Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What to do with finishing medals and awards?

So, you’ve been running for years and you’ve never entered a race? Maybe that’s a good thing. It means you don’t have a drawer full of heavy, metal finishing medals complete with big wide ribbons that you wore proudly for 10 to 30 minutes after a race but haven’t figured out what to do with since you took them off. Have you ever seen anyone wearing a finishing medal other than right after a race?

If you find yourself in the winners’ circle at times, you may have more than a few medals to settle in to a permanent home.

Awards come in all shapes and sizes and every single one is appreciated. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t a problem at times.

Local potter T. S. Berger has made the awards for the Fourth of July 5k race in Fort Collins for longer than I care to remember. They’re useful—everything from platters and bowls to canisters and containers of all sorts. I love and use them all.

Over time I’ve won everything from a genuine walnut toilet seat to a Kokapelli figure mounted on a rock. (I have two of these.)  I have a lifetime supply of trivets, tiles and plaques, a moveable action figure, and a set of four tinkling bells, all different sizes, from long-ago Bonnie Bell women’s races.

I also have two tiny silver charms from Freihofer’s Women’s 5k race in Albany, NY which are my idea of the perfect award: small, beautiful and wearable.

I treasure every item, but I struggle with housing them. My house is small and I feel a little uncomfortable featuring running trophies front and center. Most of them reside in a bookcase at one end of my dining room.

A series of circumstances, mostly to do with my ancient age, found me the recipient of not one but two enormous cups after competing in two “doubles” races last year. What to do with them?

Hopefully without disrespecting this award, I moved one of the cups (It came on a huge stand) into a corner of my bathroom where it holds bars of soap. It’s visible—at least to anyone in my house that uses the facilities, and it is serving a useful purpose. The other cup is still in limbo, awaiting a suitable home.

What do others do with their medals? One friend tried removing the ribbons and hanging them on her Christmas tree, but they were too heavy and caused the branches to droop.

The Flying Pig 5k, held in Fort Collins in April, gets the prize for uniqueness. They gave away tiny packages, about 3 by 5 inches. Compressed inside is a pair of 100 percent cotton jersey magic boxer shorts with winged pink pigs all over them. The directions say to put the package in water for a short while until it grows into shorts.
I haven’t soaked mine yet.  I’m waiting for a special occasion. I’m not sure just what it will be, but I’m a little nervous as I see there’s an “L” on my package which must  stand for large. I ‘ll have to find a clever way to hold them up.

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