While doing a short run this morning, my medal and running display came to the forefront of my thoughts. We had house guests over the weekend and when they saw my "shrine" of medals and plaques, I honestly became embarrassed despite it being in our bedroom. Before we moved last December, my closet was a perfect spot for lots of my race memorabilia and photos. My desk area was also in a secluded spot where I enjoyed my running stuff, but it was not in a main part of our home. Now, my medal rack and photos, Boston poster and other items are hung across one wall in the bedroom. And yes, it is obnoxious. So, this weekend, my plans are to rearrange my closet and put the medal rack and plaques on the wall so they are viewed by my eyes only.
My family calls me a collector. Hadley Pottery, Pandora charms, Hummel figurines, you name it and I probably collected it at some point in time. Over the last few years, my singular collection is running medals and prizes. While race medals are fun to collect, many runners put their medals in drawers and under beds in a box,including lots of places other than on display. My sister is the perfect example of someone who never puts anything on display. Actually, I have not been to her house since we ran Boston together in April, but my guess is that medal is in a drawer. I kinda hope it is on display, since she worked so hard with me to complete the race, But my gut tells me her modest self has the medal hidden away.
Over the past decade, participation medals and trophies for many sports are now the norm. In the past, you had to be either an age group winner or overall winner to earn medals at running races. As a child, a participation trophy was given to Christine for tee ball, I thought it was quite strange. The teams did not keep score (although every kid knew if they had won or lost) and a dinky trophy was certainly not going to make the kid who struck out every time feel better about his baseball skills.
While medals are not my motivation to race, there is an amount of enjoyment when I look at my medal display and realize how much I have done over the past 5 years. That being said, I would prefer a cheaper price tag for 5k and 10k races instead of a participation medal. In my opinion, the longer races seem to merit a medal, but those smaller races should only give age group awards.
Tell me your thoughts on medals. Do you run for the bling, or the race experience? Have you ever won an age group award?