Tuesday, November 16, 2010

To Sticker or Not To Sticker

I see the little white oval 13.1 or 26.2 (or even 70.3 and 140.6 for the tri guys) stickers on the back of cars all the time. It normally provides me just the hook I need to express some road rage. You know, something like “You can run a marathon but you just can’t seem to get through that traffic light can you asshole?!” Or, “Maybe you should spend less time running and more time learning how to drive!” I’m pleasant to be around. I like butterflies and double dip Neapolitan ice cream.

The irony, of course, is that I’m an avid runner but, when I see those stickers and I’m in a bout of head-throbbin’, artery-bustin’ road rage, the stickers provide the perfect outlet.

Besides that, they are perfectly innocent and unassuming and I don’t mind them. Look here’s one now:

It’s nice to be proud and, maybe, just a bit braggadocio about the accomplishment. There’s nothing wrong with that. Heck, it’s much better than seeing all those tobacco-stained stickers proclaiming that someone can ‘have their gun when they pry it off their cold, dead fingers!’ Or Calvin and/or Hobbes peeing on a corporate logo. (Did the cartoonist really license his product so it could be seen shooting urine onto Ford symbols all across America??)

While stuck behind a particularly vexing 26.2 stickered SUV the other day, I was thinking about what distance we seem to consider important enough to advertise on a car sticker. I’ve seen many 26.2’s and a few 13.1’s. Rarely I encounter a tri guys 70.3 or 140.6. You know what I’ve never seen? Has anyone ever had a 5k or 10k sticker?? I’m not kidding. For some – especially beginning runners – this is a daunting distance. A car sticker is a symbol recognizing your own individual achievement. Do they just not make 5k stickers? Or do folks think it’s just not impressive enough to display on the back of a car? For that matter, what is the appropriate distance to proclaim to the world through a sticky adhesive?

If you are just starting out, can you put one of these on your Volvo?


Maybe you’ve made it onto the street and want to shout to your community how far you’ve gone now:


Now you’re cookin’!


But why confine it just to running. Wouldn’t this be a top seller?


I live in a college town. I bet I could clean up with this:


And, let’s face it, this one is probably all to true for a lot of folks:


Fortunately, I don’t have any need for this sticker. But for some of you males out there, I’m sure you could use it:

For now, I’m stickerless. I don’ t have a 26.2 sticker. In fact, I don’t have any stickers…mainly because I eventually sell my used vehicles and I don’t want to have to scrape a sticker off the window to prep it. But, also, it’d be a little embarrassing to have this sticker on it when someone came to take it for a test drive:


How ‘bout you? Do you sport a running sticker? And have you noticed me in the rear view mirror using it as a weapon against you just prior to the middle finger?

Happy trails.

34 comments:

Pretend this is real said...

Ahhahaha! Love the sticker ideas! This might be the beginning of something great.

Sun Runner said...

I have a 26.2. I also have a 13.1 which came from the Grand Rapids Half Marathon (and says as much). And then there's my hashing sticker, a red foot that reads "ON-ON." I also have a "Save the Manuals" magnet which I got from the Redhead.

I resisted stickers for a long time and now I have four. Kind of like my various body piercings (at one time I had 17) and tattoos (4). Once you start, you can't stop. So don't start.

And for the record? A 13.1-inch you-know-what? Um, no. I'd like to keep my insides intact, TYVM. BIGGER IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER!

elizabeth said...

ahhhahaha these are funny!!

Richard said...

I have a USA Triathlon sticker. No distances. I don't look at my past accomplishments too much. That's called history.

Vava said...

Can't say I've had the pleasure of experiencing your particular brand of road rage, and I don't have any stickers on my car (same reason as you, just can't justify the work), but I like your ideas.

At least stickers are easier to remove than tattoos (not a comment based on what Sun Runner wrote, just the first thing that popped into my mind when I was reading your post). It does make me wonder if people may run a marathon for the tattoo the same way others complete the IronMan for a tat of that Timex watch logo?

Morgan said...

I've got a 26.2 as well as a Donna Breast Cancer Marathon Running Ribbon Logo from when I ran the Half. Both are magnets on my trunk and come off a bit easier than a sticker. I will say I was absolutely stoked to put that 26.2 on my car after I ran my first and I'm sure most others feel the same way. Bragging, annoying or whatever someone else thinks, it makes me happy and helps me find my car in a parking lot full of Toyota's now that my FL plate is gone!

Turi said...

I've got a 178 sticker, from the Reno-Tahoe Odyssey. It was a relay, so of course I didn't run the whole distance myself, but it's a good conversation starter and at least a little different from the 26.2 and 13.1 stickers...

Razz said...

I have a 26.2 sticker. Wanna fight about it?

Anne said...

No sticker yet...was actually debating that one. I have no problem with the stickers, but I'm not sure I want on myself.

BTW, there is no way I would run in snowshoes, it's hard enough walking in those things! :)

Lisa said...

Hahahahahahah these cracked me up. :-)

gene said...

i am so glad you are BACK! great ideas, those stickers. mebbe you could sell some on cafepress.
i have stickers. one says runner dude. some are products (keen, darn tough), one is a lighthouse from the OBX (but is DOESN"T say OBX). my fave, though, is the NUUN sticker i put OVER the ford emblem on the front of my truck. you can see it on my blog.
someday, when i do 26.2, i will probably put that on, too.
then drive reaaaaaaaly slowly around your block.

Robin said...

I've avoided stickers for fear that strangers might actually strike up conversations with me about running and I'd have to come up with some amazing PR that never existed!

Lily on the Road said...

Nope, no running stickers, however I do have one on my car stating that my bike doesn't have an airbag!

Just saying.........

Ace said...

All I know is that you need to buy a little mini-fridge to put by your couch if you have to walk that many steps to the fridge. Just don't put any of that Neapolitan garbage in there...

Andrew Opala said...

Love it!

This is all I got.

Jess said...

I have a 26.2 sticker and I always point out when other people do to everyone else in the car.

"Hey that person ran a marathon!"

It probably gets really old to everyone in the car with me.

Psyche said...

Nitmos is baaaack! Yay!

Hilarious post!

I recently slapped my first 2 stickers on the car...One says "FHT -I ran the entire 77-Mile Foot Hills Trail" (a gift from a fellow finisher) and the other is an "HTFU" sticker.

I drive around all day in my car with my BMF wallet casually thrown on the dash looking for guys like you!! Bwaaahahahaha!!!

Teamarcia said...

You need to put out your sticker shingle pronto.

I've had a 26.2 sticker since April 2009 but just put it on a couple of weeks ago. It does make my car a whole lot easier to find in a lot.

Ian said...

Sticker? I barely know her!

Marlene said...

Those are awesome.

I don't have a sticker, but I do have one of those "Marathoner" license plate holders. Do those get you going too??

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Yes, I am guilty. However, down here in Florida they are not stickers. Instead they are magnets so can be removed easily, so that makes your selling a used car a bit easier.

One issue I had is that I am an ultra runner, so 13.1 and 26.2 are a bit of an understatement and I don't think putting "100" would carry near the same meaning. So instead mine simply states "Gotta Run..."

Ironman By Thirty said...

No Internet Memes? No stickers? What a curmudgeon. Next, you are probably going to tell me Santa isn't real. haha

Anyways, I have 13.1, 26.2, 70.3, M-22 (represents the Northern MI area if you are a non-Michigander), and USAT stickers with a couple other magnets.

I was hesitant at first to put stickers on my car. No one wants to be that guy driving around with the losing candidates name plastered on your bumper for the next 4 years. However, my car has gotten to the point where it is going to be driven into the ground, so I'm not looking to up the resale value.

My advice. Start with the magnets. Not permanent, but they can be your gateway drug to the real thing.

Finally, I have had multiple people ask me what "two-hundred and sixty two" or "seven hundred and three" means. So be ready for that.

RawBodyGoddess said...

My bumper sticker sticker says "You ran a marathon? That's cute" I am a passive-aggressive ultra runner. I like to PASS 13.1 and 26.2 stickered cars with my aforementioned stickered car. Hey...its how I roll...

aron said...

i dont have any stickers on my car, but i have things like that hanging all over my house :) medals, training schedules, stickers, etc

drea said...

Nah, no sticker. Just great legs :) That says it better.

Drea

Sun Runner said...

@Ironman By Thirty: "M-22 (represents the Northern MI area if you are a non-Michigander)"

I had to explain this to my boyfriend, who lives in Indiana. I also gave him a general description of what "up north" means. I didn't even get started on the UP. Yoopers...well, that's going to take a while.

Irene said...

Someone once asked a friend of mine what the 26.2 on his car meant. He replied that it was his gun. Heh.

I don't have stickers, either.

Viper said...

I'm among the happily stickerless. The oval stickers in general are getting a little too ubiquitous for my tastes. What's wrong with a nice triangle? Or a rhombus?

Keen Bean Company said...

loved the new crop of stickers! 70.3 excuses - best one IMO

Nick said...

Ironically I have been contemplating whether or not I want a 26.2 sticker after this next marathon or not......I think though you may have made up my mind for me!

Nikki @ Balance and Moderation said...

No sicker, but I love to see them on other people's cars. It is great motivation for us newer runners to see that everyday people complete marathons.

Kirstie said...

hahaha, great post. I really like the 50k (debt) one.

Yes, there are 5k stickers out there. I read a whole thread on some tri forum about it. Let's just say the thought of a 5k sticker to these folks didn't go over to well.

I have three stickers myself. First I got the 13.1, then the 26.2and just recently added the BT50k sticker. The stick that cracks me up the most is the DNF (did not finish) one. Only seen online, yet to see it in real life. I would absolutely put that on my care if I DNF'd at an event. Too funny not to!

Al's CL Reviews said...

Love your "stickers."

I have a magnet that says, "In my dreams, I'm a Kenyan."

D wants a 13.1.

Andy Klevorn said...

I like the 50k in debt series. Could do University of BLANK, 50k in debt...
Check out my marathon and half marathon stickers at http://www.myracesticker.com