Medals…. in Runners World there is a piece on medals if they had asked my opinion this is what I would have said Medals are not like Marmite You can like them, love them or even hate them or be indifferent…I know some people will absolutely not do a race unless there is a decent medal***
All good as far as I am concerned….fair point all round
We cannot please everyone, we do medals at our races So going back 20 years, medals were pretty rare. The big old races did them and they were pretty bland usually with a picture of a runner on them doing the run thing, arms outstretched.
Then China started to open up to anyone to import and the medal arms race started as companies like Swift, Frontrunner and Running Imp started to offer great design, fast delivery and ideas…..that was the point, ideas
One thing to remember…there are no medal manufacturers in the UK or even Western Europe all medals come from China.
So its a reminder of the day and the experience you had…good or bad
The fact its hung around your neck makes it different to other sports
For us a medal is only part of the race
Layers, a race is layers of experience
A lot of races in the past and still today turn up, run go home, that’s fine. but some events give you more or a want to give you a fuller experience,
Lets talk about the Giants Head marathon and Sydling Hill race.
We hold all our races and especially GHM in areas with fantastic scenery, in places no one else usually runs, sometimes on demanding terrain, ice creams camping, tshirts and muffs with willys on, WI food, free photos, BARN DANCE, J&J hugs, Lovestation all the nice stuff etc etc etc and then chip timing, medics, safety and so on
So Giants Head and Sydling Hill race was our first medal, it was designed originally by Adam Luxton back in 2013
The medal hasn’t changed much, we changed the size and shape a few years back and added a spinner….because we could
I am not sure we could change the design radically its an icon now I suppose!
Some of you know we were approached by a massive company to sponsor the event back in 2015…….we had just got Best Marathon in UK from Runners World,
Sooo this company (they will remain nameless…but think shoes) they love the race….but medals with willys on…and the name….and the tshirt….in fact anything willy related had to go….I told them to **** off
Relevance. All our medals are relevant to where you run. 100%
But the design sometimes is a bit more out there……
So Horses at Moreton, its an equestrian centre(Unicorns…are horses too you know)
Peacocks and the new Indian theme at Larmer races, there are massive peacocks there and the place has its history built in the days of the Empire and Raj
Jurassic Coast….Dinos right….well these Dinos are relevant, we are working with the Jurassic Coast trust so we involved a palaeontology to help us design them…hows that for due diligence?
Ox still has Ox on them but because there’s a Mexican theme (don’t ask) they are bit more Central American looking
All of them are rooted in where you are, it makes sense…..even the Mexican thing at the ox has a point
So as I said its about….for us, layers, more layers we can put in the better the race
So one thing we try and do is give everyone something from Dorset in the goody bags or local food and booze
Moores biscuits, WSR or in fact you, are now Moores biscuits biggest customer after Waitrose LOL
Cranborne Chase Cider
Local caterers like Steph White and Catherine Thompson vegan specials are all important
Rosie andMels coffee wagons
We could have brought in traders from outside, but why bother? Keep it local
Even for Dorchester, the road traffic management company we used were local….they were a bit more expensive but local knowledge meant people weren’t too disrupted
We are also looking making our own Rum maybe….well maybe…ish
So in short the medal isn’t everything, but its something and it may be important or it may not be but its a thing we do
*** did my first race ever based on a medal design, STE’s Beat the Tide 10k has 3 angry seagulls on, “don’t care what the race is like I need that medal”
Turns out the race was bloody brilliant and the medal was just as great as it looked on screen
Here are some of our medals from over the years