dailymile poll: Winner of the ridiculous race t-shirts gone wild contest

It may be surprising to some race directors to learn that a certain percentage of the success of their race depends on the quality of their t-shirt design. We’ve all crossed the finish line and gone to pick up the t-shirt only to find out that we just covered all that distance for something grandma could have made (apologies to grandmas who are hip to that). Race t-shirts are scrutinized, judged, examined, evaluated, inspected, and in some cases interpreted for a higher meaning. But the fact remains that some race t-shirts don’t live up to standards and we put it to the test with our ugliest t-shirt contest.

Voting ended on Monday and our winner is Kate O.! Kate’s t-shirt was so obnoxiously awesome it’s no wonder she beat out the competition. Kate has won a dailymile t-shirt, which we hope she’ll wear proudly through the streets of Auburn, Alabama (unlike the shirt that won the contest). What’s almost more amazing is her narrative that accompanies the shirt:

“Her’s a picture of the race shirt from my very first 5K, the Watermelon Run in Water Valley, Mississippi. As you can imagine, I was so, so very excited to be running my first race and almost as excited to be getting my first race tee shirt. When I saw the design, though, all I could do was laugh.

What was worst — the glaring, clashing colors? The crazy illustration of an anthropomorphic train about to run off the end of the track, improbably placed along the top of a giant watermelon? The Rocky-Mountain-esque scenery that looks nothing like Mississippi?

No, these were not the worst. The worst was the slogan of that year’s event, emblazoned in huge letters across the back of the shirt: “Come on and take a free ride!” For obvious reasons, I have never worn this shirt in public.

Is this worthy of a super-cool DailyMile shirt, one that I could wear with pride? I think so!”

Congratulations, Kate!

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