Race Medals --- Why? (Read 689 times)

pedaling fool


    I ran my first race back in March -- Jacksonville's 15K Gate River Run.

     

    Before this I've always heard of giving people medals just for participating, but never gave it much thought, but at the end of the race I was directed where to go to get my medal and a towel. I didn't get in the line, rather I walked a route parallel and watched all the people that were in line for their towel and medal. Then it hit me, that's a lot of towels and medals and it's not just this one event, it happens at nearly all of them. So I was wondering how much money is spent on these things?

     

    Personally,  I don't want a medal just for participating, I just don't see the point, but beyond all that: What about the money? A lot of runs are for charity, how much charity money is spent on medals and other things, such as towels?

     

    It just seems like such a waste to me, but I'm new to all this so what am I missing?


    Hoodoo Guru

      Medals are a great memento of something memorable.  But not all races are memorable to all people.  Someone who lost 50 pounds while training for his first 5K may treasure his medal more than someone who runs a 5K every weekend.  Sometimes it's the swag (medal, t-shirt etc.) that helps races attract runners which leads to more donations to charity.

       

      For a lot of folks, the medals are symbolic of the sweat and effort that went into preparing for a race.

       

      I like my medals and have them hanging in my workout room.  If my wife threw them all out tomorrow, it would not be that big a deal.  But until she does, I enjoying looking at them while I work out.  And they make me smile every once in a while.

      The tangents are moot.

       

      iLoveAdvo.com

       


      Interval Junkie --Nobby

        Costs are just passed on to the racers.  Not providing medals would diminish the cost, not increase the charity benefit (in most cases).  The medal and towel are incentives for people to participate.

         

        The medal is a real incentive for people who are doing the couch to 5K programs, who are very overweight, or rather young.  It's also a family incentive: mom races a 5K, kids see something tangible handing from the fridge -- something to be proud of mom for -- something to emulate.  Personally, I think race-bibs are better for this, but to taste.  The Western States belt-buckle is kinda similar -- the bar is just a little higher.

         

        I don't think the medals are really for adults other than that.  And they certainly aren't for anyone who grew up in the 70s before "everyone gets a trophy" type policies came into vogue.  Maybe the Millennials are actually lured into their comfort zone by these things.  And they certainly aren't for anyone training for a PR.

        2014 Goals:  sub-3 Marathon ("Congrats! It's tough to race with poop in the mind" --Wing)

        Current Status 03/17: Drinking beer and eating crap -- all the things I couldn't do before the marathon

          Finishers medals used to be only standard for marathons and longer races where finishing itself is considered a major accomplishment, but then they started creeping down. Now they are expected at most half marathons and you see them even at some shorter races like 15k's. Some people are into that sort of thing. There are still plenty of smaller no-frills races around if you don't want a finishers medal.

           

          As for the money, whether a race is primarily a charity fund raiser or not I would think finishers medals are no different than any other race amenity. All the things that contribute to a good race experience will drive registrations, entry fees, sponsorship dollars and ultimately revenue for the charity. But the Gate River 15k is not a charity race anyway.

          Runners run.

            I don't think the medals are really for adults other than that.  And they certainly aren't for anyone who grew up in the 70s before "everyone gets a trophy" type policies came into vogue.  Maybe the Millennials are actually lured into their comfort zone by these things.  And they certainly aren't for anyone training for a PR.

             

            Perhaps not for some millenials, either.   My 16-YO son despises finishers’ medals.  He doesn’t want a medal unless it represents actual placement in a race, and in fact he even despised his first high school cross country medal that he ever won because… it was a JV medal.  Not sure what he thinks about my marathon finisher medals, and fortunately he’s been kind enough not to dis’ them, cuz I kinda like them as mementos.  Smile

             

            I think maybe it’s more of a competitor-versus-non-competitor kind of thing rather than a generational thing.  It just happens that a much higher % of runners back in the 70s were competitive than is the case today.

            - Joe

            all running goals are under review by the executive committee.

              Medals are a great memento of something memorable.  But not all races are memorable to all people.  

               

              This.  

               

              I do like that little wooden monkey one.

              steph  

               

              OCD  If you don't laugh...   


              ultramarathon/triathlete

                It's better to have a medal to wear around the office the next day so everyone can know how awesome you are, then to wear your sweaty race clothes ;-P

                 

                Personally, I do like medals, but I prefer when races have other things, like beer mugs with the race name on them, stuff like that.  I like the memento but have 100s of medals now and after a while, they get hung on top of one another.  Only the ones from wins or AG places get displayed and even those are hung on top of each other after a point.  The mugs and things are cooler, IMO.

                HTFU?  Why not!

                Coach: Empire Tri Club 

                Speed Coach: Brooklyn Tri Club

                  Why not? I think anything that rewards accomplishment, developing potential, and positive behavior is a good thing. Finishing a 15k is a huge achievement for some runners.Finisher's medals, t-shirts, towels, bumper stickers are all in good fun. I really don't think any runner is walking away thinking they won a trophy when they receive their finisher medal. I think they think it's a finisher medal.. They know the difference between themselves and  the top 3. Personally, I like when I get a shirt more than anything. Socially, it's easier to wear a t-shirt on a weekly basis to show off to the world. Wearing a finisher medal to work on Monday might be an interesting experiment, though. Smile

                  log   prs      Crusted Salt comic #142

                   

                    I just threw out some finisher's medals from a local 10K, 10-miler and HM.  They did not mean anything to me and they were taking up space in a drawer, so I pitched them.  I have a couple AG medals that mean more to me, so I will probably keep them for a while.  When I finish my first marathon, I'll hang onto that medal too.

                     

                    My personal preference would be for fewer medals and less swap to help lower costs and reduce the environmental impact of racing.  A couple weeks ago, my daughters and I all participated in a local race.  We each got handed a big bag with fliers and coupons and crap we will never use.    Almost all of it got thrown in the trash when we got home.  There has to be a better way.

                    2013 goals: 800m: 2:20 | mile: 4:59 | 5k: 18:59 | 10k: 39:59 | HM: 1:32 | Marathon: 3:20

                       I like the memento but have 100s of medals now and after a while, they get hung on top of one another.  Only the ones from wins or AG places get displayed and even those are hung on top of each other after a point.  

                       

                      That does sound rough, but I hope you've found a way to cope.

                       

                      As for me, I get tired of people telling me how good looking I am, but you know, I deal with it.

                      Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                      We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


                      Labrat

                        It would be remiss at this point not to link medals 4 mettle, who recycle HM, marathon and tri medals and give to children and adults fighting severe illness or disability

                         

                        http://www.medals4mettle.org/index.php

                         

                        Don't just bin em, send them to a good cause.

                        5K  23:21*  (Vdot 41.53)   10/13/12

                        10K  51:48 (Vdot 38.39)  7/15/12

                        HM 1:46:23 (Vdot 41.95) 11/9/13

                        FM 4:28:33 (Vdot 33.01) 11/12/11

                        *Gun time, all others are chip time

                          My personal preference would be for fewer medals and less swap to help lower costs and reduce the environmental impact of racing.  A couple weeks ago, my daughters and I all participated in a local race.  We each got handed a big bag with fliers and coupons and crap we will never use.    Almost all of it got thrown in the trash when we got home.  There has to be a better way.

                           

                          Put fliers and coupons in recycling. Use the bag for something else. Look inside the bag, decide you don't want it, give it back.

                           

                          This isn't brain rocketry, or hilbert's 16th problem here...

                          Come all you no-hopers, you jokers and rogues
                          We're on the road to nowhere, let's find out where it goes


                          Spring- wishful thinking

                            My girls have a whole collection of medals from my races.  They like to dress up the dog, themselves, and anything else they can find using them.  Who says they have to be for you?  Big grin


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              As for me, I get tired of people telling me how good looking I am, but you know, I deal with it.

                              After a while, I just tune it out.

                               

                              Why people are telling me how good-looking you are, though -- that I cannot explain.

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