confession for you...

Saturday morning I ran a race that I signed up for solely for the prospect of a cool t-shirt.

Which means... the t-shirt turned out totally shitty. (Murphy's Law).

Normally, race t-shirts suck. I mean, sure when I first started running races, I loved getting t-shirts. I wore them with pride all the time... but now, most of them line the bottom of my drawers until it's time for a Goodwill stop. Part of the issue is that most of the t-shirts are just butt-ass ugly. I mean, it's like the designers say to themselves... "Okay, well it's a free t-shirt, might as well make it look like it was free, too." Most of the time, I'd rather they just keep that money for the charity that the race is benefitting...

But this weekend... was the Mule Day 5k. Yes, it's a festival dedicated to Mules. I mean, seriously... how awesome is that? I'm not a big mule person myself... but, whatev. It's bound to have a totally awesome t-shirt with a mule on it, right?? Something kind of kitschy and fun. A conversation starter...

Or... Not.

Okay, let's discuss this t-shirt for a second. First of all, is it 2009 or possibly 1989? I haven't seen that watercolor effect on a t-shirt since I was in the 3rd grade. (And that was before even Hypercolor).
The only mule in sight? Yeah, buried on the back amongst all the sponsors. At the very top no less, where my hair will cover it. Great.

Anyway, I decided to go through some of my race day t-shirts and show you some of the beautys I've gotten over the years... enjoy...

This shirt annoys me to no end. I get the concept... kind of a retro-y type deal. And, I'm with them on that, I've never been one to complain about 70s style, but there is just something about how busy it is. And, on top of the busyness, the logo is enormous. So, it's just a massive amount of busyness. Thankfully, I've never had a seizure, but I'm pretty sure if I was ever going to have one, this shirt would surely induce it.

This shirt really upsets me, because it is ALMOST totally awesome. The logo is perfect. It's perfectly sized, has a cool old school feel to it. But the color of the shirt? I mean, if you're going to have shit brown color for the shirt, don't use yellow and orange to go with it.

Oh, oops. How did shirt get in here? It's not race related. Oh wait... yes it is, I ran a 15k for this piece of crap t-shirt. But, you'd never know it, because there is no mention of a race or running at all, except in small print on the bottom. No, there's just a random camel. If you're going to print a t-shirt and give it to runners... for chrissakes, throw them a bone and place the race info a little more predominantly on the t-shirt. Also, I think I just feel asleep there for a second. The color is so freaking boring.
This shirt cracks me up. It could have been designed by the same peep who designed the mule day t-shirt, because it's very similiar. But this one, features a lone runner crossing the finish line. No one else around, just the one dude. And the pastel drawn picture is just... poor. Also no mention of the race distance... which in a way, could be cool, cause you could just lie and tell people it was a half marathon, when it was really a 5k.

This shirt pisses me off the most of any race t-shirt I've gotten. First of all... it features on a cow on the front. Which, dude, I love cows. But, do I want to be likened to a cow? This cow has running shorts, running shoes, a bib number and headphones on. Are they trying to tell me something? Oh, wait, they are trying to tell me something, cause the damn cow's wearing a sign that says, "Lose that Burger Belly." WTF? Why don't you just print up t-shirts that say... I run because I'm fat? Furthermore, it's false advertising... running a 5k isn't going to burn the calories of a hamburger. And actually, doesn't fried chicken usually have as many, if not, more calories than Hamburgers? So, take THAT Chick-fil-a.

Whereas that last shirt pisses me off, this shirt is just offense. (And, sorry, I couldn't take a photo of this shirt, because I used it to color my hair once and then threw it away. So, you have to deal with this photo of the shirt from actual race day). Believe it or not, this obscenely blue shirt was for a half marathon. It features two running people running on a record with musical notes flying off in the distance. The name of the race? Why, the Music City Half Marathon, of course. Makes sense, right? But, the color of the shirt is blinding. It's the most eye-shocking color of blue you could ever see. This color must have been on sale. And the font for the lettering? Holy crap. Totally 1981. (And not in a good way).

Don't get me wrong. I've designed t-shirts before, and it is a HARD job. I'm not artistic in the least, but there are a few general guidelines that one should adhere to when designing a race t-shirt. Mention the race and the distance. Stick to normal colors: white, grey, navy. Or, you could just give out tech tees. I won't complain about any tech tee. Even if it's got a cow holding a sign that says.. "Amy is my twin" and it's a mix of shit brown and electrifying blue.

Rest assured, folks... as long as I keep running races, these won't be the last of the race t-shirts that I give to charity. At least something good comes from crappy race shirts.

Race Report to come later this week, along with a report of my last 20+ miler this training period!


Melanie said...

A friend of mine and I decided to volunteer at the race before checking out the Mule Day festivities. We were really pleased when the email said we'd get volunteer tokens AND a shirt, but I have to agree... I was a little bummed there wasn't an actual mule on the shirt. I settled for spending $2 on a magnet of a wooden mule with a smiley face and "Mule Day" written on it so that I'd have SOMETHING about Mule Day at home as a conversation starter, haha.

Matt said...

Ha, great post! I'm thinking I need to bring my design skills to the running world.

And I love the Hypercolor reference!

Spike said...

Great post, I have so many terrible race shirts. But nothing that comes close to the burger belly one.

J said...

I really like running shirts too but sometimes I dont know where they get the ideas for what they put on the shirts! I have a bright blue shirt like that one, and I wear it but only for lounging around the house!

StangLuvr said...

I love your post like this!!! I end up peeing myself and throwing up from laughing so hard!!!

This one is almost as good as the drunken race report.

maria k said...

what a great post! this weekend i ran the half at a "martian marathon." the shirt was a nice tech shirt, which is always good, but the design was crazy! i cant describe it but look at it-

johnking said...

awesome post, i used to own two mules. loves to lick the salt off my truck. the hypercolor cracked me up. i wish i could find that shirt. keep running strong!

Jill said...

You are absolutely cracking me up! The shirts do suck....but then, the race directors just try to get by with making money rather than making quality decisions that affect the participants.

See, shit brown and lame grey probably cost way less than a normal color b/c they are on closeout with the screen printer! for the designs - most of the race directors and (sorry to offend you) Strider's board are dinosaurs who started running in the 70's...and they cannot get the fact that it is 2009 and runners are now like 20 and 30 years old!!

The only way we're ever going to get non-lame non-shitty shirts is to volunteer to co-director or get elected to the board.

I save the cool designed shirts (logo's only) for a future quilt...and get XS sizes in the ones that suck so I can give them to my little kids.

I seriously think you need to post this blog story on the Striders website (but censor it a little) they get a freaking clue!!!

PS...Regarding the puke at 5ks, try and warm up a mile or mile and 1/2 and you'll feel SOOO much better in the race!!