Friday, January 18, 2013

What do you think?

I saw this article on Facebook posted by Runner's World - OK, Time to retire the finisher's medal. Sorry. I know the medal I'm getting is really a pat on the head telling me "Awwww...aren't you sweet for running this race knowing you won't win." I'm ok with that. I trained. I ran. I lifted. I paid my registration. I spent the last THREE HOURS running 13.1 miles. I earned that damn medal!

I appreciate the sentiment. Has the medal been overdone? Has the medal been diluted by runner's like myself? I mean, I line up at the start line at the back knowing that I have no shot at winning whatever race I participate in, regardless of the distance. My medal looks like the medal for the person who ran the race in half the time

But, I'll be honest. I run the longer distances to get a medal. I love them! I feel like they prove to the world that I am a runner. I know I don't look like a runner to the average person. Those medals prove to me (and yes, I need the external validation) that I can do this. I can run. I can run a half marathon. Plus, they are fun! My Shamrock medal for the half is a bottle opener and has a charm (two of the no-no's or over the top aspects listed above).

What about you? Should races stop doing medals and replace with something else or is the medal at the end your goal?


  1. Unless they are replacing the medals with a day at the spa, I want them to keep the medals. Everyone trains for a 5K-full marathon, and they all deserve a medal for the amazing work they put in :)

  2. I can see why people might get sick of finishers medals once they have a lot of them. But I'd bet their first one meant the world to them at the time. Their 50th half marathon, where it's "oh, just another medal" is someone else's first race.

    At the risk of sounding like an elitist jerk, I don't care if I get a finishers' medal for a 5K. (Though HACC Dash was my PR, so that's kind of cool), but if they'd given one out at my first 5K, I'd have been excited as hell and would treasure it.

  3. Totally agree!! Give me my bling!! I worked mighty hard for it!! And I want it!!!!

  4. Deb, exactly! I want my medal too! :) I don't care how tiny or how big or what special features it has. 13.1 or 26.2 are not a walk in the park!

  5. I love my medals! But I believe medals should be only handing out for races over 10 miles. Some races have a very similar medal for 5k's and the half marathon. The effort however is much more on the half marathon. My last marathon had the same medal for the half and full marathon and I kind of felt a little sad. When you finish a full marathon you want to stand out.
    Medal yes, but I believe they should be different for each race distance.

  6. I'm ok with medals at any level, I just don't think one should EXPECT one until you hit the higher mileages. If a 5k wants to make itself stand out from the other 50 in the area on the same day and chooses to use a medal to do it, great. But, the medal at the half, marathon and on is almost mandatory in my opinion. I'm fine if they want to give more stuff, like Shamrock gives a medal at every level, but at the half/full you also get a finisher's shirt, medal, and hat. I just think Brian has a valid point, to someone this is their first race. That medal means the WORLD to them. Don't take it away.