Finished a marathon lately? Then apart from the buzz of completing the distance, maybe recording a PB and having a happy snap to share with friends, you will undoubtedly have received a finisher’s medal. The question then becomes one of what to do with said medal after the race.
For me personally it’s always just been put in a box on a shelf in my study and occasionally I’ll also keep my race bib and write my time on the back of that as a memento of my performance. Others I know have them framed or hang them all together and then others again give to their kids to play with, throw them in a sports bag or get rid of them all together.
I’m a fan of the medal as a way to recognise the achievement of completing a marathon and remembering a particular event. I’m sure that some purists would argue though that the awarding of finishers medals has contributed to the mass participation/’finishers’ mindset as opposed to the days when marathons were raced. This point is pushed even further with medals awarded nowadays in some cases with races as short as 5km.
I doubt that people would choose to race a marathon, or even one event over another, because of the medal but if for some people that encourages them to run then I say go for it. I think the marathon is such a significant event in terms of effort, training and commitment that it deserves recognition and a medal is entrenched as a way of doing that.
For elite races and to recognise place getters there are still trophies, prize money and other efforts to reward high achievers, but I don’t feel that the awarding of a finisher’s medal undermines the achievements of those who win.
What do you think of finisher’s medals? What do you do with yours?