Tuesday, July 24, 2012

You've Earned It ... Now What?

One of my favorite pastimes is reading other peoples’ running blogs. I call it research, but in true runner fashion, it’s actually scoping out the competition. I like to see who else is writing recaps of what races, who’s an expert on any given subject from nutrition to technology, and to check out who has the latest in fancy equipment. It’s digital voyeurism in its purest and most innocent form.

During one of my recent perusals, I came across a blogger (who shall remain nameless) who threw out the age-old question about what runners do with their mementos from races. Usually this topic centers around where race medals are hung and on what apparatus.

In this case, the blogger was referring to actual plaques and awards for age division placement, and even first overall in a race. The blogger took photos of the awards laid out on an obscure piece of furniture, described each award and the race in which it was won, and then described unceremoniously throwing away multiple awards because they took up too much space.

My first reaction to the blog? If you have room for that furniture, you can find someplace to put a half-dozen plaques. But that’s just the beginning of my quandary with this situation.

I’ll admit that I rarely place in races, and the two plaques I have for placing in my age division are among my fastest marathon times. After receiving my plaque for my first place age division finish in the 2011 Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon, I asked the race director if there was a mistake and then double checked to make sure I wasn’t the only person competing in my age division. Having said this, I have now qualified my feelings that follow by showing that I place a high value on being recognized for an achievement, no matter how big or small.

Everything that goes in to the production of medals and awards takes time and energy put forth by race organizers. Months of planning, designs, and drafts are gone through in order to get those finished products produced and in to the hands of stand out performers at the event. As someone who understands on a professional level what goes in to putting on even the smallest production, it pains me to see those awards publicly being discarded as refuse.

As training for another running season approaches and the summer months dwindle, more medals and award will begin to line shelves of athletes everywhere. When I first ran a marathon three years ago to earn my first medal, I framed it to hang it in a prominent place. My initial intent was to run two or three races at that distance, so I bought matching frames to await filling them with medals.

Now, with many more marathons and half marathons under my fuel belt than I can name off the top of my head, I have more medals than the wall of my meager abode can handle. They hang on the side of a CD rack or from the top of a glass apothecary jar on my kitchen counter. I treat each as their own piece of artwork, and many are just that; however, there is no way each can be displayed in an appropriate way to justly note what they stand for and the achievement associated with each.

I like talking to friends who have their medals thumb tacked to their office walls to allow their coworkers to look on in awe at their accomplishments. I also think it’s a subtle way of them saying “Don’t tick me off, or I can easily run you down without the use of a car.”

So that brings me to asking you “What do you do with your awards and race mementos?” I’d love to get some tips on how to properly display them in both a proper, yet space sensitive manner. These items may be disposable to some, but to many I believe they are held in the esteem that they deserve.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Great Spillway Classic Trail Run: The 2012 Recap

The past couple months have found me neglecting my weekend racing. As a result, I forgot what it’s like to go to bed early on a Saturday night to allow for an early wake up on race day Sunday. This past Saturday was no different, with last minute calls to action for social obligations keeping me out way past my bedtime. However, I had the foresight to register for the 2012 Great Spillway Classic Trail Run weeks ago because I knew I wanted to run this race. All I choose to remember is that 6:45am came very early Sunday morning, and my alarm (along with the requested text message reminders from early rising friends) was not a welcome interruption to my slumber.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bad Eggs –Voting Now Open!

Normally blatant panhandling to the masses via blog would be totally against my style, but here I am. I’ll say in advance, your support is appreciated.

For the past three years, I have run the Walt Disneyworld Goofy Challenge. That’s the half marathon on Saturday and the full marathon on Sunday. There’s even been an instance or two where I did the 5K on Friday as well. Alas, its time to register for the 2013 installment and I have realized … Disney races aren’t cheap. Trust me, for what they are, the experience is worth every penny. Nevertheless, I’m in a place where I have to decide if I want to go for four years in a row. It’s the 20th anniversary of the full marathon in Walt Disneyworld, and RunDisney has a bunch of special events planned for the anniversary, a new anniversary medal, a new and improved course, and even more on-course entertainment at the 20th mile marker. Its giving me more and more reason to HAVE to be there.

So, here’s my plea … Threadless.com ran a t-shirt design contest throughout June and the theme was Disney Villains. They gave a set of villains to choose from, and you design a shirt utilizing one, some or all of them. There’s a cash prize, so I decided to work on a concept with a graphic designer friend for entry. At long last, CLICK HERE to see what we came up with.

Please go to the page before July 16th, make an account (they don’t spam expect for cool shirt design releases once or twice a week), and rate it a “5” with a fun comment. Should we win, we’re splitting the cash prize and I’m using my half to do the Walt Disneyworld Marathon / Goofy Challenge the right way.

And while you’re at it, the running best friend who’s also a graphic designer by trade (for the sake of our friendship, we didn’t work together) did a t-shirt featuring Captain Hook. Feel free to show her some love as well with her design. She’s contemplating making the Walt Disneyworld Marathon her second race at that distance, and one of us winning would help me seal the deal. Check her out by CLICKING HERE.

Thanks for the CYJ Support! I’ll keep you posted on the results in the comments of this blog below.