Uniformity (Or, How not to embarrass the USA when you don’t look like Kara Goucher)

by Carilyn on April 30, 2013

It’s uniform time again. Which, as a woman, gets me very excited. Who doesn’t love getting a big box of cool running clothes and bags?

The only problem? The uniforms are designed for the 20-30 year-old crowd that populates Team USA at the Olympics. Runners who look great in little red briefs and tankinis. But trust me when I say, no good will come of me sporting a tankini for 24 hours at the World Championships.

Aside from simple issues of self-consciousness (and a desire not to have jiggly body parts on display for the whole world), there is the ever-looming problem of chafing that can be the end of a race for a runner in a 24 hour event. What is tolerable for a couple of hours for an Olympic marathoner is not necessarily tolerable when you have to run in that outfit for a whole day. Last year, one of our runners who wore the tankini was openly bleeding under her armpits for the last hours of the race. Any points we gained for having ubercool uniforms were quickly diluted by the sheer agony we knew she was in.

We’re working on finding a suitable alternative (read: cool, covering, and non-chafing) that is still part of the Team Uniform. I’m voting for anything that covers my butt and my belly, and won’t scare the locals, while still conveying the coolness of Team USA. Oh, and doesn’t make my armpits bleed.

I’ll post photos as soon as I get the box. But no photos of the tankini – unless I can photoshop my head on top of Kara Goucher’s body.

Happy Running!


{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

olga April 30, 2013 at 10:19 am

Wear normal running outfit same color, cut and saw in the rest of the stuff from the uniform. Or, cut the jiggly parts and Vaseline the heck of your body!
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Kate April 30, 2013 at 11:47 am

Ooh, bleeding from armpits sounds like no fun at all. I hear you about not wanting to wear clothes designed for somebody in their 20’s. I probably weigh less than I did in my 20’s (if only bc I was so heavy then, not that I’m light now), but it’s all in different places. Good luck with a good alternative!
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Marcia April 30, 2013 at 12:54 pm

I have totally photoshopped my head onto Shalane’s body so go for it. No shame!

Kim April 30, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Oh – I hope you can find something that won’t cause chafing and bleeding! And hopefully no buns (are they still called that?) – I hated wearing those in college – not pretty on my big ‘ol thighs!
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Char April 30, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Ouch! No way should you wear gear that’s going to cause bleeding armpits.

Years ago I made a state athletics team and was forced to wear the team uniform. It was an athletics singlet and what amounted to a pair of shiny lycra undies. That was all well and good for the tiny little runners but I was a discus thrower (and I weighed a good 10k more than I do now) and I was quite horified to have to appear in public looking like I did. So I understand your dilemma.
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Kirstin C (@ultrarunnergirl) May 1, 2013 at 6:48 am

Man, that’s exactly what I think when I look at Amy Sproston (and the rest of Team USA) in those bun-huggers. My thighs would catch FIRE by 50K.
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jen May 5, 2013 at 5:54 pm

I think women and men should have the same uniform options. What’s wrong with running shorts and a singlet for both sexes? I wish that women athletes were treated more like athletes and less like pinups.
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