Medals or no medals?



  • I did well at Edinburgh this year! I T shirt I will never wear as a bad fit and a medal shaped like a willy! Always remember my first marathon thats for sure! just glad I never had my name and time printed on!!

  • Green and white tigger wrote (see)

    I would say medals all the way! as most races still insist handing out t shirts Mens t Shirts, great if your a bloke, Rubbish for women! only ever had three t shirts I have worn again, two were the same club two years running! and as someone who keeps all numbers in date order and with times on, medals are easier to keep hold of!!

    Totally agree about the t-shirts!

  • I like the idea of having different medals depending on finishing position or finishing time in a marathon.  They do this in the Comrades Ultra where there is a whole range of medals for different achievements.  It's a bit of added incentive to try to improve on previous efforts.

    I frequently run 10k's, half-marathon's and the likes without picking up a medal.  I call them training runs.  When I race, it's nice to have some recognition of the culmination of some hard work I've put in to achieve that finish.

  • So David - if you complete your first 100 mile event and are not one of the first three a medal would be meaningless?

  • I'm not David but have similar thoughts about medals. I finished my first 100 mile event this year and didn't get a medal, not bothered though. I am still on a high some 4 months later and those memories will be with me forever, don't need a medal in the bottom of a shoebox to remind me. Again each to their own.
  • Would rather have a technical tshirt I'll use again, than a medal I'll never really look at again (although I don't throw them away).

  • The Collins complete and unabridged dictionary defines a trinket as "a small or worthless ornament or piece of jewellery".

    That sounds like yer standard-issue race medal, imho ... can never get enough of them image

  • David Falconer 3 wrote (see)

    I notice an interesting gender split when it comes to which side of the debate people sit on .... anyways someone asked me earlier did I not want the medals to remind me of all the work I put in ...... but the thing is, lets say youve done 20 half marathons so far ...... do you really need to dig deep into the box, pull out the one for the 7th HM and think 'I remember this one, the training I put in there wasnt as tough as Im putting in now but it was still pretty tough!'

    Youre not really are you? My point is you arent really going to remember the time and effort you put in, into each individual event as training etc really just blurs into one after a while. All I ever care about is the next race. The fact I can pull out a medal from 8 races ago and think 'Well im faster now than I was back then' kind of doesn't really tell me much.

    Fine if you want a trinket, but lets not big up a 'medal' anymore than what it is. Thats why I think only the top 3 should be given a medal, and the rest of us really should just get what I would describe as a 'trinket'.

    Coincidentally, I've done exactly 20 half marathons as per your example image (until Sunday...)

    I'm not as fussed now about medals as I was when I started, but i definitely think longer events should have medals, when shorter ones don't really need them.

    I'll never forget doing the 2002 Marlow half marathon, voted 5th toughest half in the country, and not getting a medal. Luckily some spot prize made up for it.

    But you can't tell me completing an amateur level 5k ever needs a medal. (run for life series only maybe, as that's an entry into running event really).

    As for people who refuse to do races that don't give medals, talk about limiting yourself!

  • My point was that if you have done something really outstanding then some form of memento might well be merited.  Fair enough if you're happy to 'have your memories', but for others something more tangible proof is much appreciated - especially if you look an unlikely contender.

  • "As for people who refuse to do races that don't give medals, talk about limiting yourself!"

    That's me! Well over 100 medals to date and easily adding one a month so not limiting myself that much. The majority of events still do a gong.

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    I'm still really proud of my first medal but not really bothered any more. If some races did different medals for different times like Comrades or Western States then I might start getting bothered again.
  • Muttley, you limit yourself in the sense that you must mostly ignore cross country races and club series runs.

    The type of races that are low key, low entry fee, and minimalistic.

    For instance I do xc series races that cost £2 in the winter. No medals, water stations or any unnecessary guff given out at the end. Just as satisfying as any of your razzmatazz races.

    You also miss out on well known races like the Marlow half, just because no medal. Seems an odd limiting factor!

    From my experience, you're also lucky that you haven't yet done a race that promised a medal, only to receive a "memento".

    Unless you check with each and every race organiser....

    wait a min...

    you don't do you? image

  • Where are these "razmatazz races"? I've got a few medals but the races I got them in were pretty short on "razmatazz"!!

  • I check the memento etc field in the RW event info.

    Fair points that are well made but 1) I work weekends so to do races on Sunday usually have to take at least half a day's leave, and 2) I don't drive so am confined to public transport.

    So all the xc fun and frolics are out of range for me. So is Marlow unless I want to take a cab from the station (I don't - but I do for the Water of Life, which is also in Marlow but you get a gong. Yes, I know I'm shallow) image

    Edit: adding "From my experience, you're also lucky that you haven't yet done a race that promised a medal, only to receive a "memento"."

    Yes I have - this year's Shinfield 10K promised a gong but gave a mug. A nice mug it was. But it wasn't a gong so I wasn't impressed.

  • Sounds like you have much bigger limiting factors than mere medal pursuit!

    I'm surprised you can find so many races with medals that aren't on Sundays that are in range then! You must cycle to some races?

    You remind me of the circa 2002-04 me. I was basically limited to very local stuff like Wycombe, and Marlow that I could get to myself by walking/bus, stuff like Bearbrook/Burnham that I could beg a lift for, or a now defunct 5miler in Hillingdon by train.

    I still remember the effort of having to be at the bus station at about 7am just to get to the Marlow half one year! Then having to wait for ages after on my own for the buses home!

    I prefer a memento these days to be fair. Something small but memorable. Like a paperweight or a little boot. As long as they're engraved with the event and year that's all that matters.

    I do dislike the identikit medals that could be anywhere and have no reference on them.

  • Medal or no medal everyone will remember the Marlow half this year Stevie image

    So you've run 20 halfs, at least Mutts can prove it with his medals image

  • I marshalled Marlow and was actually shocked when I saw footage of elsewhere on the course!

    Thinking back, I think I have 18 medals from the 20...just twice at Marlow to spoil the record. image

  • If you haven't got the medal, it didn't happen ...

  • I'm with Muttley on this one... I love to run, but also love getting a medal at the end of a race.  It shows I've done it (and adds to the stack of medals I've received over the past year) and my little girl loves seeing them after a race.

    As for medal quality - if it's what I consider a long distance (Half marathon and above) then I expect a bespoke medal which has actually been created specially for the event.  If it is anything shorter then I don't mind if it is generic but do prefer if it has the name of the race on the medal or the ribbon.

    I'm not really that fussed about mememtos (have got enough mugs and towels already thanks...) and I do like an event t-shirt but again have amassed quiet a few over the year and never tend to use them.  As for club runs: I run and train with my local running club but as I'm not particularly fast yet I'm not too stressed about the club series races.  As for cross country: Among other, over the past year I've taken part in the Helly Hansen half marathon, Salisbury 5-4-3-2-1 30k race and Beachy Head Marathon - all of which were definitely cross country and had excellent bespoke medals image

    I display my medals on a nice wall-mounted Sonic-blue medal rack which I made myself:


     It's based on a design I saw on etsy ( but I didn't fancy paying the high shipping charges.  I've considered making them to sell myself but haven't gotten round to it yet... image

  • What happened at Marlow???
  • David: winners get trophies - 'participants' (aka everyone else) get finishers medals.  Well - those that finish anyway...

  • Sonic the sprinter wrote (see)

    David: winners get trophies - 'participants' (aka everyone else) get finishers medals.  Well - those that finish anyway...


    I don't have a problem with medals, I have some really nice ones, as well as some cheap and cheerful ones. They are mementos. I have hung them together on the wall. (except the ones with for placing, I keep those with my trophies).

    It's also a good place to keep your race time, just scribble it on the back of the medal.

  • Nykie wrote (see)
    What happened at Marlow???

    You needed a kayak in places.....if only they gave one of those to all competitors at the start instead of a running shirt at the end image


  • I see - practically a duathlon in places. Great video.
  • sonic love ur medal display, i think u should seriously consider making those and selling them, my picture frame now is running out of space for my medals I need a rack to hang them on lol

  • Thanks - I'll let you know when I start mass producing them. image  My girlfriend wants me to make her one for her medals so when I've built hers (a glittery pink one) I'll take some decent photos and post them up on here.

  • I'm just starting to do longer races (half marathons to be precise) and am not very fast, my current goals are just to get round.  For me, a medal signifies the achievement of actually finishing and reminds me that I worked really hard and earned it.  Makes all the training and effort worthwhile.

    If the organisers decided to give medals only to the top 25% then it would make every race elitist and surely that then defeats the object of making a big and popular event that is achievable for the average joe and new runners???

    Like someone else said, if you don't want your medal, just don't accept it - there are plenty of other runners who do and will wear them with pride.

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