Race Medals --- Why? (Read 690 times)

drifter


    Because we are supposed to run one marathon and be done with it.

      I personally think finishers medals are dumb for anything short of a half marathon. That said I'm not against them. They cost next to nothing and they are good marketing. A guy takes a picture with his two kids holding a finishers medal from a local 5k. He posts it on Facebook, Instagram or the local diner. Maybe two people see it and say hey I want to do that with my family next year. Or the kids enjoy the medal and want to do it next year. If you add or retain 15 runners the next year at $25 a pop you just paid for your medals.

      Fall  2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.

        You had the race bib, right?  And that thing has street cred: it ends up looking like it worked as hard as you had.

         

        Has no one made a patchwork quilt dress out of them yet?

        Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

          I am running my first full marathon this year.  I will treasure the medal.  I can't wait to have it placed around my neck when I finish.

          See how they run...

            I'm in agreement with the view that finisher medals for anything less than a half marathon are unnecessary. But there could be some exceptions. When I did my first triathlon, even though it was a sprint, the organizers gave out special medals for people who completed their first tri. I really valued that medal and I could see that a finisher medal for people who ran their first 5K could be meaningful.

            2014 goals

            1800 miles; 5k < 25:00; 10k < 53:00HM < 2:00

             

            Upcoming:

            NYC Half Marathon 3/16Boston Marathon 4/21; Newport Liberty HM 9/2; Trenton Half Marathon 10/8

            spinach


              I personally think finishers medals are dumb for anything short of a half marathon. That said I'm not against them. They cost next to nothing and they are good marketing.

              I read in Marathons and Beyond that finisher medals often cost $6 to $8 and a couple race directors I talked to confirmed this.  That seems pretty ridiculous to me for something that will never be seen again once it hits the shoe box in my closet (or the trash).  I would much prefer those dollars go to the whatever organization or charity the race is supporting.

               

              My favorite medal that I won was from a 5k race that was supporting the track team at a a school whose name began with an M.  The medal I won for my age group first was a large wooden M on a string that was made by students in the school's woodshop. That was much more meaningful than the silly store bought medals I get at other races.

                I read in Marathons and Beyond that finisher medals often cost $6 to $8 and a couple race directors I talked to confirmed this.  That seems pretty ridiculous to me for something that will never be seen again once it hits the shoe box in my closet (or the trash).  I would much prefer those dollars go to the whatever organization or charity the race is supporting.

                 

                My favorite medal that I won was from a 5k race that was supporting the track team at a a school whose name began with an M.  The medal I won for my age group first was a large wooden M on a string that was made by students in the school's woodshop. That was much more meaningful than the silly store bought medals I get at other races.

                 

                I don't think the finisher medals for lesser races are quite as costly. I see your point. But for many people a marathon is a once in a life time experience and costs well more than $8. I think a nice medal is something that will be treasured by many.

                 

                But while we are on the topic of finishers medals. Ran my second half marathon a few years ago. Well actually not quite. Unfortunately due to flooding  the race got shortened to 9.55 miles. But afterwards many were wearing a huge medal that said 13.1 on it. I took mine off. Felt like a fraud.

                Fall  2013 Goals: Doable sub 22:00 5k; Challenging Sub 21:00 5k; Unlikely Sub 20:00 5k.

                Julia1971


                  Just thought I'd chime in to say if you don't want the medal, you don't have to take it.  You can politely say, "No, thank you" and keep walking.  I doubt the finish line volunteer will wrestle you to the ground and force you to wear it.  (Although, that mental image is funny).

                  You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                  Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight

                    You had the race bib, right?  And that thing has street cred: it ends up looking like it worked as hard as you had.

                     

                    CliveF, thanks for that comment, LOL. Actually, no I don't have the race bib. What made that run so difficult is that it was a mud run, on a motorcross course, through sand dunes. The race directors are also trying to make it the hardest race in the state. By the end, my race bib was covered in mud, ripped in MANY places, and I actually had to stop and re-pin it three different times during the race. I actually had to re-do one of the obstacles, because my bib had ripped off and I went back to get it. The last obstacle, (after the finish line), was a 57' rope swing into a lake. My bib literally disintegrated and the handful of shreds weren't salvagable.

                     

                    But... I had a blast, and that is the important part.

                       the handful of shreds..

                       

                      ...would be an awesome memento, IMO.

                      Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject.

                      ShuffleFaster


                        I read in Marathons and Beyond that finisher medals often cost $6 to $8 and a couple race directors I talked to confirmed this.  That seems pretty ridiculous to me for something that will never be seen again once it hits the shoe box in my closet (or the trash).  I would much prefer those dollars go to the whatever organization or charity the race is supporting.

                         

                         

                        I certainly can't speak for every race, but in one of the marathons I did, the medal was made by this company  http://www.hastyawards.com/sports/track-field/medals.html

                        and the prices are substantially less than $6 to $8, especially in bulk.

                         

                        No telling what this thing costs though....  Smile

                         

                        Little Rock Marathon

                          On the subject of shirts, usually the race shirts just go into my running clothes cycle... but it would be nice if some races gave out shorts.

                          Know thyself.

                           

                          spinach


                             

                            But while we are on the topic of finishers medals. Ran my second half marathon a few years ago. Well actually not quite. Unfortunately due to flooding  the race got shortened to 9.55 miles. But afterwards many were wearing a huge medal that said 13.1 on it. I took mine off. Felt like a fraud.

                             

                            I will be running a half tomorrow that was shortened to 5 miles last year because of the heat.  I think it was a good call, the temperature was 84 at about 5:30 in the morning when I drove past a bank thermometer while driving to the start.  They medal they gave said "Red White & Boom Half Marathon Finisher" and my time was 35 something. The medal indicates i finished a half marathon and my time was sub 36. Ryan Hall, it seems I have gotten your record.

                              Just thought I'd chime in to say if you don't want the medal, you don't have to take it.  You can politely say, "No, thank you" and keep walking.  I doubt the finish line volunteer will wrestle you to the ground and force you to wear it.  (Although, that mental image is funny).

                              But the race will already have spent the money having it made.  I thought the original complaint wasn't "finisher medals are stoopid", but that the races raise money for charity and the cost of finishers' medals reduces the charitable contribution.

                               

                              I'd like if the race had a checkbox for "finisher's medal".  I'd opt out for almost all of them.

                              “Everything you need is already inside.” -- Bill Bowerman

                              Julia1971


                                If more people refused them, I'm guessing the RDS would get the picture. As it is, if everyone is taking the medal, why not assume most people actually do want a medal?  Edited to add: I know if I had boxes and boxes of medals after a race I organized, I'd order fewer the next year or make them optional.

                                 

                                I also question the idea that the money not spent on medals would translate into lower entry fees or higher donation to the charity. Maybe for smaller races that would be the case but maybe the RD would chose to spend the money on something else for the race.

                                 

                                But the race will already have spent the money having it made.  I thought the original complaint wasn't "finisher medals are stoopid", but that the races raise money for charity and the cost of finishers' medals reduces the charitable contribution.

                                 

                                I'd like if the race had a checkbox for "finisher's medal".  I'd opt out for almost all of them.

                                You're too strong not to keep on keepin' on. - The Pips
                                Yes, I am! - Gladys Knight