More Running Swag that Rocks!

Ever drive down the street in the middle of summer and see some crazy runner pounding the asphalt, waves of heat radiating off the road, buckets of sweat pouring down the poor person’s face? Yup – that’d be me!

But I’m not alone in my humid sadomasochism. Thousands of runners young and old, small and large, men and women, join me around the globe in this ritual. You’ll see us chugging along your streets, kicking dirt up on trails, climbing mountains, and careening down gravel paths on a daily basis. And runners don’t just wait until that perfect sixty degree spring or fall day when the air is crisp and dry and the birds are chirping happy Snow White songs. Nope, even the animals stay inside on days that runners are out, getting in their weekly mileage so they’re not set back in their training goals for that big 5k or half-marathon or marathon or (God help them) the ultra-marathon. From the bitter cold of winter to the hundred degree humidity of the east coast summers, runners brave the elements to reach their goals.

What goal can be worth all that pain, you may ask. That suffering?

Why, we do it for the great swag of course!

Before you think I’m being dirty, swag (also written as schwag) is what runner’s call the sweet rewards that they are given for either a) participating in a race and/or b) finishing said race.

Here are some races you may want to check out if only for the loot:

Lake Balboa Watermelon Run 5k, Van Nuys, CA – First 100 finishers will win a whole watermelon, while all participants get a sweet slice upon finishing. A perfect summer prize!

Oktoberfest 5k, Bethlehem, PA – Runners chose their own start and race to each participating bar along the course. Runners each receive a mug, race t-shirt, and beverages after the race.

Squaw Valley Mountain Run, Lake Tahoe, CA – Another steep run ends in a reward of beer, bagels, cookies, and a country rock-band.

For more races, check out the Runner’s World website. And don’t forget to stay hydrated before, during and after your run!

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