19 February 2015

true colours

it's funny what it takes to feel like you 'belong'.

just last night i had a conversation with some compatriots from a running group which i frequent about the Boston Marathon.  a number of them have run this much coveted race, and have the appropriate bling to show for it ... various colourways of the official jacket (representing different years of the event) being one of the most notable items.  having attained my Boston qualification time twice in 2014 (once in the spring, which was not sufficiently fast enough to actually land me on the registration list for 2015, and once in the fall which should do the trick since it lies within the scope of the 2016 race for which i will have moved up an age category) i am looking forward to making the pilgrimage to the eastern seaboard to run this iconic marathon next april - and so i innocently asked the question 'how much will it actually cost me to get the jacket?'

the answer was not what i'd expected.

instead of a straightforward response of a definite dollar figure, i instead heard how i should be prepared to walk into the race expo with $700-1000 to spend.  i eventually did get to find out that the jacket itself is about $100 USD (and i know now that there are usually two versions of the jacket each year - one 'souvenir' jacket and another functional running jacket by adidas).

it may be because i'm such a cheapskate that i balked at the idea of parting with a grand for memorabilia from the expo - or it may be that i just don't consider being demonstrative about my accomplishments in that way being so important to me.  don't get me wrong - i'll probably still end up with an official Boston Marathon jacket should i get to go, and it'll be worn with pride, but it's not going to define or validate my achievements as a runner.  i think that it's the same train of thought that has prevented me from donning a "26.2" sticker on my car.  various blogpost conversations have taken place about the merits of visibly touting the distances that runners have successfully covered, and i hold nothing against anyone who wants to demonstrably announce that they are a half-marathoner, marathoner, ultramarathoner, ironman or what have you.  

it's just not me.

i like to feel as if belong to a tribe.  who doesn't?  and from the earliest gatherings there have been ways in which we have marked ourselves as clans - whether by 
body mods
black/white hats
belt buckles
bumper stickers.
i'll just keep foremost in my mind that my sense of identity, belonging, value and purpose is defined from the inside out, and not the other way around.



  1. I'll be getting the Boston Jacket for sure, but that's likely about it. I almost never buy mercy because I'm too much of a cheapskate :) The only time I bought any race mercy was at Chicago, my first marathon. No brag tags on my car either, and I refuse to get a tattoo, even if I finish an Ironman ;)

    1. thanks for the comment mike! yeah, especially since i've already got more than enough kit from Skechers i should be able to resist the urge to spread around the cash.

      i've thought about the whole tattoo thing ... is it because you don't want to flaunt it, or that you have some other objections to being tattooed?

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