A medal can make a nice souvenir at the end of a race. It’s something to remember the day by. A tangible reminder of the effort you make to get across the line. Something you can hang around your neck on the day of the race and put up on the mantle-piece to show off to your friends and family. Medals can also be a bit heavy, and when faced with a move halfway across the world from Mexico to China I had to make a difficult decision. To take the medals or leave them, and I just had too many to take them all. But I couldn’t leave them without some sort of record. So, here are some of the photos I took of my medals before leaving for China.
This is my favorite. A hefty medal from a hefty race. Modeled in black clay and handcrafted in Oaxaca city in the south of Mexico, the finishers medal from the Oaxaca 70km Q50 ultra. I finished this race in 14hours which was a decent time considering the climb and terrain. It took about a week to get over this race and it was hard to leave the medal behind. A great memory.
The energizer nightrace was another great memory. This had over 1,600 runners and I finished third in my category which meant climbing onto the podium to collect my price in front of a lot of people. The trophy was quite hefty too and I had a few strange looks on the metro on the way home. Well worth it.
I managed to get first place in my category at the Miramar-Pines Rotary Run in Florida to pick up this beauty. Its like a metal brick and I had to be careful not to go over my baggage allowance to get it back home to Mexico. I especially like the Pegasus winged foot in the middle and the ribbon effect around the side. Very classical.
I picked this one up in Germany for third place in my category for the Athletic Waldniel marathon. Poor Nena was very kind to drive me all the way up from Montpellier in France for this race after haven driven all the way down from Paris for the previous race. I slept in the back of the car. It looks like a model of the graphic from British spy drama ‘the Saint’ as modeled in someones metal-work class. A picture of Teutonic efficiency and another one awarded on the podium. Happy days.
I got this one for finishing in Santa Pola. It’s a relief of a man and lady running, but the man’s head has come off in the move from the UK to Mexico. I think this was my second Santa Pola half marathon, over seven years ago.
The year before this the medal was in the shape of a giant cartoon fish. They also gave us a rucksack, a towel, beer and a big pack of salt for finishing the race. This was my second ever race and my first half marathon.
Here’s a medal I won in Mexico in one of the ubiquitous Simi races. I think this one was in Puebla. Simi is the mascot of the Similares Pharmacies in Mexico and he’s a big fat Chemist with a mustache. They even have guys dressed up as like this with a full body suit like something out of Disney world dancing about outside their shops. Bizarre.
The next one is for the IPN race just outside Oaxaca in Xoxocotlan. The IPN is a college with campuses around Mexico. This is your standard no nonsense meat and potatoes medal. This was only a 5k race but I can remember it being particularly arduous. I think it could have been either the heat, a lack of sleep, stress, the travel or a combination of a number of factors. Maybe it even just had something to do with the surface. Anyway, for whatever reason I just found this one tough.
Ahh, the Puebla marathon. The jewel in the crown of the southern Mexico running calendar. This was my local marathon and I ran it on three separate occasions looking for a Boston marathon qualifying time. I never quite made it. This was quite a flat race, until they changed the route last year, and run at high altitude. The medal for this edition shows the big wheel, visible from most parts of Puebla city.
This medal for the Carrera del Migrante in Chinantla commemorates the historic 5o de Mayo Batalla de Puebla where the Mexicans famously resisted the French under Napoleon the third. This was a cracking race for me. Just coming back from my category win in Florida I managed to get under 39 minutes for 10k in the altitude, shattering my previous Mexico PB. I also managed to pass a couple of Kenyan runners in the second have of the race to finish with a negative split time. I think the fact that this race was run in the evening really helped. We also managed to qualify for a complimentary guest foreign athlete meal before the race. It was hard to get to this race but it was well worth the effort.
So, these are just ten of the forty odd medals I had to leave in Mexico, not to mention the pile of t-shirts, numbers and other random stuff. Here’s to amassing some more in the future.