The race medal is a booming business.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal story, race medals are “competitive” currency in the world of road races. Whether you finish first or last, you can get a medal at many (if not most) road races around the country. Many runners pick races based on the bling.
But once the race is done and the medal is draped around your neck—what’s next?
A lot of runners have a plan on what they do with medals, but many don’t know. Here are some common ideas:
For those who love medals and the hard work they represent, it only makes sense to find a way to show them off in your house. Many come up with a DIY project to display their medals. There are also businesses, like SportHooks that offer hangers designed specifically for race medals.
In 2005, Medals4Mettle was founded in Indianapolis by Steve Isenberg, a surgeon and longtime runner who started giving his race medals to patients needing a morale boost. More than 10 years later, the all-volunteer charity has given more than 50,000 race medals to children and adults fighting debilitating illnesses. While runDisney medals are always a hit, the sheer variety and creativity behind race medals these days have proven popular with Medals4Mettle recipients.
The organization collects marathon, half-marathon and triathlon medals “that have been earned” (no surplus stashes from races are accepted). Volunteers put new ribbons on the donated medals and pass them out at hospitals around the world. For more information or to find out how to donate your medals or money, visit medals4mettle.org.
While some races offer race medals that double as a practical tool (think bottle openers), you can channel your inner arts-and-crafts talents to turn your medals into something more useful. Many runners take a hot glue gun and affix a magnet to the back of medals and throw them on the fridge. You can attach a hook to a medal to make a Christmas ornament. Or, if it’s a flat medal, you can glue cork to the back of it and make it a coaster for your coffee table.
Find a child!
Want to make the day of a child? There are often many hanging around the finish line of races waiting for mom or dad to finish up. If medals aren’t your thing, giving one to a child is a small act that will give them a big thrill. Try it!