December 1 will mark 10 years since I became a runner instead of a smoker and changed my life. On the way to that 10th runnerversary, I am going to celebrate with an occasional top 10 post.
My 10 Favorite Bibs
10. 2012 New York City Marathon. I keep this one wrapped in a drawer for posterity. Superstorm Sandy forced the only cancellation of a NYCM -- controversially decided within 48 hours of the race. A thousand of us ran instead on Staten Island with orange race shirts and our backpacks filled with relief supplies to help victims there. I ran the Harrisburg Marathon as a replacement two weeks later.
9. Ultramarathon bib. This one was the 2008 Knickerbocker 60K at Central Park. To me it just represents being on the pavement for so many hours, rain and hills notwithstanding, and it got me into the Marathon Maniacs as runner No. 6697.
8. 2015 Runners World Half. I liked that bib because it matched my Pat Benatar rock outfit. A bunch of us stumbled upon an actual Pat Benatar concert the night before the race in Pennsylvania, and that was legendary enough that I have to include the bib here as well. We Belong.
7. First bib. Right after I traded a box of KOOLS for a box of ASICS, I joined the New York Road Runners and started running regularly at Central Park. My first race was the Joe Kleinerman 10K, one full loop around the park, and it was gruelling for me. But I made it and my life changed forever, opening the door for some of the things that you will see below. "8875" remains special.
6. 2014 ASICS LA Marathon. I put my Twitter handle @Marathoner on a bib for the first time, and as a member of the first-ever ASICS LA Marathon Blogger Challenge Team, a dozen or so of us runners got the royal VIP treatment from ASICS and there is a cool red VIP sticker on the bib.
5. 2012 Paris Marathon. I remembered that when I took French in high school and college, I had to use the French name of "Marc" instead of "Mark." So I customized my bib in Paris as such and then ran past the Eiffel Tower. That would start an international trend.
4. 2016 Maratona di Roma. After being known as "Marc" at the Paris Marathon, I was henceforth known as "Marco" last month through the ancient streets of Rome. I customized the name not only on the front of my race giveaway shirt but also on the back. It was only after I realized doing so that I should have done the same when given the chance to customize our bibs as well. Oh well -- it was worth it to customize the shirt, because you haven't lived until you are running through Piazza Navona and a little boy with his father sees you from outside the barricade and yells, "Bravo, Marco!" I almost started crying. I love the Maratona di Roma logo on this.
3. 2009 New Jersey Marathon. Now we get to the lovey-dovey portion of the Top-10 bib list. I brought an engagement ring box to the start line area early in the morning and the race organizers took it and told me to grab it at the Mile 25 fluid station so I could give it to Lisa at the finish line. Just in case Lisa needed any help with her answer, I put it on this bib under my number. Obviously this warrants No. 1 on this overall list, but below you will see why I had to list it No. 3.
2. 2010 Miami Marathon. As you can see from this bib, Lisa had given the correct answer at the New Jersey Marathon above. So just to keep a tradition going, I celebrated our engagement that January at my first Miami Marathon, and then really celebrated after the finish. A month after the Miami Marathon, we were married and then honeymooned in Curacao. Running life is good!
1. . . . and for the No. 1 bib in my decade of running . . . what else?
What is YOUR favorite running bib?