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The Best Race Day Swag for Turkey Trots and More

Even if you’re not an avid runner, chances are you’ve participated in at least one charity walk where you received a swag bag stuffed with a t-shirt, edibles and other promotional items. While the casual charity walker is generally not picky about the contents of a swag bag, we are here to tell you that seasoned runners and race entrants are extremely particular about their swag bags! A good race day swag bag can set your event apart from others and increase the number of registrants and future entrants for future races. 

Most race organizers don’t have the promotional budget for Tiffany necklaces given to finishers at the Nike Women's Half Marathon, but there are plenty of affordable options. What exactly do running circuit veterans like to receive in swag bags? More than anything else, participants like to receive food. Whether it’s protein bars, fruit or a beer after the race, food is appreciated and does not go to waste!

Runner’s World community members discussed the title topic. Many said they would like to see race organizers ditch the trend of ill-fitting tech shirts and bring back cotton shirts to showcase race sponsors. Races offering hoodies or long-sleeved t-shirts are hard to find but race entrants love them. Offer cold weather apparel for your next event and use it to market your race and increase entries. Other suggestions included reusable grocery bags, pint glasses, coffee mugs, stringed backpacks and fleece blankets. 

Eco Promotional Products asked our customers, employees and friends to chime in on this topic:

Our Customer Service Manager Courtney agrees with the Runner’s World community members. “My last three races advertised the great race tech shirts but none of them fit well,” she said. “I’ve gotten one long-sleeved t-shirt from a turkey trot and I kept that t-shirt for a very long time.” 

Social Media Manager Christine said “I had one race that had a spa kit. It made for a nice relaxing bath that evening to relieve my sore legs! I also enjoy reusable bags because we have a ban bag in our city. I reuse them for everything.”

Marathoner Marianne said she loves anything for running in the dark such as safety lights. Laura, who does her runs early in the mornings, said she likes to receive pullovers or hoodies to keep her warm. A few others said they liked to receive magnets to showcase their races on their home refrigerators.

Destination race running has become popular as seasoned and even beginner runners enjoy the extra motivation of going on a trip. Running along the vineyards in Napa, sprinting along the parks in Disney World, hiking through beautiful national parks and having the excuse to run on a warm beach when your hometown is freezing, motivates athletes to train harder! Not only is the reward your destination, but runners look forward to their swag bags from these events. For a vineyard run a Wine Tumbler or Wine Bag would be great options. A national park or mountain run might include a custom multi-function survival tool that includes a can opener, knife edge, screw driver, bottle opener and more. And a beach run might include a towel and sunglasses so you are ready to hit the beach and relax after race day.

Think outside of the box when planning your next race.  A unique swag bag will get entrants talking about your race and grow the number of participants for future years.