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Many new runners come from a mindset where everyone gets a medal and it's good enough

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Comments

  • #2


    RJM85 wrote: »
    Anyone *could* do it. But it takes a certain amount of determination / 'get up and go' to actually do it. Therein lies the achievement, and in an era of ever increasing obesity related diseases etc is that not something to be celebrated?

    Does 6 months training for an event undo years of an unhealthy lifestyle though?

    People seem to reel off the health benefits as a justification of the everyone is a winner mentality but for me short term changes will not undo a lifetime of unhealthy habits. This is why we need to be encouraging improved standards in the mid pack. People will be forced to make active lifestyle choices on a consistent basis to achieve these goals.

    I know plenty of runners who rack up multiple marathons week in and week out with the time being irrelevant to them yet their nutrition, alcohol consumption and lifestyle would shock people who have the misconception that they must be fit as a fiddle doing all them marathons. I would prefer to see someone sit down and think right if I am going to hit my target I am going to have to do X and cut down on Y and try to eat/drink more of Z. These are the decisions that will combat the health issues in modern society. Exercise is a great tool for promoting healthy living but it is not the sole determinant

    This might be seen as elitist but its not. I would be more impressed with someone improving a 4 hour marathon by 1 second each time than I would seeing someone run a 2.50 when I know they have 2.45 potential but didn't realize it because of drink/takeaways or what ever other factor you want to substitute in


  • #2


    Ecoli, I agree on a lot of the points you make there. I'd make a guess though that the type of multi-marathoner you're referring to would be in an infinitely worse state of wellbeing if they didn't have the marathon running as another of the things in their lives they do to the extreme.

    You spoke a bit earlier about motivation theory and intrinsic versus extrinsic rewards. I studied this for a bit during a college module, and it's sort of been proven that ultimately, extrinsic rewards only have limited value, and that in order to truly reach one's potential, intrinsic motivation is way more important. Look at the likes of Bolt. The extrinsic rewards are huge over the past couple of years, money, Olympic medals, WC golds, legend status, but you can see it in him, he's lacking motivation, these rewards are no longer enough for him to push himself out of his relative comfort zone. So, does he not deserve his Olympic and WC gold medal?

    Back in the land of the mere mortal, yes the medal/sweaty bib/certificate and even prize money for winning have a certain amount of relevance, but if a runner is relying on those extrinsic rewards, they'll only go so far. As you say ecoli, you can be more impressed with the person who puts absolutely everything into improving from a 4:00 to 3:55 than the guy who turns up at practically every race in the country, runs within his comfort zone to win and takes the plaudits. Do you really think the multiple winners of the races right around the country are really motivated by a medal? A medal is only a symbol, money is a means to living the life you want to live. Motivation to be the best you can possibly be at something is something else entirely. But, how many people are there that will take that to the utmost level? Rob Heffernan, Catriona McKiernan, Krusty/Enduro/(please insert your own if you're taking offence) in our own ranks here maybe? Can we even argue that a lot of our elite runners are now of the opinion that representing Ireland is good enough?

    At the end of the day, for 99% of us, running is a hobby, maybe a very serious hobby, but a hobby nonetheless. We've other commitments; family, school, college, children, jobs, whatever. If 14,000 people take to the streets of Dublin in October, most of them will have made some sacrifices in their lives to be there. Some will be doing the very very best they can do, and that may be a 3:55 marathon. Some will run entirely within their comfort zones and run 2:30. Others will be there to enjoy the social aspect of it, but in doing so, will have a positive impact on their own health and wellbeing. We can't objectively dissect who did or didn't deserve to get a physical memento of that race, and whose relative performance was better. A medal is a symbol, nothing more.


  • #2


    I think theres some pretty unfair replies here towards some runners that will never finish in the top3 or 3000 even. if you don't want a medal, then fine but for the majority of participants the medal is a tangible reminder, long after the finish, of the weeks and months of training, pain and sacrifice that they and for many of them, their families have gone through to get to the finish line.

    Give the top 3 a different medal if it is so important, I assume they already get some crystal and a cheque of some sort, they have their photo taken on a podium and they're changed, showered and in some form of sponsors reception before most of us reach half way. I think all of that makes them pretty special.

    Every finisher has a right to be proud of the medal that they earned, and just because your mile is faster than someone else's mile doesn't give you the right to belittle the others achievement.


  • #2


    Oops69 wrote: »
    I think this thread should be closed , it's revealing some deep rooted insecurities and low self esteem of some posters

    Close the thread? What a crazy suggestion. This is sounding like another accusation of "elitism". Are you that sensitive to people's opinions that medals are for podium placers only, and that athletics/running is a sport, not merely an exercise tool? What is wrong with people posting opinions that participation should not be celebrated? No other sport does such a thing.

    To be honest, if the above is elitism, then I'm proud to call myself an elitist, and I'm sure most here would be the same.
    RJM85 wrote: »
    Anyone *could* do it. But it takes a certain amount of determination / 'get up and go' to actually do it. Therein lies the achievement, and in an era of ever increasing obesity related diseases etc is that not something to be celebrated?

    Absolutely not. Just because people nowadays can't control their intake of saturated fat/ sugar/ sodium and are too lazy to walk 400m to the shops, does not mean that the bar of achievement should be lowered. A good time in the 80s is the same as a good time now.


  • #2


    For the record my previous references have nothing to do with the top 3 get medals only idea that some posters have brought up. My reference is about self development and increasing mid pack standards and having races actually focus on these runners to actually acknowledge the events as a sports event.

    I have no problem with people getting medals for finishing but I think there does need to be some sort of structure which rewards people who after setting a bench mark in their first race then continue down the path of self improvement.

    @Killian I agree with your last point somewhat in the way that people should be awarded for the work they put in. Shouldn't there be some sort of distinction between the likes of those who put in the hard work and aim to improve themselves compared to someone who got away with finishing despite not training for the event or making any effort to improve their lifestyle in order to be able to fulfil their potential (not ultimate but just potential at that given time)

    @RunForestRun - I agree with you that external motivation is only part of it and that ultimately its down to the individual but I do think that as a sport some sort of hierarchy can help motivate people to make even the smallest changes to lifestyle for the better.
    Arbitrary barriers are a huge driving factor for many people here (Sub 2.45, sub 3, sub 3.30 etc) so it stands to reason that having visible arbitrary barriers is a way of highlighting this to the general race participant. Kids see something they don't have and want it and adults aren't much better. For the sake of the colour of a tshirt (just an example green for sub 3 and blue for sub 3.30) could be the driving factor for someone to give up drink for an extra week or two in the build up to the race or even the choice to forgo kebab on a saturday night so ultimately little things like this could make a difference to lifestyles without alienating anyone.

    I agree with Chivito550 we shouldn't lower the bar simply because the general public are leading on a whole more unhealthy lifestyles. Standards are standards for that reason,to expect people to respect themselves enough to look after themselves


  • #2


    Perhaps its wrong to call what is currently awarded 'a medal', it is more a memento for finishing the event. As everyone gets one, it isn't really that special but if it is important, it is gauged with the emotional attachment that each individual puts on it.

    The elites get their special reward with their cut crystal, an opportunity to win a car or their prize money. I'm not going to win any of those, but my medal / memento is just as special to me.


  • #2


    I would be in favour of more categories eg top 3 at each year of birth/ weight limit/county/gender etc.
    eg 3rd 1978 75kg Dublin male.
    this way a lot of people could get recognition while maintaining a competitive spirit.


  • #2


    ecoli wrote: »
    @Killian I agree with your last point somewhat in the way that people should be awarded for the work they put in. Shouldn't there be some sort of distinction between the likes of those who put in the hard work and aim to improve themselves compared to someone who got away with finishing despite not training for the event or making any effort to improve their lifestyle in order to be able to fulfil their potential (not ultimate but just potential at that given time)

    I think that is a great point, and possibly the crux of the matter. To me the distinction lies in the head of the individual involved.

    There was a recent discussion on a similar vein about the AG racing at the World Championships in London and the toys just went out of the pram from all sides.

    Regardless of how or why, whether you started 10 years ago, a lifetime or 2 weeks ago (ingnoring the intrinsic risks for a moment) the fact that you are doing some form of exercise has to be applauded.

    IMO the mentality of being a 'runner' as opposed to 'running' develops with time.

    For many 'running' means you can get a bit of exercise, lose a bit of weight, feel good about yourself (mentally and physically) and eat the treats that you like.

    A 'runner' will have a plan, a race goal, a year planned out ahead, of course they'll feel good about themselve but are potentially more likely to be harsh on themselves because of a missed goal, that 5 secs that meant you didn't get the target time, comfortable with a diet etc etc.

    Let it develop. Who cares if there is a group who are motivated by things different to you? You're all individual. Whether you are motivated by a medal, a T-shirt or a PB should make no difference.

    The fact that people are participating should be celebrated.


  • #2


    Shouldn't there be some sort of distinction between the likes of those who put in the hard work and aim to improve themselves compared to someone who got away with finishing despite not training for the event or making any effort to improve their lifestyle in order to be able to fulfil their potential (not ultimate but just potential at that given time)

    I'm not sure what is meant by "getting away with finishing". If you ran the entire course and crossed the finish line, you finished. Finishing a marathon is an achievement that deserves recognition. You can't do it with at least some level of discipline and training, and 99% of Americans will never run one. How about we celebrate the 1% who do.

    Last I checked, everyone who meets high school graduation requirements receives a diploma. The valedictorian gets to make a speech and likely a scholarship somewhere. If you finished last in your class, your diploma still counts. Should we try to disqualify students who "got away with" graduating even though they didn't study as hard as they could have?

    The slowing of marathon finish times is not an example of standards being lowered. Its due to more people running them. In the end, that's good for us all.


  • #2


    [Finishing a marathon is an achievement that deserves recognition. You can't do it with at least some level of discipline and training

    Not really:
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055736781


  • #2


    Chivito550 wrote: »
    What is wrong with people posting opinions that participation should not be celebrated? No other sport does such a thing.

    Is this serious or tongue in cheek? Almost every other sport celebrates participation at a certain level. There are a huge amount of cycling sportives and finishers medals / t-shirts for triathlon for example...


  • #2


    menoscemo wrote: »

    I was looking for that as I wrote my last post :D


  • #2


    1st time reading that, utterly priceless!


  • #2


    Keep your hands off my token lump of shaped metal on a ribbon that I get given for finishing a marathon. I have a good collection of similar lumps of metal and they are handy easy to store, or display if I feel like doing so, and provide good memories of different events that I've done.

    Stop calling them medals if it makes people feel better, but I much prefer that lump of metal than whatever other junk they stick in the goody bags at the finish. Got plenty of tshirts and they are a great "free" source of tops for running in, but they are not my memorabilia items.


  • #2


    I'm not sure what motivates anyone else but I do it for the girls.

    Chicks dig an athlete.


  • #2


    I feel sympathy for ambitious runners who are stuck with doing the same events as rank amateurs like me, unlike in sports that separate mass participation events and "real" races. I cycled the Tour of Waterford in August, and anyone who asked me about it afterwards got to hear that it had been an enjoyable day out with lovely scenery and good company and nice coffee and cake. Once I tell people it wasn't a race, they stop giving me undeserved superhero kudos and I can stop being embarassed by it. I was proud of my little sister, as it was her first 100-miler, but not of myself: I know full well that most people can cycle 100 miles without any training if they don't rush, and I hadn't rushed all that much. Just as most people can walk a marathon even if they can't jog a mile.
    ecoli wrote: »
    Does 6 months training for an event undo years of an unhealthy lifestyle though?
    People seem to reel off the health benefits as a justification of the everyone is a winner mentality but for me short term changes will not undo a lifetime of unhealthy habits. This is why we need to be encouraging improved standards in the mid pack. People will be forced to make active lifestyle choices on a consistent basis to achieve these goals.

    Well, I'd say six months is a good start - 3 months is enough to change an unhealthy habit permanently - but I completely agree that you haven't done yourself any favours if you tick the marathon off your bucket list and drop out of running again after one. The risk of people dropping out after a "big" event might be even higher, though, if they really have pulled out all the stops and made very radical, short-term changes to their diet and lifestyle in order to meet a specific target time and get a reward that comes with bragging rights (however pathetic!) like a red T-shirt for sub 4:00 finishers. I think it would be the novices who would get obsessed with these status symbols.

    The best "reward" I can think of that would successfully motivate MOP runners to improve their times without disheartening BOP joggers and walkers too much ("you didn't do a real marathon and get a pink T-shirt") would be using times as qualification criteria for other, select, events. Probably impractical, though, since the big marathons that people want to do are big because they are open to a wide range of abilities and not select.

    I've just started training for my first marathon (a local one on 13 April, haven't registered for it yet) and this thread has given me a good opportunity to reflect on my motivation. It also prompted me to go and read a few reports from people who have done it before to see what motivated them and how they got on. This is what I've come up with so far:

    1) Training towards an event will give my running structure, stop me running junk miles or missing too many miles. By extension, that sense of being in a routine will carry over to other aspects of my life and stop me wasting days (even really dreary winter ones) or losing track of my diet.
    2) Running a hilly marathon in April (about 700 m total climbing) ties in well with my short term goals - three hill runs in November and December.
    3) The marathon will be scenic, with panoramic views from the tops of the hills in the first half, and lots of running on gravel paths and some grass. Plus two massive Baroque churches and a little pilgrim's chapel on the two hills. In the second half, the fountains in all the villages we go through will be decorated for Easter, so there will be lots of colour everywhere even if the weather is grey.
    4) With only around 300 people doing the event, it will be easy to identify faces from the start at other points through the race and at the finish. I have no idea how people chat while running up hills, but the various blog posts from people who have done the event before suggest that it's actually quite sociable. And there shouldn't be long queues for tea or toilets.
    5) I get a medal if I finish - this is not really an incentive for me, because I think my time will probably be far from impressive even if I train conscientiously, so the medal will be a bit of an embarassment and will wander straight to the bottom of a drawer. Maybe I can pawn it off on my niece. However, I would be delighted to accept the other goodies:
    - a cert with my time (plus I'll have a file with my HRM data for future reference)
    - a longsleeved technical running top
    - a souvenir beer mug (handed to me full to the brim of apple juice diluted with fizzy water)
    - a bag of fruit
    - free entry to the thermal baths where we finish

    So before I even start thinking about a "target", I can see two things:

    1. I'm stiff after jogging 15 km today, slowly. The idea of running nearly three times as far is scary.

    2. I want to do it.

    In my head, doing it right means training so I can run or jog all of it, but apparently the 4:15 pacer told people to walk on the steep 1 in 5 grades :confused:


  • #2


    I feel sympathy for ambitious runners who are stuck with doing the same events as rank amateurs like me, unlike in sports that separate mass participation events and "real" races. I cycled the Tour of Waterford in August, and anyone who asked me about it afterwards got to hear that it had been an enjoyable day out with lovely scenery and good company and nice coffee and cake. Once I tell people it wasn't a race, they stop giving me undeserved superhero kudos and I can stop being embarassed by it. I was proud of my little sister, as it was her first 100-miler, but not of myself: I know full well that most people can cycle 100 miles without any training if they don't rush, and I hadn't rushed all that much. Just as most people can walk a marathon even if they can't jog a mile.



    Well, I'd say six months is a good start - 3 months is enough to change an unhealthy habit permanently - but I completely agree that you haven't done yourself any favours if you tick the marathon off your bucket list and drop out of running again after one. The risk of people dropping out after a "big" event might be even higher, though, if they really have pulled out all the stops and made very radical, short-term changes to their diet and lifestyle in order to meet a specific target time and get a reward that comes with bragging rights (however pathetic!) like a red T-shirt for sub 4:00 finishers. I think it would be the novices who would get obsessed with these status symbols.

    The best "reward" I can think of that would successfully motivate MOP runners to improve their times without disheartening BOP joggers and walkers too much ("you didn't do a real marathon and get a pink T-shirt") would be using times as qualification criteria for other, select, events. Probably impractical, though, since the big marathons that people want to do are big because they are open to a wide range of abilities and not select.

    I've just started training for my first marathon (a local one on 13 April, haven't registered for it yet) and this thread has given me a good opportunity to reflect on my motivation. It also prompted me to go and read a few reports from people who have done it before to see what motivated them and how they got on. This is what I've come up with so far:

    1) Training towards an event will give my running structure, stop me running junk miles or missing too many miles. By extension, that sense of being in a routine will carry over to other aspects of my life and stop me wasting days (even really dreary winter ones) or losing track of my diet.
    2) Running a hilly marathon in April (about 700 m total climbing) ties in well with my short term goals - three hill runs in November and December.
    3) The marathon will be scenic, with panoramic views from the tops of the hills in the first half, and lots of running on gravel paths and some grass. Plus two massive Baroque churches and a little pilgrim's chapel on the two hills. In the second half, the fountains in all the villages we go through will be decorated for Easter, so there will be lots of colour everywhere even if the weather is grey.
    4) With only around 300 people doing the event, it will be easy to identify faces from the start at other points through the race and at the finish. I have no idea how people chat while running up hills, but the various blog posts from people who have done the event before suggest that it's actually quite sociable. And there shouldn't be long queues for tea or toilets.
    5) I get a medal if I finish - this is not really an incentive for me, because I think my time will probably be far from impressive even if I train conscientiously, so the medal will be a bit of an embarassment and will wander straight to the bottom of a drawer. Maybe I can pawn it off on my niece. However, I would be delighted to accept the other goodies:
    - a cert with my time (plus I'll have a file with my HRM data for future reference)
    - a longsleeved technical running top
    - a souvenir beer mug (handed to me full to the brim of apple juice diluted with fizzy water)
    - a bag of fruit
    - free entry to the thermal baths where we finish

    So before I even start thinking about a "target", I can see two things:

    1. I'm stiff after jogging 15 km today, slowly. The idea of running nearly three times as far is scary.

    2. I want to do it.

    In my head, doing it right means training so I can run or jog all of it, but apparently the 4:15 pacer told people to walk on the steep 1 in 5 grades :confused:


    sounds like a lovely race...a beer mug full of apple juice though?? its obviously not here in ireland?


  • #2


    There is definitely merit in having some additional motivational awards handed out to encourage people to run faster/ harder.

    But those kinds of motivations are there already, except people may not know about them:
    For the guy finishing in 4th place it is obviously that he could be getting a prize next time out. For someone running 2:46 in London Marathon it is that they could get to start in the championship start right behind the elites if they went a minute quicker, or for the 3:06 runners it is the chance to get in the GFA start with a minute quicker.


  • #2


    At the risk of stating the obvious and sounding all 'I'm OK, you're OK, we're ALL OK', I think different people value different things and liking trappings / extras doesn't necessarily mean that's all you're running for.

    I have a friend who's been running a while with our Fit 4 Life group, so she runs pretty regularly. She's done loads of parkruns, and her times are coming down, and that's important to her. With all the parkruns, she's probably done more 5ks than a lot of runners, and she's run club races (which are actually faster and more daunting to a lot of people than mass participation events), but just by chance she's never done a race with a souvenir t-shirt, so now she really wants one (& why not!)

    I, on the other hand, have loads of t-shirts now and I like them well enough but get annoyed that they never fit! I don't mind about medals one way or another, but the few times I've been on a club team / finished in the top 3 in a smaller race, I've been delighted with my medal or trophy and definitely like to have it as a memento. And then there are the unusual things you treasure because you don't get them often - I won a 'Bram' at a Dracula race a few years ago; it's a specially struck medal for prizewinners with Bram Stoker's face on it. I love it, because it was the first time I ever placed in a race AND I love Bram Stoker. I also love my Ballycotton 10 mug, because I use it all the time & it's a nice different memento.

    Running a good race and getting a PB / good finishing position is more important to me than anything else I get at the finish, but the things I mentioned above are nice little extras. (Actually, as an attention hog, i probably like the going up to collect a prize more than the prize itself!)

    Anyway, it would be easy to think I now don't care about finishers medals becuse I've gone beyond them by to trying to PB etc etc, but I don't think that's true, I think it's personal taste; my dad, who ran in the 80s and was a better runner than me, LOVES finishers medals & plaques. He's kept all his, and whenever I finish a race he wants to see the medal, so even though he was running at a more competitive era, and cared about his times he also loved medals. And I know a multi-marathoner who always brings his particularly nice medals down to the club to show us, so he likes them too, obviously.

    So what I'm saying is, we're ALL ok!


  • #2


    The slowing of marathon finish times is not an example of standards being lowered. Its due to more people running them. In the end, that's good for us all.

    I don't disagree with your post at all, except I think in Ireland times HAVE slowed - even winning times. No Irish elites today are running the times runners like Gerry Kiernan and Dick Hooper ran (or are they? I could be wrong). That's why they have Marathon Mission, to try to improve the times and increase strength in depth.


  • #2


    Rantan wrote: »
    sounds like a lovely race...a beer mug full of apple juice though?? its obviously not here in ireland?

    It's in Northern Bavaria, in what the local tourist office likes to call "God's Garden". Staffelstein is a little town with 11 000 people and 10 breweries, so that explains the brewery sponsorship. It's half an hour on a local train for me, but it's accessible enough from Ireland even though it isn't near an airport. It's on the Munich-Berlin rail axis, and the fast trains stop one stop away in Lichtenfels. You can enter here if you fancy it.


  • #2


    It's in Northern Bavaria, in what the local tourist office likes to call "God's Garden". Staffelstein is a little town with 11 000 people and 10 breweries, so that explains the brewery sponsorship. It's half an hour on a local train for me, but it's accessible enough from Ireland even though it isn't near an airport. It's on the Munich-Berlin rail axis, and the fast trains stop one stop away in Lichtenfels. You can enter here if you fancy it.

    been looking for a new spring marathon to replace Kildare and Cork,,,serious contender therre!
    interersting to see how cheap it is compared with here..


  • #2


    I don't have a problem with a medal/memento for completing a marathon. It's a serious achievement for the vast majority of competitors. However, getting medals for participation in a 10k or 10milers or even half marathons is a joke.


  • #2


    Gambas wrote: »
    I don't have a problem with a medal/memento for completing a marathon. It's a serious achievement for the vast majority of competitors. However, getting medals for participation in a 10k or 10milers or even half marathons is a joke.

    I think that's a bit harsh. People like different things. Some people like to do races in different places and have the medals as souvenirs - that's something the Rock,n,Roll series really plays into as you can even buy a stand to hang your medals from different cities on - and some people like to have medals from their own local race / club. People know finishers' medals aren't prizes - they're just mementos. Some people collect euro coins from different countries, some people like amassing finishers' medals, I like tasting local beers when I'm on holidays ... each to their own.

    And as has been said before on many threads like this, since very few posters on A/R Boards are liked to be sent to Rio in a few years, it really is a case of people castigating other people for not doing their hobby right ...


  • #2


    I'M running over 30yrs , now run purely for enjoyment it' one of the few things I really can't do without , looking forward to the Snowdon marathon in October planning on a sub 4hr , regardless of what time I eventualy get , if I finish the course I will receive a slate coaster [ beermat thing ??] not a medal so looking forward to hopefully seeing one on my coffee table in early November , and hoping I get a set of four would be nice too!


  • #2


    HelenAnne wrote: »
    I think that's a bit harsh. People like different things. Some people like to do races in different places and have the medals as souvenirs - that's something the Rock,n,Roll series really plays into as you can even buy a stand to hang your medals from different cities on - and some people like to have medals from their own local race / club. People know finishers' medals aren't prizes - they're just mementos. Some people collect euro coins from different countries, some people like amassing finishers' medals, I like tasting local beers when I'm on holidays ... each to their own.

    And as has been said before on many threads like this, since very few posters on A/R Boards are liked to be sent to Rio in a few years, it really is a case of people castigating other people for not doing their hobby right ...

    I've no problem with souvenirs, but feel that they should be an added extra for those that want/value them. I've a bottom of a wardrobe full of garish tech tops too that I'll almost certainly never wear and would have preferred not to have had to pay for.

    And lest I get criticised for being being too unsentimental, I keep the results of every race I run in pdf form. :)


  • #2


    *tiptoes in*

    I know this post doesnt count for much, given how advanced everyone here is in the running world and I'm such a newbie, but I just scanned the thread and felt the urge to reply.

    I can understand why elite runners would like medals reserved for 1, 2, 3. I wouldn't even begin to understand the amount of training, nutrition, concentration and hard work went in to preparing for a marathon. The focus it takes to get your body up to perform at its personal best so you can finish quicker than as many other competitors as possible and I absolutely understand how and why you would view it as competitively as you do...because thats what it is at the end of the day.

    I started running in January. I had it in my head that I was going to run the flora mini marathon. Ive never done it before. So I did my version of training. I did the couch to 5k and when I started I couldn't even run for a minute. But the mini marathon was my focus. So I kept at it. I know its not the heavy training schedule the elite runners put into it...but I slogged my guts out. I went out in rain, frost, snow and gave myself no excuses whatsoever.

    When I crossed the finish line I didnt finish first lol...I finished 7692nd. I took that medal because I blooming earned it. Not everyone participates just for the craic. I didnt. Although i wasnt taking it as seriously as the elite runners, i did take it seriously and I was going out that day to do my absolute best to finish as high up as I could. I didnt care about anyone else taking part, whether the people who rocked up hungover got a medal for finishing a race I'd worked towards for months...I was just delighted to have finished.

    That medal is the one and only medal I've ever received. ..note I said received and not won. I know I didn't win it, but I absolutely earned it.

    Ive kept up the running and have an aim for next year to get in with the elite runners. It takes me an hour to run 9k at the moment. ..the winner finished last year in 35 mins (I think)...so I do have a focus to reduce my time as much as I can. Again I know im only new to all this and im sure the mini marathon is laughable to most and I dont mean to make it an emotive issue...but I did earn that medal!


  • #2


    *tiptoes in*

    I know this post doesnt count for much, given how advanced everyone here is in the running world and I'm such a newbie, but I just scanned the thread and felt the urge to reply.

    I can understand why elite runners would like medals reserved for 1, 2, 3. I wouldn't even begin to understand the amount of training, nutrition, concentration and hard work went in to preparing for a marathon. The focus it takes to get your body up to perform at its personal best so you can finish quicker than as many other competitors as possible and I absolutely understand how and why you would view it as competitively as you do...because thats what it is at the end of the day.

    I started running in January. I had it in my head that I was going to run the flora mini marathon. Ive never done it before. So I did my version of training. I did the couch to 5k and when I started I couldn't even run for a minute. But the mini marathon was my focus. So I kept at it. I know its not the heavy training schedule the elite runners put into it...but I slogged my guts out. I went out in rain, frost, snow and gave myself no excuses whatsoever.

    When I crossed the finish line I didnt finish first lol...I finished 7692nd. I took that medal because I blooming earned it. Not everyone participates just for the craic. I didnt. Although i wasnt taking it as seriously as the elite runners, i did take it seriously and I was going out that day to do my absolute best to finish as high up as I could. I didnt care about anyone else taking part, whether the people who rocked up hungover got a medal for finishing a race I'd worked towards for months...I was just delighted to have finished.

    That medal is the one and only medal I've ever received. ..note I said received and not won. I know I didn't win it, but I absolutely earned it.

    Ive kept up the running and have an aim for next year to get in with the elite runners. It takes me an hour to run 9k at the moment. ..the winner finished last year in 35 mins (I think)...so I do have a focus to reduce my time as much as I can. Again I know im only new to all this and im sure the mini marathon is laughable to most and I dont mean to make it an emotive issue...but I did earn that medal!

    Good post. Congrats on finishing the MM- I wouldn't laugh at anyone who broke through their own personal comfort zone and took on a challenge. Just to put things into context- there isn't one poster on this forum who would be classed as "elite" in the grand scheme of things. One of the best thing about running is you can always strive to chase the next person faster than you (and unless your name is Bekele or Gebrselassie there is always a "next person") I'd suggest reading some of the logs (particularly ClaraLara's ) for a really good picture of what is possible. Good luck on your journey


  • #2


    *tiptoes in*

    I know this post doesnt count for much, given how advanced everyone here is in the running world and I'm such a newbie, but I just scanned the thread and felt the urge to reply.

    I can understand why elite runners would like medals reserved for 1, 2, 3. I wouldn't even begin to understand the amount of training, nutrition, concentration and hard work went in to preparing for a marathon. The focus it takes to get your body up to perform at its personal best so you can finish quicker than as many other competitors as possible and I absolutely understand how and why you would view it as competitively as you do...because thats what it is at the end of the day.

    I started running in January. I had it in my head that I was going to run the flora mini marathon. Ive never done it before. So I did my version of training. I did the couch to 5k and when I started I couldn't even run for a minute. But the mini marathon was my focus. So I kept at it. I know its not the heavy training schedule the elite runners put into it...but I slogged my guts out. I went out in rain, frost, snow and gave myself no excuses whatsoever.

    When I crossed the finish line I didnt finish first lol...I finished 7692nd. I took that medal because I blooming earned it. Not everyone participates just for the craic. I didnt. Although i wasnt taking it as seriously as the elite runners, i did take it seriously and I was going out that day to do my absolute best to finish as high up as I could. I didnt care about anyone else taking part, whether the people who rocked up hungover got a medal for finishing a race I'd worked towards for months...I was just delighted to have finished.

    That medal is the one and only medal I've ever received. ..note I said received and not won. I know I didn't win it, but I absolutely earned it.

    Ive kept up the running and have an aim for next year to get in with the elite runners. It takes me an hour to run 9k at the moment. ..the winner finished last year in 35 mins (I think)...so I do have a focus to reduce my time as much as I can. Again I know im only new to all this and im sure the mini marathon is laughable to most and I dont mean to make it an emotive issue...but I did earn that medal!

    Well done on your Mini Marathon! That's what got me into running too! I did it for the first time in 2010 and it took me about an hour and a half, jogging all the way, and by this year I finally had the sub-45 time to start in the front pen. Like you, I felt it was all the more of an achievement as I didn't start at that speed. And you definitely earned your medal in the heat this year!

    Also, don't feel that everyone here is way more knowledgeable than you. I used to think that - everyone sounded so confident and experienced and I felt that everyone else was an expert and I was just jogging along and didn't have any expertise. But really, we all love running and we are all just sharing our own experiences. Things you've learned in training or I've learned in training are just as valuable and useful to others as things that the faster runners can share.

    Hope you are still enjoying running!


  • #2


    Gambas wrote: »
    However, getting medals for participation in ........even half marathons is a joke.

    After what we ran through on the Wicklow Way Trail this year every competitor deserved more than a bloody medal ! Actually, we did, we got a rather cool hand made mug. I've two now in the house from which I proudly drink from and it will always remind of that crazy day.

    Do I care that other people think I deserved nothing, not an iota.

    Having said that, very few races I run you get anything for competing anyway and I don't really care about that either.


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