As long-time readers know, I have a rather distinct way of displaying my full marathon medals: around the neck of a teddy bear. The bear has to have some sort of relationship (however distant) to either the race or what's going on in my life at the time I run the race. It started with my first race, the (then) Suzuki Rock 'n' Roll Marathon. I bought a lovely race-branded bear at their expo who now has 5 medals around her neck. After the New York Marathon I bought a Statue of Liberty Bear; an Elvis bear for the Memphis Marathon; surfer girl bear for Maui; Holstein bear for Cowtown; etc. After 30 marathons I have lots (and lots) of bears. I've made a couple of exceptions. For the Flying Pig Marathon I got a flying pig, for Leading Ladies Marathon I have a black footed ferret, for Disney I have Mickey.
When I was getting set for the triathlon I couldn't decide if the finishers medal would warrant a bear. Since I had troubles the entire training season I wasn't sure I'd want to remember this race (and space on the bear table is at a premium). But after kicking ass on the course I decided that definitely yes, I needed a bear for my (possibly one and only) triathlon medal. I thought it would be easy as pie to get a bear in a Pacific Grove shirt. Or a Monterey Bay shirt. Or something that would be reminiscent of Monterey. No. Apparently the only type of stuffie allowed in that area is a sea otter. Big ones, little ones, standing ones, floating ones, otters otters otters. And all of them look like rats with flatter faces. I finally decided to just get the cutest one I could find (which is still pretty ugly and creepy looking) and call it a day.
After I got home I rushed to the internet to my favorite bear purveyor, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company. I was hoping they'd have some sort of bear I could use, some way I could justify buying (another) of their bears. But although they have a special marathon bear for the Vermont City Marathon (and I'm so going to run that next year), there isn't a bear that fit a triathlon. I really don't like the ugly ratty otter, so I decided to use their on-line form to submit a suggestion that they produce a triathlon bear. This is the reply you get after submission:
Thank you, your submission has been sent.
Vermont Teddy Bear Company shall have an irrevocable, perpetual, universe-wide, fully paid-up and royalty-free license to copy, excerpt, edit and repurpose all bear concepts submitted through this form (including, without limitation, by means of digitizing or otherwise encoding all submitted teddy bear designs), and to use, re-use, publish, re-publish and otherwise exploit such teddy bear designs in whole or in part, individually or in conjunction with other photographs or images, in any and all media now known or hereafter devised and for any purpose whatsoever, including, without limitation, for use in advertising, promotion and trade and on merchandise, throughout the universe and to use the name, likeness and photograph of each Participant in connection therewith if Vermont Teddy Bear Company so chooses in its sole discretion without any additional compensation to Participant. Each Participant agrees that they will not be compensated for submitting any bear concept.
We also reserve the right to use the design in applications that include, but are not limited to: tattoos, wigs, blimps, matchbook covers, hedge sculptures, skyscrapers, and nanoscale vehicles for navigating through the cardiopulmonary system. Participant agrees that he or she will not attempt to invent a time machine for the purposes of travelling back in time either to claim ownership of the design or to prevent our parents from ever having met.
I was pretty amused, especially at the last paragraph. "... not limited to: tattoos" Hah! If only they knew!