Many runners are serious about their medal collections – we’ve seen custom built displays, walls of honor and even rooms dedicated to showing off their bling. Whether it’s your first medal ever earned, the mark of a new goal attained, a remembrance of a milestone achieved or just a really cool piece of race swag, medals have reached a new status, signifying more than simply the completion of an event.
|2015 Grand Slam Scramble Series Medal|
Where it all began
Winners of the Ancient Olympic Games were awarded olive wreaths as prizes. Medal designs root back the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 but changed in 1900, when most winners received cups or trophies. At the 1897 inaugural Boston Marathon, all ten finishers were awarded a medal with the Boston Athletic Association’s signature unicorn, similar to the coveted modern-day symbol of the highly sought-after medal.
What used to be reserved to long distance events has now come to be expected with all distance races, presenting a creative, and oftentimes costly, challenge to race organizers. Is an over saturation of medals diminishing the value and high regard of these once exclusive, prized possessions? Where is the line drawn on what race events provide medals and which do not?
We often grapple with the decision to offer a medal to the finishers of shorter distance races when run next to longer, more challenging distances. Does offering race medals to Amica Iron Horse Half Marathon finishers and not providing bling for 10K or 5K finishers risk offending those participants? We’ve opted to provide all event participants with a relatively sized medal for their Iron Horse finish but understand there’s not one answer that everyone can agree on here.
|2015 Trinity Medal|
We have also created special medals to challenge participants with 5K race series – the recent O’race Trinity medal and the newly revealed Riverfront Scramble Series medals. We want to keep a competitive spirit alive with some unique offerings – the first year of our Trinity Challenge tested that concept and seems to be well-received by the community.
Oftentimes, we are asked if we can provide runners an additional medal to share with an individual they are running for. Our policy is that each finisher earns one medal, simply stated. HMF fully supports our runners sharing their passion and hard-earned prize with a deserving friend, family member or designated recipient. Beyond the fact that we cannot accommodate all of these requests (and how does one determine who is more deserving?), the medal is special and hard-earned because it was done so by the participant. Sharing the medal you earn is truly sharing your accomplishment with another.
Tell us what your all-time favorite medal is and why - is it the goal accomplished or the actual bling that makes you love it the most?