OK, Time to retire the finisher's medal. Ummmm...no. 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?