The Gift of Running

Today is Cyber Monday and just a few days ago it was Black Friday… two days centered around shopping for holiday gifts.  There are plenty of people out there putting together lists of running related gear that would be perfect for the runner on your holiday list, so I’m not going to put together a list of my own like that.

The main reason for that is that I’m actually getting tired of STUFF.  Thingamabobs and whatchamacallits  to store, possible wrong sizes, even the worry that the item just won’t be liked; it all starts to get overwhelming.  I’ve been thinking that the coolest gifts would be EXPERIENCES.  And the best experiences that money can buy for runners are often races.*  (Well, those can also be bad experiences… but they’re experiences nonetheless.)

Races are expensive, they really start to add up if you enter a lot.  Wouldn’t it be cool if multiple people could easily gift money that was earmarked specifically toward the gift of a race entry?  I know many people think giving gift certificates is a cop-out (personally, I like receiving gift certificates because then I can get something I really need or want, but I digress…).  But if the gift certificate is supposed to go toward something in particular, both the giver and the receiver feel good about the exchange.

But another thing that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside is when someone tells me that I’ve inspired them to start running.  And sharing your love for a sport is one of the greatest gifts possible… it’s like a gift for everyone.  The person who has inspired another gets those feelings of happiness that come from sharing a passion with another and the person who has started running (or whatever sport) gets the gift of health and a new hobby.  It’s an all around winner.

Do you think people would like it if I sent them boxes and with a note that reads, “You may now go for a run!” tucked inside?  That may be a bit of a stretch…

*Note, I said “money can buy”… some of the best moments in this sport can’t be purchased.  But it would be awesome if you could just go purchase a can of “Incredible Run!” and give it to someone.  Then if they’re feeling down and lacking motivation they can just open it up and take out the required dosage to get that good ole’ runner’s high.


  1. I love gift certificates! LOVE! And I think yours is a great idea. Last year, my parents gave me the entry fee for one of my Tri’s and it made a huge difference. I spend (almost) all my spare money on race fees so getting them as a gift would be the most perfect gift 🙂 What a great idea Jill!

  2. i still feel lame for giving a gift certif but i do agree… at least both sides give/get something that will be used and not just donated to goodwill or stuffed in a closet.

    i think you should patent your incredible run in-a-can! 😉 maybe even come out with a quick-spray version and a guilt-on-your-dashboard version.

  3. I agree, the races can really add up. It’s part of the reason why I have not done a ton of them this year, and if I did do some, I made sure that they were local. No trips that required an overnight stay. And yes, it’d be awesome if someone could give us the race entrant fee as a gift!

    The experience my husband gave me last year and is again doing this year is agreeing that I should do indoor track for the winter. Last year I only got one or two small presents from him and I was totally fine with that. Because the track practices were the gift that kept on giving, if you know what I mean.

    Great post, Jill.

    • Your indoor track practices are a great gift. GREAT gift… I totally agree that is an experience that is worth the expense.

      I’m pretty seriously considering making 2010 a similar racing strategy, no racing that require hotel stays. You seem to have some cool local races, that helps!

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