When I first started running, I was in it for the clothes.
I wanted those T-shirts, always too big, too ugly, too cotton/poly blended, too heavy, to wear, but collected and curated as if they were first editions of rare books. They inspired me to want to race more.
Not long after I began, I started snagging what I came to call “SMOs,” Shiny Metal Objects. At first they were ribbons and medallions from tiny little 5Ks where I came in third out of four women entered in my age group. It opened up a whole new world of obsessive assemblage, one where the collection strategy involved more than just paying an entry fee.