Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sacred Bib Pins

Aren't they just gorgeous? Blurry yes, but what's not blurry at 6:30 in the morning?

You will notice, however, that there's only **GASP** 3. I dropped one in the seat of the car and as my mom made a move to do I don't know what, rescue maybe the other three, a voice came out of me that I'm not familiar with. This is how I know that bib pins must be sacred. For a moment, I sounded possessed.

"DON'T TOUCH MY BIB PINS!" I growled at her for fear that I would lose another. I could survive on three, but one or two meant I would be forced to run with a bib flopping around for 13 miles and THAT is surely enough to drive even the most well adjusted person, insane. Since I frequently find myself teetering on the edge anyhow, surely another missing bib pin would be enough to push me over.

Thankfully, the missing pin was recovered so there were no free flowing corners for me on race day at the Martian 1/2, but I now have two burning questions. First off, why do we even have to wear bibs anyway? Most races are chip timed. So it's not like we need them to determine finishing times or positions. Is it solely for the race pictures? Because honestly, I could do without. They're usually not my finest photos and besides I have Madelyn to take pictures for me. You saw her masterpieces yesterday. And it certainly can't be just to verify that someone has paid for or registered for a race, because I know plenty of unregistered runners who slip in and never get challenged by a race official (more on that in a post to come). I actually ran the whole 1/2 without a visible bib myself. I had expected to strip down three layers to a short sleeve shirt, but ended up only shedding two and running with long sleeves the whole time. My bib was on my innermost layer. Nobody batted an eye though when they handed me my medal.

So what's the deal here? Are we really just forced to deal with these paper nuisances because of a long standing running tradition that no longer serves a purpose like that story of the woman who always cuts the ends off her pot roast because that's what her mother did, but her mother only did it because her crock pot was small and the roast wouldn't fit? (it's from one of those chain emails, maybe not even true, but you get my point). I mean just think of all the paper and pins we'd save! Maybe race entry fees could come down a little bit from the cost cutting. Ok maybe that'd only save like a buck a runner, but it'd be one less thing to think about on race day anyway.

But if we just must there's no getting around it wear bibs, then here's my second question: Why can't we have sticky bibs? You know, ones that you could just peel off the back and slap on. No pins required. They could even be re-stickable so that you can put them on your top layer, peel them off and stick them on your bottom layer when you get hot and need to rid yourself of some excess clothing. I mean for crying out loud we've got fabric that wicks the sweat from our bodies and shoes that can talk to our ipods, but nobody can come up with a sticky bib? And if it is out there somewhere and I just haven't been in one of those races yet, why oh why hasn't it caught on? Maybe we should demand it. Show up to races not wearing our bibs with signs that say "Pins Prick Bibs Should Stick" chanting "stick y bibs stick y bibs!" Then refuse to run until we get them.

Alright, alright. You got me. Nobody's refusing to run over a bib here. But let me tell you this, if there was a race in my area that had sticky bibs, I'd run that sucker every single year. Well... as long as the course wasn't super hilly, they gave out medals, had cool shirts, post race refreshments, on course aid...

Something to think about.

'Til next time...


runnanna said...

love the sticky bib idea!I never know what layer to pin that paper thing to either.

Jodi H said...

This post cracked me up. I actually carry a travel size box of bib pins in my purse just in case I end up misplacing mine! Although I am running the Cleveland Marathon in May and they are using B-tag timing which is actually a strip on your bib so it must be worn on your outmost layer if you want your time to be recorded. I'm not sure why they did away with the D-tag (for the shoe) but we still have to use pins. Have a great day!!

Staci Dombroski said...

That is a great idea!! I think you should market that :)

misszippy said...

I have a stash of them in my jewelry box and always bring extras on race day. Love your idea, though!

Cynthia O'H said...

I carry extra pins - paranoid that I'll misplace one on the way.

I wondered the same thing. Seriously, as runners were doing our part to keep the planet clean but, then, we end up killing a forest with bibs. And, I'm sure that there are chemicals of some sort over them to keep them somewhat water proof. Makes you wonder.

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