Addicted… to signing up

I get this thrill from signing up for a race and then imagining the clothing possibilities.

Which is why moments after I learned about the Vancouver Nike Runner’s Lounge Women’s 21K, I RSVP’ed via Facebook that I would be attending. I have since then changed my response because, basically, I was asking to get injured doing a half-marathon so soon.

The thrill I get from signing up has gotten me into “a little trouble” this year in that it was my biggest race year to date! An interesting question came up that was inquiring about how much I had spent on race registration. Lemme see….

* Sun Run (Corporate rate of $25) – cotton t-shirt for home use only + useable long-sleeve technical as a corporate perk
* RBC ($43.46) – red technical t-shirt was too big and flimsy
* New Balance Fall Classic ($47.25) – the retail value of the shirt – a beige hoodie?! Gee, I hope it’s logo’ed – is stated as $45 :D

* First Half ($60 plus some fees) – gorgeous teal long-sleeve technical shirt I wear often
* VIM ($65.00, mailed a cheque to avoid processing fees) – useless and garish cotton t-shirt + paid $20 extra for a good short-sleeve technical shirt
* SVHM ($48, refunded $45 for fund-raising) – useable short-sleeve tehcnical shirt of somewhat inferior quality

* OIM ($64) – technical short-sleeve shirt that is useless by being too large

* Haney 2 Harrison 100K Relay ($69) – a two-tone long-sleeve technical shirt seems pretty generous for this, my most expensive per-kilometer race :D

$376.71 for race registration and 6 useable articles of clothing out of it.

And I bought two pairs of shoes ($150 each), six pairs of socks (~$8/pr.), the VIM shirt ($20), a Vancouver 2010 shirt, a few tops and shorts from a Fool-U-Lemon store (J76), and only about $15 of fuel supplements.

That’s my tally for 2007. :D

On this day..


  1. Henry Chan says:

    Yeah, I got suckered into running the Nike race this Sunday too.
    You do know that Nike’s also sponsoring a 5 or 10km run too right? Its not too late to still register. It is a fun run!

    Ah … so you do the races for the shirts and medals eh?
    Just a heed of advice: don’t you trade your passion for glory. =)
    Rise above material objects of affection and just go out to the race for the race itself.

    As for nutrition and shoes, … again may I offer some advice? DON’T buy from the runningroom. They overcharge even with your 20 or 30% discount. I buy from
    for example:
    and more than often, you’ll get 10-20% off from web coupons from nashbar, like right now.
    If you’re interested, give me a shout and we’ll split the shipping cost, or maybe I’ll just charge you a few dollars next time I make a purchase there.
    As for shoes – I also buy online.
    If you know the brand and model you like, just do a Google search and buy it online … usually its somewhere from the States again. about 50%-75% cheaper for the shoes I want…
    again, maybe we can split the shipping fee. The duty I see as being pretty much the equivalent to GST/PST that we pay for anyways…

  2. wyn says:

    Hi Henry,

    Yeah, I know about the 5 and 10K but… no fire for it, you know? I liked the idea of the half-marathon a while back because it’s the same day as the San Fran one, etc., but I’m not up for a half. Tryin’ to keep my race registrations within reason. ;-)

    I’m not *totally* in it just for the shirts and medals. I don’t really believe in 10K medals though HBC keeps giving them out and I sign up for events despite them giving crappy (VIM) or red (HBC) or black race shirts. :S

    I’ll still get my 30% coupons (they’re worth something) and haven’t yet purchased shoes from the States. You’re right, knowing your model you don’t need to visit the store (which is NOT worth the savings). I’m not due for another pair until next spring.

  3. Henry Chan says:

    Oh well,

    I was almost hoping to see another familiar face besides the friend who invited me to the Nike race.
    I’m just going to use it as a training run … Zone1 whatever slow pace that is.

    Yeah … 10k medals bug me. Even half-marathon medals bug me. I really don’t want them – actually none of my finisher medals, not even my IM medals. Age group or overall medals I’ll keep, but finisher medals … too gimmicky if you ask me.
    I remember hearing tales of the “early” days of Ironman when you only got pride and a McDonald’s milk-shake as recovery after you finish the race.
    Heehee, its so different now.
    Too many people don’t train but decide to race half-ass prepared and then get a medal for it. I don’t get that. Bugs me morally. In fact, the average marathon time used to be about 3:30 back in the 80s’. Now, I hear its more like a 4:45

    I think they should have an option on every race if you want a medal or not just like a tshirt!

  4. Tony says:

    I really like the statement “Rise above material objects of affection and just go out to the race for the race itself”.

    I am a little surprised that your Zen like approach no longer seems to apply on your second posting: “Too many people don’t train but decide to race half-ass prepared and then get a medal for it.”

    Why be so judgmental of how or why others run?

  5. Henry Chan says:

    Hi Tony,

    What I meant to deliver was that, yes, strive for age-group medals – those are good. It really means that you trained hard for it.
    Participant medals you get for giving ‘laid’ back effort in training defeats the purposes of medals.

    Its like getting a degree but buying your way through it.

    > Why be so judgmental of how or why others run?

    How and why are 2 separate questions.
    *HOW* people run, I’m not judgemental at all. If they run with one leg, on crutches, I give them a hand. I’ve ran about 20 marathons so far and I truly give my heart to those with disabilities who journey on. Does that answer your question on *HOW*?

    *WHY* they run [sic: race you mean right?] is a separate issue.
    Sun Run – great, let everyone do it.
    Marathons are different stories. Anyone can do a marathon … it just might take them more than 24h. If you walked/ran a total of 26.2 miles or more in your life, then there you have it – you’ve done a marathon … just in xxx days of your life. RACING a marathon is different. Give some respect for it and train for it. Summary: races SunRun and a marathon are 2 different creatures.
    One is a party – the other is a sign of hard work and giving less is disrespectful to the sport.
    2 different animals. But it appears the greyish area is becoming even more grey even in the marathon world. I guess the Boston Marathon is one of the few marathons in this world that separate “party” marathons from people who trained hard to qualify.
    Did I answer your question?
    I’m very adamant about the fact runner slackers shouldn’t get medals and at the same time curious about what others think. Write back.


  6. teahouse says:

    Wow..that’s a lot of you ever sleep?

  7. Henry Chan says:

    “For every mountain, there is a higher mountain”

    The average runner who trains for a marathon should run somewhere close to 70km per week in their peek weak and average 45-55km in their build weeks assuming they’re following a Hal Higdon / Galloway or even RunningRoom training program (and … ahem … stick to the program)

    As for the more determined/serious runners, say those who can crack a 3:30 marathon run 80km/week in their peak week. Sub 3hr marathon runners run 100km+. Sub 2:30… (professionals) run 300km+ per week (basically a marathon+ a day)

    Basically here’s the question: How do you measure an athlete?
    How much are you willing to give and or sacrifice?
    Again: “How do you measure an athlete?”
    Are they crazy addicts are they athletes true to the word of hard work and discipline?

    Fortitudine Vincimus,

  8. Tony says:


    I think you’re still missing my point.

    That’s OK. In the end, you can live in your world, and I’ll live in mine.

  9. Heidi says:

    Great post! With the amonut of money I’ve spent on gear, race entries and special nutrition this year, I’ve really started to wonder whether running is any less costly a sport than say, skiing.

    I saw the Fall Classic beige hoodie at the store and I’m not sure what to make of it. It looked like it was almost cropped, or maybe just not long enough for my liking. The women in my clinic have been griping about the unflattering colour for weeks and some even changed to the men’s garment.

    This year’s Turkey Trot garment was red, but not offensively so…it even has a little iPod pocked on the arm!

  10. heidi says:

    I forgot to add something else your post made me realize: our clinic group was running through Stanley Park last weekend and we intersected what I now realize was this Nike Lounge run. Some of our group members even unknowingly partook of the Gatorade along the route! (In their defense, there wasn’t really any signage.)

  11. wyn says:

    Hi Heidi:
    I went into Rackets&Runners last week but didn’t see the beige hoodie clearly on display. From the website, it doesn’t look so flattering at all – so it’s a bonus that we can drop into the store all month to get our garment.

    Still, I think running is a reasonably cheap sport – as I have been reminded by a cyclist and rower in the past – I don’t HAVE to enter all the races I entered! It costs $300+ for a one-nighter passat Cypress and then time to get there and back. That’s just for the local mountain. (I love skiing though.)

  12. emigre says:

    Not cheap, but the fitness benefits are priceless though!

  13. Tom says:

    You have a lot of great discussion here. Would like to invite you to the Runners Lounge.

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