One of the things I love about distance racing is the bling. A nice medal just for participating? Thanks! It makes you feel like you're a winner just for trying. :o)
I've managed to accumulate a nice collection of bling over the years, and am always excited to add to my collection with each subsequent race. Recently the San Francisco Marathon asked the Ambassador team what our favorite race medals were and why. I was shocked when the first few ambassadors replied back immediately saying they didn't really care about the medals and just stashed them away. What? I proudly display my medals on my "wall of accomplishment" (haha) next to my diplomas. Maybe its because running is something I never though I could do, but I'm proud of each and every medal and want to show them off. There's quite a variety of designs among race medals and in my collection you'll find the cool, the unique, and the boring.
Full Marathon Medals
Rock 'N' Roll San Diego 2005
Rock 'N' Roll Phoenix 2006
Los Angeles Marathon 2006
San Francisco Marathon 2006
Long Beach Marathon 2006
Rock 'N' Roll San Diego 2007
Chicago Marathon 2007
Rock 'N' Roll San Antonio 2008
Rock 'N' Roll San Diego 2009
Marine Corps Marathon 2009
Rock 'N' Roll San Diego
Take a look at this medal above, and then check out my friend's tattoo below. We trained together with the Rock Runners last year and this was his first full marathon. I thought this tattoo was pretty cool and a nice artistic take on the medal!
Half Marathon Medals
Rock 'N' Roll Phoenix 2005
Valley of the Sun Half Marathon 2005
America's Finest City Half Marathon 2005
America's Finest City Half Marathon 2006
Austin Half Marathon 2009
Run to the Rock Half Marathon 2009
Surf City USA Half Marathon 2010
San Francisco Half Marathon 2010
Long Beach Half Marathon 2010
Carlsbad Half Marathon 2011
Surf City USA 2011
San Dieguito Half Marathon 2011
I have two other "medals" that I didn't include above, both of which are necklaces. The first is a Tiffany's necklace from the Nike Women's Marathon in 2006, and the other is a heart shaped necklace from the Mermaid Half Marathon a few months ago. I think its a cute idea to give necklaces instead of finisher's medals, but after wearing both for a short period of time I took them both off for the same reason. Maybe I'm weird, but I start to get uncomfortable talking about how many full and half marathons I've completed with a non-runner, and the conversation usually goes there a few minutes after someone asks about the necklace. The shock the person expresses usually makes me feel more weird than accomplished for some reason. As if they think I'm crazy and weird! I mean I am proud of finishing so many races, but I don't usually broadcast it publicly. At work I think only a few people know I run marathons, even though I have marathon art on my walls. :oP The discomfort I get when someones eyes bug out as I talk about races is the same discomfort I used to get when people found out how old I was in school. I'm younger and always felt a bit out of place, and people's reactions didn't make me feel any less weird.
Mermaid Half Marathon 2011
Nike Women's Marathon 2005
But onto other things, here are a few final medals in my collection from various other race distances that I've finished over the years. I love the variety of my bling collection, and its a nice way to visualize my training and all of the mile I've raced, and the hundreds of other miles I trained leading up to each event.