Three Custom Holiday Gifts for Runners

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Dear Readers,

Recommending gifts for runners can be tricky, because running is so specific to each runner’s body. Shoes that work for me won’t work for you. Your favorite tights may not work for me either.

So here are three ideas that you can use to make gifts as unique as each runner on your holiday list.

Race Photos and Frames

Some races offer official runners’ photos free — download, pop into a frame and you’re done. If the photos aren’t free, you can buy one of your runner and do the same thing, though it can get pricey. For example, the Chicago Marathon charges $29.95 just to download one photo.

You can usually find links to photos on the race’s home page, and search by your runner’s name or bib number. You can also order personalized frames — they’re all over Etsy. Just search “marathon frame” (frames for just about all race distances will come up).

Test-It-Out Packs

If your runner complains about not getting fuel right or ending races dehydrated, visit your local running shop and pull together your own sample bag of things like gels, gus, tabs and runner-specific snacks. You can also put together an anti-chafing sample pack of things like Body Glide, Run Guard, Chamois Butt’r or plain ol’ Vaseline.

Vintage Running Gear

I’m a big collector of vintage clothing, so every once and a while, I’ll pop the name of a long-ago race into the search bar at eBay to see what’s there. A recent search turned up a 1983 London Marathon sweatshirt, a 1988 Boston Marathon hat and a 1987 Los Angeles Marathon T-shirt. If your runner has fond memories of a particular race but no longer has the race shirt, this could be an especially significant gift. And someone with no connection to the race may appreciate the reminder that other runners were pushing toward those same finish lines decades ago.

The New York Times has a holiday gift guide packed with suggestions for anyone on your list — there are some fitness items in the “self-care” section.

What did you put on your gift list? Let me know! I’m on Twitter @byjenamiller.

Run Well!

Jen A. Miller

Author, “Running: A Love Story

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