Sunday, February 21, 2010

To Medal or Not to Medal?

There has been some buzz about the medals for the Vancouver Olympics . . . I personally find them to be pretty awesome looking.  The design is pretty cool although it does remind me of a serving platter or a candle holder you can pick up at Crate & Barrel.  Truth be known, if I had an Olympic medal- bronze, silver, or gold- you know I'd wear it everywhere. Grocery store? Yup. 20 mile run? Of course! METRO trip into town? Obv. Shower? Well, you get my drift. 

But other medals? Not so sure.

To be totally honest, I've never been a medal junkie (my mom may disagree since she is still trying to unload my grade school plastic soccer trophies on me).  But, as an adult, I've received I think four medals . . . three marathons (Detroit, Boston, Chicago) and one from the George Washington University when I graduated with my MPH.  I have no idea why they gave out medals but I'm sure it had something to do with GPAs (my medal was most likely a bronze). They passed them out during our graduation ceremony that I didn't want to go to; however, my friend, Ben Klein, who probably is the reason I can blow the dust off my diploma, twisted my arm and made me go to commencement so he had someone to sit next to (much to our horror,they sat us alphabetically and "D" is not immediately proceeded by "K" so Ben- you still owe me).

Anyway, I don't get the medal thing.  My staff are medal junkies though- they ran the Goofy Challenge because "we get three medals!".  As I am listening intently about their suffering, I'm thinking there is a 100% better chance of me running an ultra event if there are three beers at the end rather than three medals. Now a belt buckle? That's another story.

However, I fell victim to the medal hype and we are trying something new this year: we are offering medals to people who complete certain Pacers Events challenges this year. 

I posted the designs on our FB/Twitter page and was curious if I was just being unduly influenced by my staff.  I had a few posts that were "awesome! these are cool" to my favorite "do people really like this stuff? I don't" (I had to kind of silently agree but again, I am but one runner and one opinion; and I might have lost my staff in the interim).  

After my marathons, I'm sure I wore the medal out of the finish chute and might have even worn it to lunch . . . but more because I thought I might get a free sundae from a sympathetic waitress. I also might be guilty of wearing a medal out to the bars the night of the race but probably did so b/c "everyone was doing it" and maybe because it matched my shoes.

Now, I'm not trying to be "too cool for school" but I am trying to understand the medal deal. So, what's your opinion? To medal or not to medal? 

Michael Phelps, the ultimate medal junkie


  1. I'm with you. And I too have a big master's degree medal from GW that I can't exactly throw out. I dressed as Michael Phelps for Halloween two years ago so that I could do something with them. A medal will never get me to a race, but I will get annoyed if it's too small or cheap looking. Sorry, race directors, you can't win ;)

  2. I have a giant MPH medal from GWU too!

    I am someone who is going for an Orange Line medal this year (and am running the Broad Street Run in Philly for their big giant a$$ medal). It's not that I am a medal junkie, but as someone who is a new runner and never thought she'd be a runner, the medals are kind of cool.

  3. I really surprised myself a few months ago. For some reason I decided to see if I could find all my marathon medals. And, not only did I find all my medals, but I found all the bibs from them as well. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a collector by any means, I'm just too lazy to throw things away.

    Also, I have an advantage. When I get home from a race I usually dig out my medal and put it around my daughter's neck. She'll wear it for a day or so and then put in a drawer somewhere. Except in the case of this year's Goofy Challenge. She work those three medals for about 15 minutes before they became too heavy for her :)