A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from an elite runner that said something to the effect that medals and race shirts should be eliminated so I thought it would be cool to do my own survey and see what my followers thought.
Huge thank you to the 83 people who answered my 27 question survey! I know it was long, I just kept thinking of more and more questions LOL. In this post, I’m going to share the answers from those who answered the survey & then I’ll do a 2nd post next week to share my personal thoughts.
Here we go:
Question 1: Where are you from?
US – 78
Canada – 3
UK – 1
The Netherlands – 1
Question 2: If US, what City & State do you live in?
California: Sacramento – 3, San Diego – 3, Santa Cruz – 3, San Francisco – 3, Los Angeles – 2 Other CA cities: Vacaville, Elk Grove, Aromas, Rohnert Park, Carmichael, San Jose, Citrus Heights, Palo Alto, Los Alamitos, Carpinteria, Orangevale, Stockton, Alameda, Livermore, Carlsbad, Santa Rosa & 4 who didn’t list a city
Philadelphia, PA – 3
Gilbert, AZ – 2
New York City, NY – 2
Arlington & Charlottesville, VA, Fargo, ND, Miami, FL, Georgetown & Houston, TX, Takoma Park, MD, Mabelton, GA, Dayton & Cincinnati, OH, North Carolina, St. Louis, MO, St. Paul, NM, Rochester Hills, MI, Bend, OR, Wahiawa, HI, Pittsburgh, PA, New Boston, NH, Colorado Springs, CO, Rogers, AR and Kodiak, Fairbanks & Anchorage, Alaska, Utah
Other answers: 5k, 10k, 10, 17, 18, 20 miles
Question 5: How many races do you do in a normal (non Covid) year?
None – 2 ppl
1 – 5 races – 46 ppl
5 – 10 races – 17 ppl
10 + races – 12 ppl
20 + races – 4 ppl
30 + races – 1
Question 6: How many races have you done in your lifetime?
0 – 10 races – 4ppl
10 – 20 races – 7 ppl
20 – 30 races – 7 ppl
30 – 40 races – 3 ppl
40 – 50 races – 3 ppl
50+ races – 13 ppl
75+ races – 1 person
100+ races – 5 ppl
Not sure – 7 ppl
Too many to count – 12 ppl
Other responses: 5 ppl Indifferent, 2 ppl if they are high quality & nice design, depends on distance, for major or special races, for goal races, depends, I like them but can live without, Doesn’t have to be a medal but I like a souvenir form the race.
Other answers: Any but have as upgrade, All distances
Other answers: Any distance but as upgrade, not sure, respect the buckle 🙂
Question 13: If no, Why not?
The majority of responses were because:
They don’t fit well
I never wear them because I wear other clothes
Don’t come in my size
Some people prefer cotton over tech and then others prefer tech over cotton
Yes – 21 ppl
No – 13 ppl
Maybe – would depend on shirt/race – 42 ppl
No I want it to be included in race fee
No, shirts are implied
I love when races have you opt in for shirts
Only if it was cotton
I like when you can save some money by not taking the shirt
If shirts weren’t included I would buy one I like them more than medals
if it’s a technical shirt – not basic cotton
Question 14: If a race gave you the opportunity to choose your own swag from a list of a few items, what would you want?
Mugs, Pint Glasses, Wine Glasses, Water bottles
Hat, Visor, headbands
Different types of clothing like tank tops, long sleeves, half zips, jackets
Reusable Tote Bags or backpacks
Money, Free Future Race Entries
Other answers: Rarely, only if it’s epic, only at Boston
Question 18: If yes, why do you purchase photos?
If they are good
Memories withou a watermark
I don’t always have a crew
Commemorate big adventues
If it was a big PR
To post ressponsibly
Some are really good & photographer needs to eat as well
To support race or company
39% $5- 10
28% Nothing – I only want free photos
20.7% $10 – 20
4.9% over $20
Other single answers – someone has to pay photograher, $5 each or $25 for bunch, I’ve never liked mine, $5 – 10 but like to buy the whole series, depends on race, $20 – 30 for digital download
Question 21: Why?
Trail races are more special so I value swag differently
Trail races provide different challenge
Swag from Trail races is different
If it’s my first I want awesome swag, but I also want a nice jacket from a well know road race
Trail races are more thoughtful & considerate with sustainable swag
Trail swag is better
Trail races are typically more low key
Run by individuals/small companies with smaller budgets
They can do wonky things – including giving winners rubber chickens
Question 25: Why do you run races? Answers included the following:
See new places
Water Stations – not have to run long self supported
Seeing what I can do
Health & fitness
Question 26: What motivates you to run a race vs just running the distance by yourself/with friends? Answers included:
Paying money makes me more motivated to train
Fun & safe environment
Destinations, seeing new places
Excitement of racing
Running somewhere different
Crossing the finish line feels different; Runners High
Chasing a PR
Runing with friends at a race
Question 27: Anything swag/race related you would like to add?
Have race swag be an add on
No more leaflets in goody bags
Offer tanks tops for ladies
Option to upgrade shirts
Something unique & specific to races
Consumable goodies, ie. Soap, candy, candles
Swag other than shifts
Options to donate swag to others less fortunate
Swag as an extra to have lower priced events
No swag vs cheap wasteful products
Better post run food vs swag
Discount to a future race vs swag
It’s mostly junk
A few of my personal thoughts about these responses:
- Interestingly the majority of the people who responded have been running for at least 5 years so I have to wonder if that influenced their answers because they have received more swag/medals over the years.
- It appeared that people like shirts over medals which really surprised me.
- Swag doesn’t really influence the majority of people who responsed
- More of the respondents are road runners vs trail runners
And that’s a wrap! Thank you again to all those who participated & feel free to comment and tell me about your opinions on runner swag!