Milestone t-shirts: a new process

By Russ Jefferys, Global Head of Communications
— Monday 26 March 2018

Please note - this update does not include parkrun South Africa, where a different milestone t-shirt provider and process is in place.

For the past few months we’ve been rebuilding the parkrun milestone t-shirt claim system from the ground up.

Recognising milestones, in one form or another, has been a hallmark of parkrun since Darren Wood became the first person to complete 100 parkruns in December 2006. They represent an achievement of persistence over performance, are achievable by all, and (critically) are free to claim.

As parkrun has grown in popularity over the years the sheer number of people qualifying for milestone t-shirts has meant that ensuring we have enough stock available of all milestones in all sizes and at all times has been almost impossible to manage.

In the past three years (2015 - 2018) more than 180,000 people qualified for a milestone t-shirt. This year alone we predict 84,000 people will qualify.

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 11.50.54

Previously we have been supported by manufacturers who gave us the t-shirts free of charge by way of sponsorship. However, rapidly growing demand made this an investment that was hard to maintain and created challenges around placing such large orders in the timescales we required.

So last year we took the decision to bring milestone t-shirts in-house. For the first time ever we committed to purchasing milestone t-shirts ourselves, taking direct control of placing orders, and working with a partner to handle warehousing and fulfilment. I’m delighted to say that the first 40,000 new milestone t-shirts are in stock, and we’re starting to roll out the new claim system.

An improved system

In changing the system we wanted to make it easier and fairer for you to claim your milestone t-shirt. Previously, if the size you wanted wasn’t in stock, you would have to come back on an unspecified date in the future in the hope your size was available. Repeated stock shortages and no way for us to effectively ensure claims were made in chronological order of achievement caused frustration and anxiety for the recipient and a significant amount of work for our support team answering questions and providing updates.

With our new system we’re really pleased to confirm that even if the size you want isn’t available, you will still be invited to complete your order (effectively placing a pre-order), ensuring that when new stock arrives, your order will be despatched without you needing to do anything else.

Working through the backlog

There are currently several thousand parkrunners who are technically eligible to claim a milestone t-shirt (our existing backlog). However, we know that not everyone claims a t-shirt and some will no longer be participating at parkrun. To ensure we have a much better idea of who actually wants to claim a milestone t-shirt, we are starting to email all those who are eligible, beginning with those who have been waiting longest, inviting them to claim their new milestone t-shirt.

From now on, from the moment you receive an email from us inviting you to claim your t-shirt, you will have eight weeks to complete your order. We’ll remind you along the way if you haven’t done so, and we’ll give you an option to tell us that you don’t want to claim. After eight weeks have elapsed your claim will expire and the link in your profile will be removed.

We anticipate it will take us 6-8 weeks to contact everyone currently waiting, during which time we’ll start to get a much better idea of the percentage of people claiming a t-shirt and the required ongoing stock levels.

What happens next?

When your claim is ready we will ‘unlock’ your profile (creating a link in the ‘club progress’ tab) and we’ll email you inviting you to make your claim. To find ‘club progress’, go to parkrun.com, sign in, and follow the link ‘club progress’.

club progress

Following the link will take you to a product page where you’ll be able to select your size and check out.

You’ll have eight weeks to claim your t-shirt (we will send you further emails to remind you along the way). If you haven’t claimed your t-shirt in eight weeks, your claim will expire and the link in your profile will be removed.

Where can I find out more?

We will continue to post further updates here, and on our global Facebook and Twitter pages. We’ve listed some common questions and answers below.

 

Common questions

Are these milestone t-shirts the same size as previous milestone t-shirts?

We’ve listened to feedback that previous milestone t-shirts came up short and had a tendency to ride up. Our new t-shirts are therefore longer in length for a more comfortable fit. Additionally, we had universal feedback that women’s milestone t-shirts were a larger fit. We have amended the design based on this feedback and they are now a better fit.

A size guide will be available on the product page.

Can I buy a (replacement) milestone t-shirt?

Not at the moment. We would love to be able to offer this in the future but right now we can only provide one milestone t-shirt for each eligible parkrunner.

Are milestone t-shirts sustainable?

Absolutely. Milestone t-shirts are a critical part of parkrun: rewarding participation over performance. The parkrun community’s continued support of Apricot is directly linked to our continued supply of milestone t-shirts - every purchase contributes directly to the future of free milestone t-shirts.

Can I claim a running milestone (e.g. 50 or 100) and my volunteer milestone (v25) in the same order and save on postage?

We haven’t been able to find an appropriate solution for multiple claims. At this time each claim should be made on a different order.

Can I bundle all the claims for my family on one order and save on postage?

As above, we haven’t been able to find an appropriate solution for multiple claims. At this time each claim should be made on a different order.

What are the delivery charges?

Standard postage for each of our territories is currently as follows (please bear in mind this is subject to variations in exchange rates and outside our control):

UK - £3.95
Australia - £9.95
Canada - £9.95
Denmark - £9.50
Finland - £9.95
France - £5.70
Germany - £4.70
Ireland - £6.95
Italy - £5.70
New Zealand - £9.95
Norway - £9.95
Poland - £4.70
Russia - £11.95
Singapore - £11.95
Sweden - £9.95
US - £9.95

Will you be introducing new volunteer milestones?

No. We really do value all parkrunners equally (whether you choose to volunteer, walk, jog, or run). But with near exponential growth and dramatically escalating costs, we have to set realistic expectations about how many free milestone t-shirts we can commit to.

Why are there no junior 10 milestones available?

Our insight showed us we had more critical stock shortages (more people waiting for a long period) of other milestone t-shirts, so we have prioritised these first. We will analyse the percentage of people who make a claim over the coming weeks and place new orders as necessary.

When will more stock arrive?

We will analyse the percentage of people who make a claim over the next few weeks and place new orders as necessary. At the moment, we don’t have a specific date for the next delivery, but we will provide further updates when we have more information.

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