Favorite Running Medals
Favorite running medals can be easy to pick from the pile. One may be your first race or your first Boston Marathon. Some medals look like works of art.
Looking at and holding a running medal brings a rush of memories for me. Sometimes I can recall conversations or things people said. Often I can recall the struggles and challenges of that race.
Do you have this recall when you look at a medal? I can even remember the smell of BBQ while running through Newton and Wellesley during Boston Marathons. A gel is no substitute for a cheese burger!
Keep Your Memories Strong
Memories tend to fade over time. Even a medal can loose it’s ability to trigger memories.
To form a strong association and keep memories vivid, you should look at your medal soon after a race. Hold the medal in your hands and think about the day, your race and who you spent time with.
Take a moment to appreciate what you have done, the work and sacrifice.
Forming a strong association soon after the race will help maintain your memories over the years. Pulling the box of medals out once in a while will help maintain those memories for you.
The end of a race can be a highly emotional time. I’ve teared up at the finish line on Boylston street a few times, and it wasn’t from pain!
I’ll always remember when Mike Hartin met me at the finish line at The Bay State Marathon a few years ago. I was in tough shape and disappointed with my run. He probably spent two minutes with me but he literally gave me the physical support I needed to get through the finish area and gave me a pep talk along the way.
Just envisioning that medal brings back so many memories.
We don’t get medals at every race, but as runners we are lucky to have these symbols to help us recall some amazing times.
Here are five of my favorite running medals
This is my first Boston Marathon medal from 2003. They were a lot smaller and simpler back then.
I recall so many memories from this first marathon. Way too many for this brief post.
My favorite is when I was on Boylston Street with the finish line in sight. I was in tough shape and totally focused on getting to that finish line.
Then beside me a little voice called out “Hi Daddy!” I looked over and saw my 8-year old daughter running next to me. I was so shocked I felt like I almost fell over.
I took her hand and we ran across the finish line together. Talk about a cherished memory!
This medal is from my first race ever. It was the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Memorial Half Marathon.
The race took place in Wakefield and began in the office park on Lake Quannapowitt.
I recall standing next to the lake as a frigid wind blew across the ice and through my nylon running shorts and cotton t-shirt. I had my first starting line conversation with a cute runner about her running shoe collection.
I learned a lot of lessons that day that you can only learn from running a race. This medal helps me recall some of the moments from my first race ever.
Well, this one is hanging backwards around my neck. It’s my finisher’s medal from the 2016 Boston Marathon.
The memories are freshest from this race. I ran for FamilyAid Boston and ran with a few of my team mates at different parts of the race. Being part of a team supporting an important organization added meaning to my training and the race it self.
With this medal I recall all of my fundraisers and people who donated and helped me train.
I’ll always recall my volunteer time at the BAA number hand-out on Sunday night with fellow MRC members. I can also recall the bus ride to Hopkinton and hanging out before the race with my friend Don Keren.
This medal is from the Ras Na Heirnann 5K held annually in Davis Square, Somerville.
I’m not sure which year this is, but I love the art work. They use the same art on the race shirts and they look awesome.
I usually run this race with friends, so I have many good memories from the race and hanging out afterwards.
This is one of my favorites more for the art work than anything else. Not that we didn’t have fun, it’s just a very well done medal.
This photograph was provided by The Bay of Fundy Marathon. The medal is in the shape of a sea urchin shell and created by local craftsman, Richard Klyver.
This medal is from the 2014 race.
The race begins and ends in Lubec Maine, which is probably the smallest town I’ve ever run any race out of.
This race holds many great memories. I went with my big sister and we got to spend some all to rare time together.
We met some of her friends from work and her town, totally unexpected. The people were so friendly and welcoming, I wanted to move there!
We also met a physics student from Heidelberg who was doing a summer exchange program at Brandeis University. He needed a ride back to Boston and word got around that we were headed that way.
He had never run a marathon before so several of us did our best to prep him the night before the race. Fortunately he had done some running, had the right shoes and was very young.
The chance encounters just kept blowing us away. I’d love to run this race again, but I just know the second time will never come close to the first time.
I truly cherish the memories from this race. It was a special moment in time.
Your Favorite Running Medals
You’ve seen a few of my favorites. What about you? Do you have a medal that brings a smile to your face or a tear to your eye?
Most days are not commemorated the way a race day is. Medals are strong symbols of a day in your life and what you accomplished that day.
Many of mine have been framed, many more have not. Even though I sell frames, only the special medals get framed. There is only so much wall space.
Framing your medals is the best way to protect them and keep them from getting lost. If you do not frame your medals, put each one in a sandwich bag and keep them in a marked box.
If you have a special medal that you would like to frame and protect, please check out my Frame Shop HERE.
Tell us about your favorite medal and I’ll post it on a future post.
Run Well my Friends!