Running for Wine, Super Glue and Other Amazing Swag

Jennifer Purdie
by Jennifer Purdie
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Running for Wine, Super Glue and Other Amazing Swag

Crossing the finish line of any race feels euphoric. But coupling that sense of accomplishment with a swag bag that’s chock-full of prizes or quirky knickknacks can be the ultimate reward. Any runner knows that it’s not always the monetary value of swag that matters; sometimes the weirdest items or those that will remind you of that race for years to come make for the best loot.

With that in mind, here are seven races with some of the most esteemed swag:

Sinister 7 Ultra
July 7–9, 2017 | Alberta, Canada

Running 100 miles through rugged creeks and bogs and hypothermia-inducing temperatures earns you a solid right to swanky swag. At the Sinister 7 Ultra, runners receive a personalized bottle of cabernet-merlot wine at the finish. Your name, bib number and finish time are added to the label. “We wanted to have something unique and something that we could customize at the race as well,” says Brian Gallant, the race director of Sinister Sports. In advance of the race, organizers order custom labels and add each runner’s finish time on the spot.

The Garlic Festival Half Marathon, 10K & 5K
August 12, 2017 | North Plains, Oregon

You may not receive any love from your significant other after finishing the Garlic Festival Half Marathon, 10K and 5K. The name alone tells you why. The first 400 finishers receive elephant garlic, along with post-race garlic ice cream and garlic beer. The Oregon Road Runners Club sponsors the annual event, which coincides with the Garlic Festival.

Le Marathon du Médoc
September 9, 2017 | Bordeaux, France

All runners have heard the following advice: Don’t do anything different in the race than you did in training. You’ll break all the rules at the Le Marathon du Medoc — but that’s probably no surprise given it’s in Bordeaux. Throughout the race, runners can hydrate with 23 red and white wines (the French equivalent of a sports drink, apparently) and fuel with steak and oysters at the “aid” stations. If that wasn’t debaucherous enough, you won’t get a chance to sober up, as the finish line provides each runner with a bottle of Bordeaux wine in a commemorative wood carton.

Wo-Zha-Wa Run
September 16, 2017 | Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Offering a half-marathon and four-mile option, the Wo-Zha-Wa Run is Wisconsin’s oldest long-distance race. All finishers receive a card for free admission to Wisconsin Dell attractions. The card is worth $75 that you can spend on activities, including admission to water parks, mini golf, a ride on the Original Wisconsin Ducks tour and a boat tour — more than the cost of the race itself.

Hershey Half Marathon
October 15, 2017 | Hershey, Pennsylvania

After passing through a chocolate aid station in the Hershey Half Marathon, runners end the race in Hersheypark Stadium where they receive a bag of edible goodies and two tickets to “Hersheypark in the Dark” — Hersheypark’s Halloween celebration.

Feaster Five Thanksgiving Day Road Race
November 24, 2017 | Andover, Massachusetts

You could bake a pie or you could run for a pie.  At the Feaster Five Road Race, runners can choose either a 5-miler or 5K and win an entire apple pie at the finish line. Volunteers hand out 9,000 pies, but with 10,000 participants, you’ll need to kick up your stride a bit to ensure you snag one.

3M Half Marathon
Jan 21, 2018 | Austin, Texas

At the 3M Half Marathon, runners can set a new PR on this downhill course in Austin. But, for anyone who loves their office supplies, it’s the swag that’ll be the real reward. Waiting at the finish are some quirky supplies courtesy of 3M. You’ll take away everything from tape to lint rollers to super glue — or all of the above.

About the Author

Jennifer Purdie
Jennifer Purdie

Jennifer is a Southern California-based freelance writer who covers topics such as health, fitness, lifestyle and travel for both national and regional publications. She runs marathons across the world and is an Ironman finisher. She is also a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. You can follow her on Twitter @jenpurdie.


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