Thursday, 4 August 2016

Race Medals - can there be too many?

Let's get one thing clear from the start.....I love medals, as evident below from my medal hanger, which sits proudly inside my wardrobe so that I see them every morning when I get dressed. I don't necessarily need to display them to visitors to our house (although I do like to look at other people's medals when I visit), I'm happy that I see them and that's enough.

Getting Carried Away

However, I've noticed that more and more races nowadays are offering finishers medals for all distances, and some are offering double medals and medals for returning a second year (run twice, get 3 medals). I'm starting to wonder, is it getting too much? Are we getting carried away with ourselves?

For me, the whole attraction to getting "finishers medals" is because there is a level of difficulty in earning them. There's a story behind each medal, and it's not necessarily a nice story, for example my NYC marathon medal.....what a horrible marathon that was for me, but I'm still proud of that medal.

Race Directors under pressure

Having organised a half marathon for a few years, I feel that this trend is coming from the level of competition among races. Every race is trying to attract as many entrants as possible, offering as much a possible, but still trying to make something out of it. It started that you only got a medal for a marathon, then a lot of half marathons, then all half's and a few 10Ks. It's nearly at all 10K's and a few 5K's, and as I said before, some races if you come back a second year, you get a third medal. Does anybody value that third medal, are the two medals not enough of a reminder of the TWO times you ran? 

Personal Perspective

I do appreciate that all of this depends on where you are coming from as a runner. For some, 5K is a massive challenge, and maybe a medal is justified. For others, a marathon is nothing, and they'll only value a medal if it's a massive ultra distance, or they win the race. So to try and get some other views, I've ran a, very unscientific, poll on twitter. Here's the latest, but please post your views or feedback either here on the blog or on social media. Everyone's opinion counts:

Here are some other opinions coming in so far:

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