Medals - 5th December 2017

Phil - running coach
by Phil - Marathon coach and parkrun fan

There are some runners who think medals are just for winners. They're usually accused of an elitist attitude, but I don't know if that's entirely fair. Perhaps giving all participants a medal reduces the prestige that comes from a podium finish.

Although medals for road races are now so standard that hardly anybody would think they suggest a superior performance. They now act as tokens of participation. A nice little memento of race day.

I don't think there's anything wrong with that at all. After all, the podium finishers tend to get something extra. Usually a trophy, and often a cash prize or tokens. Sometimes they even get a cabbage.

My only problem with medals is that it can - or at least it is suggested it can - drive the price or a race up a little.

I'm not a cheapskate, but I enter a lot of races for fun. In fact, most of the races I do these days are training runs instead of actual races or PB attempts. For this reason, I wish there were an option of foregoing medals, t-shirts, goody bags and other stuff and paying purely for the race number.

Of course, then I'd probably moan about not having anything to remember the race by...