Give Me a Race Shirt If You Want Me to Run Your Race

And offer a range of sizes, too

Stacey Curran


Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash

For weeks, I considered running a local four mile race.

I wasn’t ready to sign up way in advance because I absolutely loathe running in the heat and humidity.

It was a night race though, so I kept hoping it might be doable for me. As the date got closer, the weather looked decent enough that I could probably run most of it and walk if I had to, and maybe not come in dead last. Maybe.

So my husband, who was racing it, and I, who was simply planning to finish, went to register online.

There were no shirts left.

I did not sign up.

I know given the state of just about every damn thing, this was ridiculous. It shouldn’t be a reason to skip a race. But I wanted a shirt. And I not only wanted the shirt, I wanted my size choice. Their site said shirt size is not guaranteed, so even if I wasn’t too late to get a shirt, I might not get one due to my size.

Even when there are shirts available, this is an issue. I fully realize that many runners are slim. But I am not. So the T-shirt thing is a whole thing for me. At more than one race, I’ve had to beg for the size for which I signed up.

I always check off for the biggest size offered, so if it’s an XXL, that’s what I want. Often when I get to packet pick up, I’m told I don’t need it. I’m cajoled to leave the biggest sizes for the guys. I hear that I could easily just take a large, and even though I signed up for an XL or XXL, I should not insist on taking it.

Once, I almost ended up in tears. A man, who I realize is a volunteer, refused to give me a XXL.

“I am keeping those for my buddies,” he said, while telling me that he was wearing a large and was over six feet tall.

I did what women of my generation were typically conditioned to do, and smiled, and politely tried again.



Stacey Curran

Former journalist; few N.E. Press Assoc. Awards, few Boston Globe Magazine essays, @TheBelladonnaComedy @Slackjaw @BostonAccent, @WBUR, grocery lists.