View Full Version : Goodie Bags?
08-08-2007, 11:47 AM
While hammering words into my computer today I made reference to the bags containing bib numbers that runners pick up at Expos, known by most as "Goodie Bags."
But where did this term come from? At which race was it first coined? And what is so good about the goods in Goodie Bags. Coupons that you'll never use. Races to which you will never go. Am I being cynical?
08-08-2007, 03:39 PM
Not sure where the term was first coined, it's also synonymous with 'runner packets.' In many cases the 'goodies' contained in these bags are merely advertisements & coupons that are often discarded, which is an underutilization of the bags. Not all runners will wear the race shirt, nor will they visit a sponsor or vendor booth at the race expo. Therefore, these bags/packets are a good opportunity for a sponsor to ensure that samples of new or existing products get into a target audience's possession. Some races use them to include items that are included with the registration fee (socks, mesh hats).
08-08-2007, 05:13 PM
Plus don't forget the ChampionChip, which often will be in a separate envelope within the bag. I realize, of course, that within the decade runners will have chips implanted in the back of their skulls. If they make the mistake of wearing an iPod, they will feel a sharp pain that will cause them to discard the iPod in the nearest trash can.
But seriously, "Goodie Bag" seems like such a strange term. I suppose we'll never learn the origin of it.
08-08-2007, 09:32 PM
I don't think the term goody bag originated with running--I think running just borrowed it. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the word "goody" meaning "something tasty" came into usage around 1745, and I think goody bag originated with something one got at a party that had something tasty inside. I think running just borrowed the phrase when it started stuffing the bags with "good" things, and it just sort of stuck, whether it contained anything tasty or not. Just my surmise...
08-09-2007, 11:17 AM
Certainly true, but at some race, on some date, an imaginative race director or one of his assistants or volunteers must have appropriated this 18th century term and applied it to the world of marathoning. Alas, I suspect that race director's chance for glory has passed and faded.
08-09-2007, 06:19 PM
Alright then, you caught me. I borrowed the term. Just being modest for once..........:rolleyes:
08-09-2007, 11:58 PM
At least the term "SWEAT BAG" is dying away!
As a newer race director and being only 36 years of age, I didn't know what several older runners were talking about when they asked if we had "Sweat Bag Check."
Apparently, when the practice of letting runners check their gear started catching on at some events in the 70's and 80's, many of the races simply let the runners check their own bags. Even at my age I can recall that exercise bags in those days consisted of single compartment tubular bags with twin handles that were affectionately known as "sweat bags."
This evolved into the phrase "bag & tag" at races in the 90's. Today, many races have adopted the simple term "gear check" and provide drawstring bags or other mechanisms for allowing runners to check their personal belongings.
"Goodie bag" may be a trite term but it's much more appealing than "sweat bag."
"Please hand me your 'sweat bag.'" - Yuk!
08-10-2007, 02:28 PM
Goodie bag actually refers to the bag runners receive at expos that contains in addition to their bib and (probably) chip, all the forms and flyers and coupons that often get discarded by those of us too discriminating to please the advertisers. Some races double up on those bags, using them for gear check. Other races accept whichever bags are handed them, and this may be closer to the sweat bag you refer to.
I agree w/ Hal - 98.9% of the crap in most pre-race bags gets tossed right in the recycling bin when I get home - more if I'm traveling, and there are flyers for races I'll be 2,000 miles away when they occur.
The Flora London Marathon is an exception to this rule - their post-race Goodie Bag weighs something close to 25 pounds, and is chocked full of food, drinks, trinkets, etc. The damn thing is so heavy that a runner having just finished 26 miles can barely tote it. Since we were flying home the next day we gave most of the food (which included boxes of rice, etc) to some of the hotel staff.
08-10-2007, 03:40 PM
I think what Jim said is right on - most of the time these bags don't have much of value to the runners, they're utility lies in the fact that you can put the bib, chip, safety pins and race shirt in them after going through registration. If they contained food & drinks samples, as well as cool product samples and trinkets from sponsors, people might get more excited about them and truly think of them as 'goodie' bags.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.10 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.