How to Run for the Bling

Do you sign up for more than one race when tempted with a bonus medal?
Do you upgrade from a 13.1 to 26.2 for a bigger finisher’s medal?
Do you have more bling on your wall than family portraits?

If you answered yes to one or more of the questions above…you might be a blingwhore!

Becoming an efficient blingwhore takes time. Mistakes will be made, lessons will be learned, but in the end, you will learn how to run all the races while getting the most bling for your buck. This post will cover five important topics to get you to the start line with the least amount of stress and the most hardware hanging on your neck. Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines and pack plenty of energy gels…we are going for a run…

Work Life vs. Race Life

It’s not easy to race almost every weekend and keep up with a full-time job that pays the bills. Think this through and make sure your race calendar plays well with your employer and other commitments.

  • My suitcase is now a part of me — Pack, unpack, pack, unpack, pack and unpack again. The task of packing all the essential needs for a race becomes part of your life. Create a checklist to use every time you pack! The last thing you need is to realize you forgot your running shoes or nipple protectors! Ouch!
  • A race against time — Imagine setting a goal to run 20, 30 or 50+ races in a year. You will need to get creative with your time. You’ll leave the office and go straight to the airport! You will get home late on Sunday night only to find yourself with little time to rest and get ready for another week. Weekly planning is key…when will you do your laundry? When will you water the plants? When will you blast social media with your amazing race pictures?
  • Endurance beyond the course — You will quickly realize your demanding race calendar is now your part-time job (minus the paycheck). How long can you hold on for? The races are not the hard part of this lifestyle; it is everything it takes to get to and from race destinations combined with everything else you do in your life.

Loyalty Pays

Shortly after my crazy journey started in 2012, I realized I needed to find ways to save money. The most expensive part of this lifestyle is travel!

  • Pick one or two hotel chains, join their loyalty clubs and rack up points, which will get you free nights! Another option is use hotel booking sites that offer rewards — this will get you discounted rates, free nights or reward dollars to apply to future bookings.
  • The same applies to airfare. Frequent flyer miles are a must. Choose airlines that are flexible with flight cancellations or changes. Also, free checked luggage is a money-saving perk if you pack your entire bathroom in your suitcase. Believe it or not, I didn’t wake up like this (insert sassy emoji girl here).

Stay Organized

An organized blingwhore is a happy blingwhore.

  • Race log – Create a spreadsheet to keep track of your races! Make sure you add columns to keep track of race registrations, hotels and flights.
  • Email folders – We are living in an email world. Make an email folder for EVERY race weekend. This is where you put your race registration confirmation, hotel confirmation, flight itinerary and every email you get for that race! If you do this, you will ALWAYS know where to find any email you need for all your races!
  • Race gear – A place for everything…gels, compression socks, electrolyte tablets…keep everything stocked and organized! You will have very little time to pack between work and your next flight.
  • Bibs – Buy a simple storage box for your bibs! One day you will be in your retirement home, sipping on your liquid lunch, browsing through your race bibs – each bib will bring back memories.
  • Bling – Rack it up! Invest in racks or displays…a true blingwhore earns bling fast! Will you hang your favorites and put the rest in storage boxes? How will you organize your bling? Will you sleep on the couch and convert your bedroom into a giant bling room? The choice is yours.

Race Fees

Plan your race schedule in advance! The earlier you purchase your race registration, the more money you save.

  • Limited early bird spots – Races often offer a limited number of slots at a very discounted price.
  • Bundle offers – Some races offer the option of purchasing more than one race in a bundle to save money.
  • Discount codes – Email blasts and race ambassadors often offer race discount codes. This will save you an average of $5-20 dollars per race.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour Pass “3 Pack” – I recommend this pass if you are planning on running three Rock ‘n’ Roll races in one calendar year and one of those races is the Las Vegas Marathon or 1/2 Marathon.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Tour Pass “Global” – Going for a big goal in one calendar year? Go on tour with Rock ‘n’ Roll! This pass is your ticket to ALL domestic and international Rock ‘n’ Roll races! Any tour stop that offers a 5K or 10K the day before the marathon or half marathon means you can race both days & earn a Remix medal!

Will Run for Challenge Medals

Want all the hardware? Do your homework so you don’t miss out on extra bling!

  • Partner race challenges – “Run this race and that race for a special challenge medal!” This is becoming more common as race organizers realize some runners are more likely to pull the trigger when offered a multi-race challenge medal.
  • Multi-year challenges – “Run our race five years in a row for this medal!” What better way to get runners to commit to a race?
  • Multi-race weekend challenges – “Race on Saturday and Sunday for our special challenge medal!” Runners who travel far for a race weekend will want to make the most of it. Why not add on a 5K to the weekend and earn some extra bling?
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Heavy Medals – Don’t just offer me a taste and leave me wanting more…give me all the bling! Completing 2-10 marathons or half marathons in the same calendar year earns you a heavy medal every time. If you stay on the tour bus and make it to your 15th marathon or half marathon in the same calendar year, you earn the Hall of Fame medal! In addition to these medals, there are many other medals offered by Rock ‘n’ Roll races.

Final thoughts from this blingwhore…

It is important to remember you are not competing against anyone. The key here is to create your own adventure that includes travel, food, friends and fitness. A finisher’s medal, aka bling, is simply an object that holds all the memories from a race. More bling = more memories. Enjoy the ride.