Best SWAG Award for 2012

It’s certainly no secret that runners and triathlete’s love free SWAG.  However, the majority of the time, the items in the SWAG bag don’t elicit much excitement from me because 1) the items rarely fit (unisex sizing) or 2) the items are not technical or 3) the items are FUGLY.   However, on a rare occasion even I get a SWAG bag that is exciting. 

For all intents and purposes, I consider myself a SWAG expert due to the numerous races I run annually.  🙂   Last year, my favorite SWAG item from the Hot Chocolate Race quickly turned to crap as all the print started rubbing off the windbreaker within weeks of receiving the item.  Oh yeah, and the sleeves were about 4 inches too short for Ms. TooTall but I know I’m not a “normal” size so no real complaints in that area.  This year, I’ve received some cool things but  nothing I loved…… until today.  My friend Pam picked up the Running For Kicks Turkey Trot packets last night and delivered them to me today.  As you probably already know, I’m a huge supporter of Mel and the Running for Kicks team.  They are a major force in our running community supporting everyone who moves from walkers to runners alike.  They also support many local charities and each race they direct brings additional charity monies to our local community.  I’d run the Running for Kicks races with or without a good SWAG bag just because I like Mel, the store, the staff and the charity component.  However, this year, I would definitely award them with the TTF Best SWAG Award for 2012!

RFK Turkey Trot_2012 SWAG

  • Sport Tek Half Zip lined with fleece (with thumb holes) – SUPER snuggly!!!
  • Feetures No Show Socks
  • GU Chompls
  • Sport Wash
  • $15 off coupon for Running For Kicks
  • Chip Timed Race on Thanksgiving Day

I register for the races that I want to run, regardless of the price which is evident since I even sprung for an Ironman brand race this year.  I will pay more for a race that is in my backyard where I don’t have to travel too far because it reduces the stress on my family.  When registration became available for this year’s 4 mile Running For Kicks Turkey Trot I heard nothing but bitching about the price verses the mere 4 mile distance complaints on the cost.  The registration fee was $55 for a chip timed race on Thanksgiving morning.  The SWAG, which was previously announced, is the best I’ve received all year and is equivalent to the registration fee in my opinion.  Plus the race donates money to local charities and collects food for the Worth Food Pantry.  There may not be a band along route but you will have friends and family cheering for you who actually know you by name.  You will be eligible to win a multitude of raffle prizes and you will get more than what you pay for in hospitality, plus you will be supporting the local community in a magnitude of ways. 

I always stay local if possible and I am thankful for great races like this one.  This amazing half zip is just a bonus!  RFK Turkey Trot_2012 half zip 


RFK Turkey Trot_2012 half zip


That’s an embroidered logo….guessing that won’t “rub” off anytime soon.  Plus its a ladies cut.  Super score!  And thanks, Mel for keeping that turkey logo a reasonable size so that I’ll actually wear this thing.  🙂

Do you want to run the cheapest race around to save some cash or are you willing to spend a bit more for a good cause or even a specialty theme?  I certainly love the cheap races but also like to go where my friends go and sometimes that means that my friends are the organizers.  I like to support the people who support me, my run friends and my community on a daily basis and yes, I don’t mind paying a little extra for that.

Tell me which race would win the Best 2012 SWAG award in your opinion. 

** Happy Turkey Trotting ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

16 thoughts on “Best SWAG Award for 2012

  1. DANG! I want to run a race where they give you socks!! I thought Dublin had amazing swag. There was just a crazy amount of food (granola bars, a box of cereal, chips, candy) night reflectors, vitamins, eye drops? and tons of recovery stuff. It’s like they’d done this before….

  2. Wow, great race swag! I’m definitely willing to pay more for a good cause/specialty theme or good race swag. I just signed up for a Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve – partly because a running jacket is part of the race kit!

  3. I have done three races so far and not much in the swag department. Even though pajama pants were pretty sweet and that after party was great with tons of free food, so I guess the Anything Possible 5k had the best swag, you just had to walk around afterwards to get it (did get a 5 hour energy, zaxbys glow in the dark water bottle and pizza/doughnuts/stew and cornbread/chicken sandwiches/muscle milk/sushi and wings).

  4. What sweet swag! Seriously, I love that pink pullover! I sign up for races that I like. I am mindful of cost but I also look for fun ones that will offer a new experience or is for a good cause. A cute shirt design also will get me!

  5. I went a little crazy registering for races earlier this year, and realized I was spending way too much for my budget on something that is just “for fun.” And I also started to feel some race burn-out. So when it comes to registering for a race, I think about a variety of factors – cost, logistics, reputation, how it fits in my schedule, if the race has something unique about it (probably won’t do as many races on the lakefront path anymore), and if I know anyone else doing the race. So while I really enjoyed the Palos Turkey Trot last year and love supporting local races, I decided to sit this one out. Seems like the race is doing just fine without me (sounds like it sold out?)

    The best swag I got this year was at a small 5K in Michigan. You could choose between a long sleeve tee or knit hat (or pay a little bit more and get both). I appreciate being able to get something other than a shirt. Also, they had tons of delicious homemade baked goods for runners to enjoy post-race (for free).

    • Yes, the race sells out every year. We will still miss you though! As for the lakefront races, I try to avoid those due to overcrowding. I like my solitary runs along the lakefront path on gloomy days like today when I’m virtually alone with the beauty. However, there were a lot of people out today due to the mild weather and “possibly” the upcoming holiday.

      See you soon, Maggie! I miss running with you!

  6. I really liked the swag from the Palos Half and it seems like this is similar (swapping out a short sleeved tech tee versus a fleece half-zip). In fact, I think this was my favorite swag this year. I enjoyed my time at the Turkey Trot last year, but I had a bit of sticker shock this year. I

  7. Most races I have done have the same swag in some sort of variation. Some are nicer than others but I have not had one of those “Ohhh awesome” moments at packet pick up yet.

    Price has only come into play once for me…the Nike DC Half..$160….too much for me.

  8. I won’t be able to help ya with which races have the best “swag”…most of the races I pay for include mostly garbage that ya toss out…other than the shirt and sometimes a few goodies or sample products. So…just can’t tell ya a race that has the best swag…unless ya consider event aspects that are not necessarily restricted to the goody bag. In the latter case…I would give kudos to Tecumseh Trail Marathon, namely for the post-race food they serve ya and a big fire in the fireplace in the old stone shelter to warm-up by. Their age-division place awards were pretty cool too…a x-section of small tree…I forget the species…but my award was pretty cool and still love it sitting on its little stand above the fireplace.

    Regarding Mel’s Turkey Trot…yes…I hear a lot of complaints about the registration price. And there are those out there that have to be “budget-conscious” so ya go run the “Poultry Predictor” at Pilcher Park for $8. But Mel’s race is a fundraiser to donate much of the proceeds to a food-pantry as you denote. So…I don’t mind paying the fee and can afford it.

    But ya are correct…that long-sleeve shirt with the embroidery is really nice…not cheapness there…as it has been with the hoody sweatshirts in the past. The other stuff is limited…but I don’t expect to get a lot of freebie goods for a local race where the purpose is to raise funds for a food pantry. Blueberry-Pomegrante chews are not my favorite flavor…but they will come in handy at times for some of my training runs…and I will use them. Ditto for the special detergent…but I doubt I will start buying it on a regular basis. The socks…anyone out there want my Large? I don’t mess with white socks…to hard to keep them clean! LOL.

    Palos Turkey Trot 4-miler is an awesome race…a tradition of me to run it every year…and I feel good that the fee I paid and the 2-canned goods I donated (Healthy Choice Veggie Soup) will help an organization help those less fortunate have something to eat.

    In some respects…it might be nice where we sign-up for a race to donate those proceeds to help a charity….and not expect any swag…nothing…but the experience of running the race and being with friends and other runners…and enjoying the moment…and for once…doing without and being thankful for it!

    Just a different perspective…but Mel’s Turkey Trot is an awesome race to run….and who cares if ya curse a few times cause of some “tough” hills in some places. In fact…I am starting to like “Little Bastard”…and ya get to run it twice….first hill you hit after the start and you hit it again on the return loop in last mile. LB does not look formidable…but you will feel it put you in place when ya run up it…it humbles me every time I run that race….and I don’t get good at running it until well into the winter and into training for Boston Marathon. But who wants a run or race to always feel “easy?”

    peace all…and happy Thanksgiving….C some of ya at Black Friday…woo-hoo!

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