4 Creative Gifts for Runners

Create a priceless shadow box frame with race memorabilia, a scrapbook of race event memories, and much more.

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert
Sep 17 · 5 min read
Photo by Artistiq Dude on Unsplash

There are approximately 60 million runners in the US. In 2018 almost 1.3 million runners ran marathons around the world.

According to DUV Ultramarathon Statistics, there are currently over 1.2 million ultrarunners worldwide, and over 230,000 ultrarunners in the US.

I started as a 5K runner and slowly progressed to half-marathoner, to marathoner, and to ultramarathoner.

Who’s the runner in your life? Do they have a birthday coming up?

The Christmas and Hanukkah holidays will be here in no time. Have you thought about a gift for the runner in your life?

Will they be getting another pair of running socks or a stick of Body Glide to prevent chafing?

My most treasured running related gifts are the wonderful memories of my running events. They are preserved in a shadow box frame and in a scrapbook created by my family.

These gifts have inspired me to inexpensively create fun ways to also display my medals, 100 mile belt buckles, and my running bibs.

Shadow Box Frame

I received a shadow box frame on Christmas morning many years ago. I was overcome with joy!

My husband put so much love and thought into this gift.

He secretly rummaged through my running clothes drawer and pulled out my Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team in Training singlet.

I ran with the singlet at the 2001 Philadelphia Marathon and the 2002 Marine Corps Marathon to help raise money for LLS.

Race memories hang in my home office.

He found finisher medals lying around the house including my finisher medals from the 2002 Marine Corps Marathon, 1990 L’eggs Mini-Marathon 10K in NYC, 1993 Atlantic City Marathon, 2001 & 2003 Philadelphia Marathon, 2003 More Marathon in NYC, 2004 Baltimore Marathon, and my 2005 JKF 50 (my first ultramarathon) race bib and finisher medal.

All are displayed in a shadow box frame.

Also included is a picture of me with my daughter, when she was 2 years old, in my running stroller at the 1990 L’eggs Mini-Marathon in NYC, along with a picture of me running in a local 5K, and a newspaper clipping about my finishing the JFK50 miler.


For my birthday the following year my daughter flipped through our family photo albums and created a scrapbook with pictures of the ultramarathons I had run so far — JFK50, Vermont 50, Old Dominion 50 and Tussey Mountainback 50.

A scrapbook filled with memories of my first four 50 mile ultras.

These treasured memories with my family at these ultras are priceless.

The 15-page scrapbook is accompanied by daughter’s clever storytelling and whimsical artwork.

The scrapbook captures what ultrarunning is all about — endurance, encouragement, support, determination, patience from start to finish, crewing, pacing, the rewards of training, and the joy that awaits everyone at the finish line.

Go ahead! Create a scrapbook for the runner in your life.

Framed Race Bibs

My husband and daughter’s inventiveness inspired me to decorate my writing sanctuary/home office with framed race bibs.

Twenty-nine bibs are displayed on the walls of my writing sanctuary in inexpensive and repurposed poster frames. I have 2 more bibs to frame.

Framed bibs make another great gift for the runner in your life.

Some race bibs, medals, and belt buckles.

Race Medals and Belt Buckles on a Bong

There are many race medal displays, hangers, and holders on the market you can buy for the runner in your life. They make great gifts.

But while cleaning and purging the house one day, I found my daughter’s tae kwon do bong (or staff). And voila!

I converted it into a medal display above the plaque I received for placing third female in a 24 hour road ultramarathon.

My medals, along with a finisher beer bottle opener, and three 100 mile finisher belt buckles are displayed on the bong. It hangs in my writing sanctuary.

Look around and see if there’s a tae kwon do bong, staff, or rod in your home you can repurpose to display the race medals of the runner in your life.

Creative and Inexpensive Running Gifts

There’s a lot of pricey wearable technology to choose from including, but not limited to, watches to keep runners on pace and wireless headsets to keep runners moving with the beat of the music, or to keep them motivated while listening to running podcasts or audible books on their smart phone.

Running shoes, socks, watches, sport sunglasses, shorts, shirts, skorts, headlamps, and hydration devices, from a handheld hydration bottle, to a fuel belt, to a hydration vest, all make awesome gifts.

A winter running jacket, running tights, gloves, and hat will keep the runner in your life warm during cold weather running. Books about running make great gifts year-round and on all occasions.

I have received all of these as running gifts.

But whatever the occasion — a birthday, an anniversary, or holiday gift giving — these 4 creative and inexpensive, handmade running gifts are priceless!

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert (aka Miriam Gilbert) has been running over 30 years. I have been running ultras since 2005. I am published in Ultrarunning Magazine, Women’s Running magazine and Podium Runner. I recently completed 112 miles at the A Race for the Ages. Thank you for visiting my ultrarunning website and sharing this story.

Miriam Diaz-Gilbert

Written by

Ultrarunner|Author|WritingMy Memoir https://www.miriamdiazgilbert.com/

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