Friday, August 19, 2011

running crafts - race bib keeper

I'm crafty. I've been crafty way longer than I've been a runner. But it took me a while to figure out that it would be cool to combine these two things I love, at least a little. 

Everyone who runs events knows that you get a lot of stuff at them -- bibs, shirts you'll never wear, the occasional awesome medal. And as something of a packrat, of course I hold on to most of the stuff. 

Bibs were especially challenging for me -- I had gotten into the habit of jotting down notes on the back of each one after the race -- the date of the race, my time, how I had placed overall, among the women, and in my age group. But then what?

I had seen this advertised in the back of a running magazine (yeah, I read those too):

But then I saw that it was $40. FORTY BUCKS?!? I knew I could make something just as nice -- perhaps nicer -- for much, much less. In fact, I could make it from stuff I have around the house. The only thing I was missing was the "notebook ring" thingy.

I started by gathering up my race bibs. I picked out the largest ones -- the Rock 'n' Roll series bibs are HUGE -- and measured them. Then I cut two pieces of chipboard just slightly larger. I then decorated the front, the inside front, and the inside back with running-themed paper. And I added my name and a running slogan (also a running joke....) on the front. 

Now you may be asking yourself -- Sunny, why do you have such things in your house? 

Deep breath.

Because I am a scrapbooker. I resisted it for years -- I remember, oh, a decade or so ago, Suz telling me she had been to a scrapbook party. I had no idea what she meant. I mean, sure, I made scrapbooks when I was a kid -- either gluing newspaper clippings and pictures onto construction paper, or sticking them under the plastic in those "magnetic albums". (Remember those?) But the fact that an entire industry had grown up that I had never heard of -- despite being crafty -- well, that was astonishing.

I made my first scrapbook for a girlfriend's wedding back in 2003. And then didn't make another one for a couple of years. Maybe I just needed something -- or someone -- to scrapbook about. :)

Anyway, I also started a running scrapbook. Now, I'm not fancy schmancy with the embellishments or anything. But I like to keep track of the races I've run -- and when I'm feeling uninspired or a little down, I like to look back over the pages. It brings me great joy. 

So, of course, I have running-themed paper in the house. So that's how I could decorate my bib holder. And, well, here it is:

When I finished my first half marathon, as I crossed the finish line, the nice volunteer gave me my medal and said, "You are so strong, and so brave." I just keep thinking how awful I must have looked, how near to death, for someone to say that! It's one of my two favorite race moments.

Yeah, those letters are glittery. Black glitter, of course.

 On the inside front cover, I added my race PRs. Now you can all see just how slowly I run!

When I was done, I put the bibs in reverse chronological order and put them in the binder. You'll see that I only used one ring -- the holes in my bibs are set at a pretty wide range of spaces, so I have just aligned them by the top left hole. Besides, I had to BUY that ring, and it set me back 49 cents. So I was happy to keep my costs under a dollar (after tax).

Let me tell you -- this is one of the most simply satisfying craft moments of my life. Yeah, okay, I'm a dork. But it's still fun to flip through the bibs. I'm sad that I lost my "Resolution Run" bib from 2008, but every other race bib I've ever worn is in here. 

Two things made me think of my bib holder this week. 1: a friend pointed out the store-bought Bibfolio on Pinterest (also noting that it seemed a bit spendy...) and 2: while getting some staples in the office supply room at work, I found a 3" diameter notebook ring. Do you know how many bibs I could collect on that? The mind boggles...

Anyone have a better name for this? Or other running craft ideas? I'd love to hear them!


  1. You know I LOVE everything about this. Running.Love Crafting.Love You.Love! Great job. It turned out so well. Perhaps I'll have to copy a little something similar.

  2. BIBliography! I only have a few so far but they're taking up space on our cork board - borrowing this idea for sure! Thanks!