In the run-up to the 1996 Olympics the AJC ran a story about the souvenirs sponsors showered on reporters covering the event. The headline: “Journalists like free stuff.”
I thought the love of free stuff was so fundamental that it was hardly newsworthy.
If you are one of the many fans of free stuff, then the AJC Peachtree Road Race is for you.
In the 21 years I’ve run on July 4th I’ve found there are three primary opportunities to snag swag – before, during and after.
I scored the kerchief in the photo prior to the1990 race by stopping by what was then Shallowford Hospital in Dunwoody. I lived nearby at the time. I also picked one up the next year. The 1991 version was my preferred one to carry on race day because it resembled an American flag, but I lost it during last year’s run.
I’ve never been to the Peachtree Health and Fitness Expo, which has long been held just before the race. As I explain here, I haven’t exactly been a model of fitness or health in years past and I didn’t want to feel like a party crasher. But I’ll go this year as part of my blogger journalistic duties. I feel certain there will be opportunities to pick up swag from vendors at AmericasMart, as they show off their energy gum, energy drinks and other products with magical energy powers.
The day of the race always offers opportunities for swag, but some come at a cost – your time.
Legend has it the defunct Buckhead watering hole Aunt Charley’s used to give away free drinks during the race to people with a road race number, but I never stopped there for a Bloody Mary. I may not have been running for a great time, but I didn’t want to fool around with karma either.
A common sight every year along the way is a group of people standing on a truck throwing T-shirts to the crowd. A couple of years ago I stopped long enough to get a Moe’s shirt in front of the welcoming Buckhead restaurant. But hanging around long enough to get a shirt can take a couple of minutes.
And the shirt we really want is in the bag at the end. The bag itself often has some swag, or vouchers for swag. In the bag I’ve found vouchers for small Nike gym bags and vouchers for waffles. Also, energy gum, energy bars and refrigerator magnets.
What swag have you bagged? Would you put your Peachtree shirt and other swag on ebay, like some do?