5 Reasons Not to Wear Your Broad Street Race Shirt on Sunday

See? The elites don't do it. // Photo by Jeff Fusco

See? The elites don’t do it. // Photo by Jeff Fusco

Yay! You’re running Broad Street! Good for you! Let the celebration begin … after you cross the finish line.

Friends, I’m here with a Broad Street PSA: Please do not wear this year’s Broad Street Run race shirt at this year’s Broad Street Run. As tempted as you may be to don your shiny new shirt, under no circumstances should you yield to that temptation. Here are five reasons why.

1. It’s a rookie mistake. 

Seasoned runners know not to, so wearing the race shirt to the race itself is a dead giveaway that you’re a first timer. If you hate feeling like the new kid on the block, don’t do it.

2. It’s like wearing the band’s t-shirt to the concert.

You know not to do that right?! Judge-y stares abound. I should note that if you’ve run Broad Street before and are dying to wear an old race shirt, that’s okay; it’s like wearing the band’s vintage tour shirt to the present-day concert: acceptable if you actually attended a show at said vintage tour but eye-rolly if you just found the shirt at a thrift store. (Or worse, bought it full price at Urban Outfitters.)

3. It’s bad luck and considered poor form.

If you believe in luck, this is where it comes into play in road racing: Superstitious runners think running in the race’s shirt is bad luck, because wearing the shirt implies that you’ve already finished the race, which, obviously, you haven’t. It’s the whole counting-your-chickens-before-they’re-hatched thing.

If you don’t buy into the whole luck thing, consider this: Since no one goes around actually wearing their finisher’s medal to, say, the gym (please tell me you do not intend to do this), wearing the shirt is your badge of honor going forward that you actually finished the race. It’s the bragging rights you earn after crossing the finish line. Save it for then.

4. You haven’t trained in it.

You may be rolling your eyes at the rest of this list, but this is a legitimate concern. Soon enough, most of you will head over to the Convention Center to pick up your bibs and shirts. Since your training runs are over by now, you won’t have the opportunity before race day to try out the race shirt on a long-distance run. Most seasoned runners and running coaches caution against wearing untested gear on race day; you won’t know until it’s too late whether a shirt or shorts or socks will cause you to chafe or bring on blisters. It’s always best to run the race in the same clothes you trained in.

5. Your spectator friends won’t be able to find you.

Another legit concern! Since 90 percent of the people who run Broad Street either won’t read this post or won’t heed its warnings, lots of people show up on race day in the race shirt. This makes for a monochrome sea of a single color. So if you have friends or family coming out to cheer you on, wearing the same shirt as everyone else makes their job that much harder. Opt for something bright and bold (again if that’s what you trained in) so you stand out.

I know, I know. Half of the people reading this post are going to disagree with me, so go ahead and tell me how stupid I am in the comments. And while you’re at it, take the poll below to weigh in with your take on the whole race-shirt-on-race-day debate.

POLL: Will You Wear Your Shiny New Broad Street Run Race Shirt on Sunday?

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  • http://www.twinsruninourfamily.com TWINS RUN

    Couldn’t have said it better ourselves! 😉

  • Runningisstupid

    Didn’t know bibs were at the convention center this year. Lame article, wear what you want.

  • Suzzie

    Is this a page from the Burn Book? So fetch.

  • Mike C

    I AGREE …With the part that says most people will disagree! (w/the possible exception to #4)

  • anonymous

    I didn’t think 4 and 5 were lame. I thought the entire list was lame. Who cares what you wear. Go out and run for whatever reason you’re running. If you’re running because you care what other people think, then, yes, don’t wear your race shirt, because people like this author will judge you.

  • kylecassidy

    Wear what you want. Have fun. I will still think you’re just awesome if you ran ten miles with this years shirt on or one you got in 1997.

  • Deanna Segrave-Daly

    Hee hee – fun post. Used to love running the Broad Street but alas way too crowded now.

  • dowhatyouwant

    This entire article is ridiculous.

  • William Gould

    Yeah..this is just bad..you havent earned the shirt until you have finished the race.

  • Leegles

    totally agree that wearing the new shirt could cause “chafe of bring on blisters”

  • globetrotter

    What dumb ass wrote this? 50% wear the shirt. Writer is clueless. Better advice..sign up only of you run

  • Paul Matuszak

    I’ve worn the race shirt the day of the race far too many times during my racing career, hah! I find it helpful if you’re doing an event with a theme and don’t want to get you non-running shirts too sweaty (e.g., sports theme events). Also, helpful for those unexpected weather changes when traveling (weather drastically break and forget to bring a long sleeve and the race gives out long sleeve tees? – then you’re in luck). Finally, from my experiences of playing in an original band for many years, one of the most rewarding feelings was a gig where almost every direction I looked I spotted groups of people in our t-shirts. So I assume race directors, especially those of smaller races, must feel pretty happy when they see people already sporting the race tee that soon.