It does not really matter if you come to the race for the purpose of getting your best time, just to finish, or because you like racing as a means to test your fitness. Regardless of why you came, race organizers are there ready to give you some stuff for free – the lingua franca calls is SWAG. Webster’s defines SWAG as money or goods taken by a thief or burglar. Well I am not sure this is exactly what the race organizer means when they give away free stuff to all participants but I think we can see the connection. You come to the race and you get something for free and loosely we see that it is the same as if you decided to take stuff – essentially SWAG is free and we all love it.
Whether you are part of THPL community, or not, the idea that you can get free stuff (even though you paid to be in the race) is fun. We can all tell you which race gives the best tee-shirt, the best finisher medal, or even the best race inspired gear. And the fun of it is that we love to wear and flaunt our SWAG – it is how we tell everyone we completed the race, that I am part of that community, that I was strong enough, good enough, “man” enough to get the SWAG. My favorite of all SWAG thus far is my Leadville 100 mile mountain bike race finishers fancy belt buckle (yes I wore it once) that I received for completing the race in under 12 hours. It was (for me) impossibly hard and the belt buckle, well it just looks cool. Not all that practical but for certain it carried a lot of meaning. And that is, after all, the reason we come to the race.
So, yes, SWAG is great, for reasons of free and fun but the real reason that we love SWAG is it is a representation of all of the hard work we have done on our journey to THPL. And there few easier ways to represent it than with a piece of appropriate SWAG.
Loving life while wearing my SWAG