Clank, Clank, Clank goes the medals

imageI’ve been thinking about something for a while now, as I’ve been seeing a growing trend amongst many running events.

Extra Bling!!

Did your eyes get all wide eyed at the thought at more medal madness to add to your collection?

As far as I know, Disney brought us the multiple medal first. Earning a treasured Goofy medal for completing the Goofy Challenge (half and full marathons in the same weekend). Disney also incorporated the Coast to Coast challenge which is running two Disney half/full events (one in California, the other Florida) in the same calendar year. 2013 was a big year for Run Disney fans as Disney dangled more shiny new hardware for the taking for the 2014 races..  First they introduced the Dopey Challenge, which enthusiastic runners everywhere (myself included) signed up promptly. For the gals, Disney didn’t disappoint, as they brought in a very special Coast to Coast ‘Pink’ edition for running both Tinker Bell and Princess half marathons and introduced the Glass Slipper Challenge.

Of course, that’s Disney. There’s a little something extra special in those coveted medals. Would’nt you agree?

So now, I see a trend. Rock n’ Roll series does it. Space Coast is doing it. Even my local Santa 5K race joined in the extra medal fun. Some of these extra medals are earned by running two events in the same weekend series or seasonal series. Rock ‘n’ Roll gives you an extra medal if you run 2 or more of their events in a calendar year.  Run 5 at Rock ‘n’ and your a ‘Rock Star’.  I always wanted to be a rock star!  Space Coast gives you up to 5 years to earn that extra special bling.  Run 3 races in 5 years, and you’ve reached the Milky Way.  Run 5 races, and well, you’ve gone Intergalactic.  Whatever that means!

LA/SF Challenge, Boston to Big Sur Challenge, they jumped in too.

And although they don’t seem to be giving extra medals, there are commemorative items for running the Five and Dime, or Hat Trick at the Heartbreak Hill Half Marathon series in Boston.

I’m no stranger to liking the bling.  There was a time when getting a medal signified a mile stone or a notch up my running pole of success.  I still remember the first half marathon I participated in and that medal signifies to me, how far I had come as a runner; as well as how far I had to go to be a competent runner.  Years have passed and I’ve collected my share of medals, most of which sit in a Walt Disney Bag hanging over a shelf by my computer. They aren’t for show-and-tell.  I really don’t have the space to exhibit many of them.  These bags of medals do however make a quick grab as they sure do make a really good weapon. (if ever I needed one)  Think Bam-Bam with a clankity-clank.

Perhaps it’s the next step for those that have done a half or a full marathon and aren’t inclined to make a leap to ultra running.  Perhaps these endurance challenges, tackling back-to-back races in the same race weekend is the next logical step.  The extra bling is not perhaps the incentive, but it’s the challenge itself.  Perhaps if I lived more local to a race such as Space Coast, it would be incentive to register year after year to the same race.  They do have some pretty cool looking medals.

What do you think? Aside from a Disney event, are you lured by extra medals in other running events?  Would you take on an extra event to achieve an extra piece of hardware?

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18 thoughts on “Clank, Clank, Clank goes the medals

      • Yea, I have as well. I got a water color print for a small regional half marathon. It is so cool I have it hanging over my desk. I just love the bling for the reminder of the event. It is the only day you can walk around wearing a medal and not feel crazy

  1. I think another part of it, especially in WDW with the goofy challenge was the, “Oh, you JUST did the marathon?” It’s weird, ’cause I don’t consider myself a medal person but I still signed up for Dopey… The insanity of it I found oddly appealing? I haven’t been tempted by the other non-Disney challenges, though.

    • Dopey was indeed insane. I would do it again in a heartbeat, as it wasn’t the running that was so difficult. The lack of sleep was the most difficult part. Sure, I had the adrenaline going and all, but I’d definitely taper back on the post race activities if I do it again. You are right though…with Goofy and Dopey combined, I think that was about 12,000 entries into the marathon. (give or take) A really large percentage of total runners on marathon day.

  2. Not necessarily. I like the extra Disney races because the medals are rather whimsical and it is one more opportunity to run in Disney parks. I have done one “outside” challenge” the Go Far Challenge as part of the Fargo Marathon weekend. You run the family 5K on the Friday and then run the half or full the next day and get a third medal. I have not done it since (despite going to Fargo for the race again), whereas I could be talked into doing Dumbo again….or venturing to the other Disney challenges.
    ~Lisa

    • Yeah, I agree on Disney with you. My thought, “if I’m there, I might as well do them all”. (aside from the kids races of course…ahem, cough, cough). Kidding aside, I haven’t signed up for any extra medal bling aside from Disney. I never say never, but it’s not on my radar any time soon.

      • I agree, though I have never done the 5K races. Any “family” 5K races I have done, including the Fargo one, have always left me stumbling through precarious, nearly injury causing situations. lol. I blame some of that on the child participants and some of that on my epic clumsiness.

      • Definitely fun runs. You can never really run a Family 5K. I have sometimes walked them….not out of choice, but yeah, it sure beat tripping over someone while running.

  3. I’m not a fan of the extra bling. I see it as a gift-with-purchase when you spend more money, kind of like the ones you get at the Clinique counter. In fact, I sold my Rock and Roll heavy medals on ebay. I got so irked at the medal for two half marathons saying 26.2 that I never even took it out of the plastic wrap. I’ve done multiple full marathons, and two half marathons does not in any way equal 26.2 except in math.
    There used to be a series in California that awarded a jacket. That seems like a much better prize to me. The medals are nice as mementos, but after you get the medal for doing the event, what good is another one? I’d rather have something useful….or even a discount for further races. That would be even better.

    • Gift with Purchase! I love that! I kind of agree with you on the extra incentives. We have a handful of marathon events in my area. If they’d offer a discount for coming back following years, it would totally lure me in as opposed to doing one of the alternate marathons. And of course, every once and a while, it would be nice if they changed it up and offered a cool jacket or hat or some other kind of memento of the race. I’m in! 🙂

  4. I do like getting the bling! Last year I signed up for the Flying Pirate Half once I saw a pic of the previous year’s medal. They had a back to back 5k and 13.1 challenge, but was too much money for the 5k, so I stuck to the half.

    • Flying Pirate? Have you heard about the Flying Pig? Methinks you need a pig for that pirate! One of my pet peeves is paying large amounts of money for 5Ks. If it’s a really special race, (like my NYE race or Disney), I’m ok with it (well, not really, but I pay) The others, I won’t even look at them unless they are priced just right. 🙂

      • I’m originally from Ohio, so I am familiar with the pig. Never thought about running it tho, that would be a good pair! I agree on the prices. I would’ve run that 5k if it hadn’t been so redonk.

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