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At our town market, we have a stand that sells all sorts of collectible lapel badges, keyrings, medals etc. This weekend I found, among hundreds of others, a finisher's medal from a marathon held in our town twice back in the 1980's - now they have only held a half mara since. I know of only one friend who ran it who has been quite an inspiration in my early running.
Now this may sound really wrong, and please note I do NOT normally ever do this, but, i bought the medal. I felt it was wrong for such a beautiful memento to sit there getting tarnished and scratched in the box and should be appreciated by a runner who will try and get it cleaned and re-ribboned.
Upon buying, i did not know what to do with it and feel the need to somehow "earn" it as I started to feel guilty about buying a medal yet I did not race (I would have only been 2 years old!). As I said, this marathon no longer exists so I will not be able to take part in any future races. Instead plan to run my own, solo marathon in this city in the next week or two to celebrate it. The original race was held in December (it even says Run In December on the medal) so I need to do this soon. I ran two marathons in this autumn so feeling fit enough to do it, as long as I take this slow and not make it about a PB. I would just run my normal 20 miler route with a bit extra, and may even be able to incorporate our local Parkrun into it as well (or should I find out the original race route and run that!?).
What are people’s thoughts? Is this just wrong/odd to buy a medal full stop? I am generally very strict about not owning any medals I did not race! Or a special way to commemorate an old race in my city that may never again go ahead? It would mean a lot, running a marathon in my home town but this will never happen as an organised event. The medal would then be displayed, although probably not with my general collection of own medals. I would also not count it as one of my official marathons (in the same way I do not think of ever 13.1 mile training run as a half marathon event!). Or can a medal only truly be earned by the person who ran it?