Bib Numbers…What To Do With Them
Bib numbers…if you have run at least one race, then you have a bib number. But what do you do after the race…do you throw it away? I keep my bib numbers and display them like they are finisher medals.
I have kept all my bib numbers except for one that happened to be from my first race, which was a marathon. I did not keep it
because that race was such a miserable experience that I never wanted to run again and did not want to remember the experience so I threw my bib number away.
A week or two later, after I had forgotten the misery and pain, I signed up for my first ultramarathon and second race…The Tahoe 50k. My second race was a much better experience and I became hooked on running ultras. Since that second race I
have kept every bib number from all my races. I have bib numbers from 5ks, half marathons, marathons, 50ks, 50 milers, 100ks, and 100milers.
On all my bib numbers I’ll write my finishing time and maybe a note or two describing the race and what I enjoyed about it. If I DNFed (Did Not Finish) then I’ll give an explanation on what went wrong, how I was feeling, and what I was thinking. It’s a nice way to remember some of the fun races and learning experience gained in running ultramarathons.
If you decide to keep your bib numbers, don’t just tuck them away out of site. Display them somewhere, where you can see them often and where others can see them too. Having them in sight can be a reminder of what you have accomplished as a runner and help provide motivation for training and for running future races. Also, having them in sight for others to see can make for a nice conversational piece.
I display my bib numbers simply by threading a small rope threw the holes in the bib numbers. This last Christmas my sister bought me a small plaque with two hooks on the bottom specifically for putting bib numbers on. Those are two options for displaying bib numbers.
Over the years I have found that I value my bib numbers just as much and maybe more than my finisher’s medal. I’m not sure why? Maybe it’s because that each bib number I have was with me as I ran those races. Races that required me to sometimes go deep into the pain cave in order to pull out finish. A finisher’s medal is something nice, but it is something you only receive after the race. It’s not something that is with you from the starting line all the way to the finish.