A rant on race shirts

Why is it so hard for race organizers to provide a decent-sized shirt for petite women? Out of my entire collection of race shirts (about 15), there are only two that I would actually wear in public. One is from last year’s A Race For Maggie’s Place which ended up being well worth the $30 race day registration fee for the tech shirt and the great goody bag. Although it wasn’t a women-only race, I attribute the great shirt to the fact that the race is held to benefit women.

Lost Dutchman 10k 2008The shirt in action during the Lost Dutchman 10k.

Then, there’s the awesome women’s tech shirt from Disney’s Princess Half Marathon. It’s my favorite race shirt because it’s Disney, it’s pink, and it just fits perfectly. Although the race was open to men, it was definitely a female-centric event and I don’t even think there was a male/unisex shirt option available.

Disneyland 5k 2009I wore my “princess” shirt and a tiara for the Disneyland Family Fun Run 5k.

Of course, not all women’s races get it right. At the Trek Women’s Duathlon, the smallest shirt size was a medium!

For some reason I don’t mind it so much when I get cotton shirts that are too big. At least I can still get some use by wearing them around the house. But there just isn’t anything to do with tech shirts. It also seems like some race organizers use tech shirts as a reason to justify high registration fees. If I’m not going to be able to wear the shirt anyway, I’d rather get a $5-10 discount and no shirt. Like at the Rock ‘n’ Roll races, I already know the “free” shirt won’t fit. They must be getting some kind of huge bulk discount because every race has the same “unisex” Sugoi tech shirts and they’re always blue. With as many participants as they get, you’d think they could provide women’s sizes and different colors for each race.

But the real reason for this post is because of the last two Disney race shirts that I’ve gotten. Here’s a look at the shirt from the Expedition Everest Challenge.

Expedition Everest Challenge 2009 race shirt

At this angle it looks okay. But the proportions are actually all off. The body’s not too bad, although perhaps just a little short. It’s the sleeves that are crazy. The Disneyland Half Marathon shirt has the same cut. Here’s what it looks like on.

Disneyland Half Marathon 2009 race shirt

See what I mean about the sleeves? Who would actually look good in this shirt? I don’t know whether the blame lies with Disney or Champion, but both companies have enough expertise with apparel that this shouldn’t happen. It’s worse than if the shirt was just too big overall.

So anyway, that’s my rant for the day. Do you have a favorite race shirt? What are some races that offer shirts in both men’s and women’s sizes?

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7 Responses to “A rant on race shirts”

  1. Mica Says:

    Yeah, Harrison and I have this problem a lot because we’re both relatively small, and he is extremely skinny for a boy. “Small” men’s shirts look huge on him.

    I think it might be useful to write about your issues with the shirts in the post-race comment forms or e-mail the director. It sucks to pay money for it and have it obviously not fit you from the get-go.

  2. lindsay Says:

    wow those sleeves are off! i thought maybe it was supposed to be the 3/4-look but no, just…. not right! i like the disney world shirts (long sleeve), and i’ve worn the shirt i got at the atlanta thanksgiving day marathon a bunch (also long sleeve). i’ve had issues with many of the short sleeve, technical shirts… usually if i say medium, it ends up being a men’s medium (and too big). if i say small it ends up being a women’s small (and a bit too small). sigh. the ones that don’t fit well are relegated to daily training runs where i don’t care as much how i look! 🙂

  3. RioRuns Says:

    The Disney half and Expedition shirts look waaaay awk-ward! They should’ve just made a sleeveless shirt if they can’t get the sleeves right. Maybe you can get the ones that don’t fit made into a quilt to remember your races by?

  4. Mel- Tall Mom on the Run Says:

    I ALWAYS end up giving my shirts to my hubby.. FYI there is a company called Campus Quilts that makes T-shirts into quilts.. Not that you need a quilt.

    Pretty sure that doors swing inward so that women dont open the doors and knock little kids over 🙂

  5. Rock ‘n’ Roll San Jose Race Report « Silly Lisa… Says:

    […] my race shirt rant just days earlier, it was kind of ironic that the shirts for this race were […]

  6. RoadBunner Says:

    You are a kindred spirit!!!

    I have a HUGE bone to pick about race shirts!!!

    Unisex sizing? Puh-lease!!!!! I worship races that offer women specific cut shirts or XXS unisex (got a race shirt of this size at a race recently and it was actually decent).

    I am SO jealous of men because they get an awesome race shirt every time.

    Oh, the Disney shirts are always kinda odd. I had my mom take in a bunch of them for me.

  7. Ash Says:

    What size did you get in the Disneyland Half Marathon shirt. I’m filling out my registration now and i have no idea what to get!! Thanks!


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