Marathon medals

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?



Filed under Opinion, Personal

2 responses to “Marathon medals

  1. Dan

    I’d be lying if I said I didn’t care for medals. In fact, I have been very motivated to choose a lot of the races I’ve run because of the medals they offer. Little Rock gives you huge medals, Flying Pig has their famous two-sided porcine medallions, Miami hands out tropical spinning palm trees, Mercedes issues their iconic logo on a ribbon, Route 66 proudly boasts vintage car designs …

    Yeah, I’m a little TOO drawn to them. But that doesn’t mean I don’t give 100% at every race to earn it. While some runners get offended that a 2:50 marathoner will receive the same finishing medal as someone who finishes in 5:30, I don’t really care. As long as I get my memento to proudly hang on my wall, I don’t care if I share it with 7- 8- or 9-hour finishers.

  2. Mine go in an old back pack that hangs in my closet. I also stuff all my numbers and swim caps in there. I wish I’d written what the race was on my numbers because I of course have no idea which ones are which, for the most part.

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