I can’t believe it’s been three years since I last did a post like this. Here are some Christmas gift ideas for the track fan in your life.
For the younger ones and/or teachers:
Track & Field Math Board Game
Back when I was young, they made everything into a board game. I once owned a Muppet Show board game and I still have a Bruce Jenner Decathlon Game.
That board games are now passe makes this item retro-hip. The description Gill’s online catalog:
Go for the gold with our new Track and Field Math board game. Students race each other around the game track and through field events as they answer math questions relating to running, throwing, and jumping events. This sturdy box and durable game-board comes complete with 120 questions, 60 each relating to track and 60 relating to field.
For grades 6 to 8.
For the book lover or distance runner:
Running with the Kenyans by Adharanand Finn
$17.16 or less, Amazon.com
It’s hard to go wrong with a book, and this one is my pick for the best track and field book of the year. The perfectly descriptive blurb:
“If you want to know the secrets of Kenyan runners, and have a rollicking adventure along the way, join Finn in his fascinating tale of what it is to go stride for stride with the fastest people on Earth.” —Neal Bascomb, author of The Perfect Mile
Picked up by ESPN’s “30 for 30″ sports documentary series, this film opened to very good reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s a deep look at all eight men who took part in the 1988 Olympic men’s 100 meters final, and the doping free-for-all that reigned at the time.
If your fan is loyal to a particular national team, let him or her show it. Thanks to the internet and America’s multinational character, you need not limit yourself to Team USA, either. I’m partial to Canada and England, the lands of my ancestors, but the possibilities for your track fan are basically limitless.
For the locavore:
Gift card to your local running shop
Varying prices and outlets
Even if your track fan isn’t a runner, the local running shop still has something track-oriented that they’ll like. And these days, you want to make sure your hard-earned money stays in your community–and with the people that very likely support your local high school and university teams.
You can get lost for days at Ebay. From old meet programs to back issues of magazines to an original theater poster for 1970’s The Games to 1910 New York Athletic Club tobacco cards to a 1963 Electric track and field game, you can find literally anything you can think of and many more things you never dreamed existed.
For the social activist:
Track and Field Athletes Association membership
If your track fan wants to bend the arc of history towards justice, get them a Supporting Membership in the nascent athletes’ union. The group, which started in the USA but has expanded overseas and now includes such heavy hitters as Usain Bolt, is attempting to give rank-and-file athletes a voice and a hand in running our sport.
We love track and field! So send us to a meet. Unless you want to throw in airfare and hotel, make it something local. Look through calendars at USATF.org and/or Athletics.ca, check out Stubhub, and maybe even your local university.