Howdy folks! I’m back from my holiday, a little bruised from adventuring up and down mountains, but thoroughly relaxed and excited to share some stories with you all. Until then I wanted to share this little treat with you…
While I was in Wales and on an enforced mobile phone/internet rationing programme it was brought to my attention (via the joys of Facebook) that I’ve had an article published on the Guardian’s running blog. It was submitted a couple of weeks previous during the outbreak of marathon fever, and so I wasn’t expecting it to appear quite so soon. But there you have it – my thoughts on the importance of goody bags at races.
Do have a read and leave a comment with your best/worst goody bag.
What I was unable to include in the article was a rundown of my own medals/memorabilia and so I’ve decided to give readers of this blog a sneak peek at the winners of my very own Souvenir Awards (is that a bit oxymoronic? Ho hum… Here it goes…)
Most impressive in the workplace
It’s round, it’s on red ribbon, it’s a kind of bronzed colour, it’s weighty and pretty nice quality… it’s the medal from the awful 2011 Cardiff Half Marathon and it ticks all of the traditional boxes for a good medal – great for showing off to work colleagues. It wins a lot of points for being race specific, not off the peg tat, and for having a castle on it.
Most thoughtful souvenir
This souvenir gets a specific shout out in the Guardian article because it’s just so lovely. A coaster made of Welsh slate, given out by the Wye Valley Runners at their New Years Day 10K. The club always tries to use local businesses to produce their souvenirs, and so this particular prize feels more connected to its race than any other souvenir I’ve received. On a personal note, I like that they are not year specific and that the club is happy to bulk order souvenirs and reuse them in order to keep race entry costs low. Reduce waste, people!
Shittiest, tackiest, most awful medal
Honestly, I found this medal an insult. It is a waste of money and a waste of time, and after dragging my arse up and down the hills along the course of the Winchester 10K, I found it quite frankly insulting. I would have preferred a hug, a banana and a cup of tea.
There is nothing about this medal that seems remotely connected to the race – it has mould lines around the edges that have been roughly filed away and the image in the middle is a paper sticker that has been stuck on slightly askew. From what I remember the race’s entry fee is quite low, so I doubt their budget for the souvenirs was very big. With that in mind I find it quite upsetting that the organisers felt runners were so concerned with getting a medal that they had to provide us with this tat. A massive anticlimax after what was otherwise an enjoyable and well organised race (though I mostly just remember being very hungover and very dehydrated… rookie error).
Most special medal
The medals from the 2012 Berlin Half Marathon got a pretty raw deal from some bloggers that ran there. They didn’t approve of its aesthetics. But as a lover of straight lines, Soviet-esque simplicity and German design this medal is one of my faves. And the fact it comes from one of my favourite and most memorable running experiences just makes it better. The striking blue cord instead of a ribbon is a thoughtful addition that, along with the unconventional square shape, makes this medal seem strong. It just encompasses running, dontcha think? No frills, no pretences…
Most ridiculous medal EVER
When I entered the Down Tow Up Flow half marathon in 2011 I didn’t think that we would get a medal. The entry fee is pretty low – £25-ish – and as a point to point course that provides transport for baggage its outgoings were already going to be pretty high. In previous years it hadn’t given out any souvenirs, but for whatever reason the organisers thought that a) a souvenir was necessary, and that b) these medals were suitable. This medal is one of my most prized possessions for its utter ridiculousness. I’ve always been tempted to have it made into a knuckle duster seeing as it is the width of my fist, but I worry that may make this object seem almost sensible. And that’s saying something.