Just visualise this: you put in a tremendous amount of effort, dedication, and sweat and tears in your training for an extended period of time, but there is nothing issued to you to serve as a recognition of your effort. How would you feel?
Whether it is earned upon completing a fun run, full marathon or ultramarathon, every finisher medal paints a story. A medal that signifies either a tale of victory or a frightening encounter is more than just a finely crafted metal alloy.
In the world of running, a finisher medal has become such a vital symbol of achievement that some runners get motivated and energised when they complete a brutal race. In most instances, the distance covered truly matters. The longer the race is, the more important a finisher medal becomes.
Is receiving a finisher medal really that significant? Why, after the race, runners are always spotted taking tonnes of pictures of themselves hanging medals around their necks? You will never find a running event where only the top three runners are the only ones who take pictures of their accomplishments. When you cross the finish line in any running event, you are not just a finisher, you are a conqueror of your mind.
They are numerous reasons why runners sign themselves up for a race. Whether or not it is their first 5K, first 10K, first half marathon or first full marathon, they get their legs moving for one or more of these causes:
- They run because it is a new year’s resolution to practise a healthier lifestyle.
- They run because it is a challenge from their family or friends.
- They run because they are persistently trying to beat their personal best.
At the end of the day, whether or not they have accomplished their core mission, they are entitled to receive something because they have already pumped out their best efforts.
A Driving Force
Completing a race with a new personal best is more than just a set of figures to any athlete. With a triumphant achievement that requires so much intensity and perseverance, even though he or she is not the fastest runner, having a finisher medal can serve as a physical memento of the big accomplishment in one of his or her journey as a runner.
The Collection Keeps Expanding
There will always be returning participants in a running event. They are sometimes derided for the identical kinds of reasons. Some runners present themselves at the same event every year without fail. Maybe, finishing one, five or ten years of the same race is a memorable and unique achievement to them. Thus, collecting the finisher medals also becomes a vital purpose every year.
A Constant Reminder of Your Present and Future Potential
Obviously, not all runners participate in an event for the sake of purely obtaining the medal. Some runners show up just for the satisfaction of a good time on the clock. Many people think of the medal as a reminder of their inner conviction to their bodies after months of intensive training and the possibilities.
A finisher medal acknowledges you for the self-discipline you mustered and the grit you exhibited during your hard training sessions. When everything does not go according to plan during the race, such as unexpected weather, a finisher medal recognises you for your persistence to keep running until you reach the finish line.
And when you finally cross the finish line, a volunteer offers to drape the medal on your neck. Before long, there you are, sipping a refreshing drink while holding the medal and smiling like a fool for saying to yourself, “I am a finisher.”
A Run Down Memory Lane
Looking backwards, finisher medals are like storage drives. Each time you complete a race, whether it is a good or bad one, finisher medals help you recall fine details such as leg cramps, uneasy stomach, painful blisters, or new objectives during your race. Even though you may not remember all of those minor details, you will almost certainly remember the emotions you felt when you made your way from flag-off to the finish line.
Final 2¢: Moving Forward
Broadly speaking, a finisher medal is nothing more than a piece of glory that we all share as one. Having the medal placed around your neck, we share a mutual experience and a joint achievement. Whether it is a 5K fun run or a competitive ultramarathon, we are not only finishers because we completed the course from start to finish, but also, we are winners because we have successfully proven to ourselves that we have beaten the limits that we have set ourselves before the race.
We do that as one community, symbolised by the medal we rightfully earn when we complete the race.