It's Not Just Another Singlet

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Not all singlets are created equal.

Some singlets I give away to helpers; some land on garage sale. Some I use when I groom dogs. Some I love to lounge around or sleep in for the fabric comfort, but would not dare wear in the gym or on the road for its ah, uninspired, design. Some are good enough for gym or road training.
A few singlets stand out. Despite its garish colors and rough texture, I wore and kept my 2009 Milo Marathon singlet. I wore it to be part of the thousands who have run a race steeped in tradition and prestige. I kept it as souvenir of my first ever marathon.
My favorite singlet has been the 2008 New Balance Powerrace Singlet. I like it for its instrinsic beauty and love it for the memories it evokes. Its fabric is cool, and its cut is flattering for both the fit and flabby. It is long enough to hide one's modesty when partnered with compression or cycling shorts. No other singlet can take its place as the singlet worn when I discovered I have fallen for Running. I liked the race and the singlet so much that it shows on my blog's photo banner. I would wear my favorite singlet whenever I tried to conquer longer distances during training. The singlet and the magic 25K printed on it reminded me that to a person in love with Running, no distance is too long nor insurmountable.
I therefore view with a tinge of disappointment the initial feedback about the 2009 NB singlet. The 2008 Powerrace being my Best Race of the Year, I had high hopes for the 2009 edition. I was ecstatic when I learned Extribe will handle the race again ( I do hope they repeat the cool running quotes on kilometer markers) but was a little disappointed when the distance was trimmed down to 21k (I hope it does not become just another 21k) and the location was moved back to Global City. I can understand if the race location was moved to make it accessible to more people (a great race deserves to be enjoyed by many!), but why tamper with the singlet quality?
Does the production savings really justify the marketing mileage lost from issuing a lesser quality singlet? I used to hold Mizuno in high regard for the beautiful race shirts they issued in the past races, but that regard diminished significantly when they issued a nicely designed but coarse-textured singlet during the Infinity Run. Now I associate Mizuno with the clever "Never Settle" slogan and the coarse fabric.
To be honest, I haven't seen the new NB race singlet, but I have heard similar feedback from a couple of friends. Enough to make me hesitate to go to Glorietta and see for myself if my favorite singlet has indeed fallen victim to hard times. For an NB fan like myself, it is hard to accept things like these. In the meantime, if you have a reasonably okay, large, 2008 25K NB race singlet you do not mind parting with, I would happy to buy it from you.
I do hope Adidas does not go the route of Mizuno and New Balance. In a time when every brand is working hard to push its name, the race singlet is a strategic branding opportunity. Runners have always associated the Adidas King of the Road race with drool-worthy singlets. I have my own KOTR collection for one. I am sure others have theirs, with probably more editions (if you do have all editions, please email me!). Please major brands, save the positive association. The initial feedback I got the from the Adidas brand managers is that the 2009 singlet is something to look forward to. I sure hope so and I am excited for it.
While others may think it is just a singlet, for me and others who view running as accumulation and recollection of pleasant memories, it is not just another singlet.


wilson August 12, 2009 at 4:27 PM  

i keep all of my singlets, but like you i also hold some to be more important than others because of sentimental reasons. while i do hope that the ADIDAS KOTR singlet would be nice this year, I am in doubt whether I could join the event at all, with it being the day after the SIM. Maybe aside from ensuring that the singlet is nice the Adidas people could also consider moving the event. That'd be nice.

Rico Villanueva August 12, 2009 at 5:12 PM  

HI Wilson. To use the term of Gingerbreadman, I am also a singlet whore - albeit more selective than GBM. Haha. I also plan to run the 42K SIM and support friends on its 21K, so I also want the Adidas KOTR to be moved. I believe if we make our intentions known, they may reconsider?

Now what will be a good date to suggest to them? :-)

ronald August 13, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

the 2009 nb power race singlet brings us back to the early 2000s. nostalgic! :P

daytripper1021 August 13, 2009 at 1:47 PM  

hi. I've just registered for the NB Run kaninang lunchtime at Athlete's Foot Galleria. my first ever 21k. aga magregister ano? addict kase. hehe.

regarding the 2009 NB singlet, I find its fabric to be a little smoother than the mizuno infinity singlet but more coarse than the botak 10-miler.

either way, I'm hoping to land my first finisher's medal on this race. wish me luck!

jessy August 13, 2009 at 2:26 PM  

hi Sheer will,this' post is very nice for me. Because i think it's just very disapointing that their bargaining us with the singlets they provide. Yah, we run for a cause but they should give us naman good quality of singlets.

I just felt horrible when my friend went to divisoria yesterday and bought the same singlet that the new balance is giving this '09 power run. The yellow for 5k and the red for 10K. He just bought it for P35 each.. This' very disgusting and nakakainis..

Running Diva August 13, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

Do drop by my blog. The photos for NB singlet are there. Anyway, just like you my most memorable singlet was NB because it was the longest distance I've ever ran in 2008. Nothing beats Adidas quality. I do agree that some of us do keep singlets for some reason. If ever I have the chance to display my collection, I can easily catalog and classify them from good to worst.

Rico Villanueva August 14, 2009 at 1:14 AM  

Nald, sorry bata pa ako nung early 2000s. Started running lang late 2003. Hehe.

Hi daytripper. Nice to know the fabric is better than Mizuno's. I have faith that Extribe will organize a great race, so I wish you all the luck on your first medal race :-)

Hi Jessy, it saddens me to hear about that Divisoria story. I sure hope there is no NB logo there. Let us all pray for better singlets :-)

Hi Roselle, yup, I saw the photos from your blog. I still find the 2008 edition better. Maybe it is just me. Like you, I ran my longest distance in that NB singlet in 2008.

rachel August 14, 2009 at 8:10 AM  

Hey Rico,

The way you described your 2008 NB singlet reminded me of Dumbo and his "magic" feather. Haha!

I can relate, a singlet which triggers a particular memory or feeling of that race. =)

SEABISKWIT August 14, 2009 at 9:41 AM  

Hope NB and Adidas won't break the tradition of giving out authentic NB and Adidas singlets. I specially like the 08 adidas KOTR singlet. Was not able to run the 08 Power race in Clark. Hope they have the same quality singlet this September. :-)

Gingerbreadman August 15, 2009 at 7:49 AM  

From one singlet whore to another, yeah! Haha :P Actually it's funny that we were discussing last night how we fuss over the size, texture, quality, et. al. - yet we never wear them on a race naman hahahaha because we're wearing our sings. For training though, I am selective now! My taste has improved! Of all the singlets from countless races, I only have 4 or 5 in rotation for training. Others are set for memorabilia when I win the Pulitzer Prize 20 years from now :P :P :P :P


Rico Villanueva August 15, 2009 at 2:59 PM  

Hi Rachel. I guess if Dumbo has his feather, I have my favorite singlet. Sana lang wag ako lumaki tulad ni Dumbo. Haha.

Hey Ian, pansin ko lagi mo suot yung Adidas singlet. Favorite number 2 ko yun. Hehe.

Hey Luis. Alam ko favorite mo yung black singlet. Love ko rin yun kaso pag tanghali na gising ko for training, di ko na pwede isuot. Kaya ayun, naka white NB singlet ako. Haha

Anonymous August 15, 2009 at 8:41 PM  

Giant companies like NB must adhere to their old and efficient ways and should not deviate just to 'cost-cut!' Runners patronized NB, not only for a well-organized races in the past but for the best singlets as well. Reading a topic like this is discouraging especially for a 'singlet addict' like me and hoping NB must wake-up and heed our admonitions. Please, do not compromise the quality of your singlet for the Sept 27 race. I cannot imagine wearing a singlet with a New Balance logo but made in Divisoria...

Nice post Rico...God bless.

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