Medal Monday

How important is your race medal to you? Chris Ford from Fordy Runs shares with us the importance of receiving a medal after completing a race. Stay tuned for next Monday when we have some exciting news to share…

I recently asked the guys in the Fordy Runs Running Community what makes them sign up for a new race. Top of the poll was location, which was no real shock but before price came the medal or as they called it the ‘Bling’! A runner’s love of race bling is something quite extra-ordinary.

The Everyday Runner’s obsession with bling (medal) comes from amazing feeling of accomplishment when it is placed around your neck. The medal is a physical memento to celebrate all the training and hard work that has gone into completing the distance. Having all those memories hanging somewhere in your home is like a picture gallery of accomplishments. You can look at each medal and give a detailed explanation of that race, how it happened and probably the time it was completed in! This is why medals are so awesome and special.

So what makes a good medal? Firstly, and most importantly the size! The best ones are with lots of colour; minimal sponsor logos; a design that reflects the course, race theme and hopefully is carried out on both sides; and finally weight … the heavier the better!

What I love is that the races/events have now wised up to how important the medal is. Social media is a key growth driver of the bling obsession. The first thing we all do is grab a selfie with our new medal and post it everywhere! This is great for the event because the engagement around the race multiplies as soon as the runners cross the line, hence they want a nice medal for us to show off.

Medal Monday is a real thing and you will see hundreds maybe thousands of posts online the following Monday of an event with countless pictures of medals! Again it is this feeling of pride at the accomplishment.

For me, after I get my medal from some lovely volunteer I take my selfie and post that all over social media (you’re welcome). I then wear it home, whether I am on the tube, in the car, walking through Westfield, going to Starbucks that medal does not leave my neck till I get home. I remember wearing my first London Marathon medal to McDonalds! Once I am home I then pass it to one of my daughters who wait for me to get home so they can get the medal! It then goes up on one of my medal hangers. It is a funny tradition I have but it is just that feeling of pride and I enjoy showing off that I just completed something awesome.

It is really hard to pick a favourite medal; I could give you a story behind every one. My first ‘real’ medal was from the London 10k many years ago which was my first organised event, so that is special but I think my favourite from my first events is probably the Luton Half medal. It is not the biggest, heaviest or best looking but it was my first half marathon so that one is special. If I was pushed I think the one I like to look at the most is my first Great North Run medal. It is big, heavy and significant. I will never forget the feeling from when I came down the hill and turned left along the seafront in South Shields. The noise from the crowd pushing me all the way along to the finish will stay with me forever. It is one of the reasons the Great North Run is my favourite event of the year and that is what makes that medal so special, the memories.

The great thing is this year there will be more medals and like I said the events are now trying to outdo each other so I can’t wait to see what they come up with this year! More importantly, there will be more memories created and more accomplishments to which I am proud of so I just can’t wait to get my hands on some more bling!

Catch you later