Beginning in 2013, the NYC Marathon encouraged runners not to check baggage, by offering marathon finishers the following choice:
- Check a bag on race day that is transported to the finish area OR
- Forgo baggage check and receive a Marathon Finish Poncho upon exiting Central Park.
In 2013, the poncho option became somewhat of a joke, a ponchogate, if you will. Bright orange ponchos were distributed to the finishers and, to the surprise of many, the program seemed to work well. This year, there was a comparable option. Since I rarely check baggage anyway, I opted for the no-baggage/poncho option. After finishing the marathon, I had to walk quite a bit to get to my poncho, but I did receive it. It was a lovely smurf blue and surprisingly well made and warm (it is fleece-lined). It came in handy for the quick walk home (or the walk to the bar, in my case), but when would I wear this again? And, where would I store it, as I live in New York City?
I happened to look on Ebay the following week, and saw everything being sold. Medals, shirts, silly Dunkin Donut hats, and, yes, ponchos. I have my shirt, my bib and my medal, but I really have no use or sentimental feeling for the poncho.
So, today, I listed the poncho on Ebay. I set the start price as $26.99 and the “buy it now” price as $59. Never in a million years did I think someone would just buy it for $59. Only a few hours later, I heard a ca-ching sound on my iPhone. Sure enough, someone bought the poncho, and paid for it, lock stock and barrel. I was exhilarated, thinking that I’d defrayed some of the exorbitant $250 marathon entry fee and uncluttered my apartment at the same time. And then I looked at Ebay again. And there it was – the bidding war on a different NYC Marathon poncho was now up to over $80! Is that insane, or what?