Group photo
Author:
PNWVALKYRIE's Photo PNWVALKYRIE Posts: 101
3/3/16 2:39 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
This is how I feel! I love my racing medals, however, I can only afford to go to a few races a year.

 Pounds lost: 9.1 
0
19.5
39
58.5
78
ELAN--'s Photo ELAN-- Posts: 7
2/10/16 5:54 A

My SparkPage
Reply
I like the idea to make medals an option to lower the entrance fee.

Doing it.


 Pounds lost: 1.5 
0
4
8
12
16
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
1/29/16 4:11 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
It's not hard at all to figure out if a person should get a medal at the finish line. The bibs are just marked in some obvious way, for example, with a medal icon in a corner of the bib which is trivial for volunteers to see.

The biggest race I know of that does this is the Cherry Blossom 10M. They mark the bibs with an easy-to-eyeball "M Y" for "medal yes" or "M N" for "medal no".



There's also "M E" for "medal enhanced" which means they engrave your finish stats on the back. I don't know if that means they give you a fake medal initially or you have to send your real medal back for the engraving.

Sure, CB10 has more volunteers at the finish but they have extended periods of a dozen people crossing the finish line every second. If they can do it with 18000 finishers, it would be much easier for smaller races (like Dahlgren HM with only 250 finishers).

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (299,027)
Fitness Minutes: (226,122)
Posts: 15,535
1/29/16 3:31 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I don't think it's odd that a race would have a "no shirt" discount but not a "no medal" discount. It would be administratively easy to tag entrants to get or not get a shirt at packet pick up. Many races do this already, or do type of shirt, based on criteria such as how early a person signs up. It would be administratively much more challenging to sort out who was "no medal" at the finish line. It could be done, but would require something to make it easy for volunteers to know who gets a medal and who doesn't.


- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 163


 current weight: 0.0  under
5
2.5
0
-2.5
-5
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
1/29/16 2:43 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I am pondering signing up for the Dahlgren Trail HM and was delighted to see that there is a $5 "no shirt" discount and, most surprisingly, they are making everyone's shirt choices public.

So far, 26% have chosen the "no shirt" discount. Oddly, the race lacks a "no medal" discount.

www.racetimingunlimited.org/R/DTH/In
fo
.aspx


 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
JOIEDEVIVRE16's Photo JOIEDEVIVRE16 SparkPoints: (10,273)
Fitness Minutes: (19,549)
Posts: 513
1/21/16 5:21 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I'm new here (Hi!), and I just stared running in May 2015. I ran three 5ks last year, and I'm signed up for a 10k in April. I'm registering for my first half this October (will register when registration opens). I am still at that point where I love my medals! They represent so much to me because I started where I couldn't even run for a minute straight. My first mile was about 17 minutes! I teach high school and I hang either the medal or my number if there's no medal behind my desk. It helps keep me motivated (and honest with the kids!). I'm guessing years from now I won't care as much, but I do love them for now!

That being said, I don't see myself ever paying $200 for a regular race!

Amanda

Sweating for the Wedding-12/17/16
English Teacher, Crafter, Beachbody Coach


 Pounds lost: 24.6 
0
23.25
46.5
69.75
93
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
11/3/15 3:22 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Carolyn, You premise ("racing is a business") is not always true. Indeed, the race that motivated this discussion (see my original post) is a non-profit club race. And it has a fixed cap on race size. It cannot grow. It almost always hits the cap. (It did this year.)

So we have two theories (at least for club races):
1) Give bling to keep runners coming back.
2) Give bling to use up the excess money.

I go back to a question I posed earlier. Why not lower the price? Or make the bling an option. Would solve both problems.


 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
GLADGAD's Photo GLADGAD Posts: 5,690
11/3/15 8:14 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Coming in late here, but I wanted to respond to Pasta's question about why RDs feel the need to provide bling and why they change from medals to glasses to wine corks. Racing is a business and the RDs need to attract as many people as they can to their races. There are a limited number of ways they can do that: They can provide an Interesting/Fast-Flat/Challenging Course, or provide interesting/big/gawdy/pretty/useful bling in the way of clothing, medals, and wine corks. Cash prizes for top finishers are another way, but only the fastest really pay attention to those. If you look around there are multiple races every weekend and it's becoming a really competitive business, so RDs need to do something to attract runners.

With regard to rising entry fees, the resources that go into putting on a race are getting more expensive, especially with larger races. Ever since the Boston bombing, security is a bigger concern, and races now have additional police officers and security measures in place. Security is really expensive. On top of that you have increased costs for food, water, timing, etc. However, $175-$200 for a HM seems way too high, and eventually that event may just price themselves out of existence.

-Carolyn

"God gave you your body as a gift, so you should take care of it." - My Mom
MOBYCARP's Photo MOBYCARP SparkPoints: (299,027)
Fitness Minutes: (226,122)
Posts: 15,535
10/23/15 10:27 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Late to the thread, but I've been thinking about medals lately.

In 2015, I ran the first Four Seasons Challenge, a series of 4 half marathons representing the seasons. Each gives a medal, but the big motivation at sign up was the 4 part medal. During training for the final half, a guy in the training group put together some medal racks, so I can see all the bling for the series in one place:



Well, almost all. I also have a coffee mug, a beer mug, and two curved glass plaques for finishing 1st or 2nd in the age group at each of the halfs. That's all nice, but they aren't as pretty as the finisher's medals and I'm running out of space in the hutch.

I signed up for the 2016 version, because I like the courses and they gave me the option of running the full marathon in September instead of just the half. And my thought is, "Where am I going to put all those medals?"

Somehow, over the course of the year, the medals became a lot less important to me. I'm happier with the medal I got from a 15K last weekend, because I had to win the age group to earn that one. Never mind that it isn't as pretty as any of the medals for finishing a half; it means something. And I do understand that I'm not going to get anything flashy from a small race (83 finishers in the 15K) with an $18 entry fee.

I still want to run the 2016 Four Seasons Challenge, because I like the events. And I don't think a $250 early registration fee is excessive for 3 half marathons plus a full marathon. I'll take the medals, and I'll do something with them. Maybe I'll hang them from my 2015 medal rack, and put the 2015 medals in a box. I don't know. It's the running that's important, not the medals.

However . . . I recognize that the race needs the mass of runners who are motivated by a finisher's medal to be big enough to work economically. That's okay. I've been that runner, and I love seeing the faces of people who are just completing their first half as they cross the finish line. So I guess I'll accept the finisher's medal and figure out what I'm doing with it later.

As for paying for the medal . . . I don't know what I'd do. $6 is chump change in the context of what I spend to prepare for and run a major race. I might or might not buy the medal. I've run races that don't give out shirts, but do offer them for sale; I've bought some shirts and passed on others, mostly based on how attractive the shirt is.




- Kevin

"Discipline is remembering what you want. " - David Campbell

Max Lifetime Weight, 221
SP Start Weight, 196.6
Initial SP Goal, 175
Current Goal on Ticker, 163


 current weight: 0.0  under
5
2.5
0
-2.5
-5
THEFAIRONE's Photo THEFAIRONE Posts: 191
9/19/15 2:46 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I was trying to respond to the person who posted about the Nike marathon being $200+. That is completely insane! Love the wine cork medal, that's cool.

Edited by: THEFAIRONE at: 9/19/2015 (14:48)
Headed to healthy & fit!


 current weight: 181.0 
196
184.5
173
161.5
150
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
9/15/15 4:34 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The race director would likely be horrified but I detached the ribbon and threw it away. Having the ribbon attached would make it too easy for someone to inadvertently grab the ribbon (while reaching for a dish) and pull the bottle over by accident.

I did give this a fair amount of thought because it's a very pretty ribbon with that gradiant that shifts from orange to blue.

Interesting you should mention that you like the logo. I've heard a lot of people complain that the logo is an embarrassment as it appears the runner is about to get an anal probe (and that's the polite version). That hadn't occurred to me but I do wonder why race directors spend money on things that are totally unnecessary (the previous logo was fine). I'll just add race logos to the long list of other things I've complained about that keep race fees unnecessarily high.

Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 9/15/2015 (16:35)
 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
FUTBOLREF's Photo FUTBOLREF SparkPoints: (47,782)
Fitness Minutes: (31,841)
Posts: 90
9/15/15 3:50 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Does any one wear headbands anymore?

I think the idea of the wine bottle cork medal is that you put it in the bottle while having guests at dinner so that your friends see it and then they start coveting your cool wine cork medal so that they want to run next year and get their own...

Guess I could use it on a whiskey bottle.

I would probably just put it on the wall in my home office where no one else dares to go 'cept my wife when the power goes out and I'm not home since the circuit breaker is in there...

Like the relatively subtle logo on the shirt.

So the big question Pastafarian is: How did you run? Not concerned with your time or place but are you satisfied or not with your performance?

Because this running thing is an individual effort.




Eric
"Old Age and Treachery..."
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
9/14/15 8:18 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
As the original poster, I figured I'd follow up with what we got at this year's Parks HM. The promised beer glass was rethought because a lot of people didn't bother picking up their glass at the end of last year's race. (The organization still has hundreds of glasses left over from last year!)

So this year, the race gave medals and headbands as finisher premiums. I was told this combination cost less than last year's glass. The medals function as wine bottle corks although I'm not sure I trust to lay it on it's side. (It's too tall to leave it upright in the fridge.) But I know a bunch of other races give out medals with wine bottle corks so it must be popular. (How many open bottles of wine does one need in the fridge at any one time?) By comparison, the medal is nice compared to the headband. The headband is utter crap and feels like it will fall apart after 2 or 3 cycles in the washing machine.



Despite my negativity about the finisher premiums, it's still a reasonably-priced race ($55) which includes a long-sleeve tech shirt and the food at the end is well above average with the highlight of excellent pizza and souffles from two restaurants I would patronize even without the race. And the race course is quite nice!

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
MALAMI518's Photo MALAMI518 SparkPoints: (121,869)
Fitness Minutes: (93,174)
Posts: 2,474
9/6/15 10:51 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Interesting question. For the first half or two, I really liked getting the medal. Now, I wouldn't pay for a medal if it were offered separately. I no longer pay for a shirt at a 5K if there is an option not to get one, especially since they are usually poly-cotton blend. Again, in the beginning, I really thought getting a shirt was great. Then I realized that I don't really wear them except to sleep in. For a half, it would depend on what half I was running and whether the shirt was a tech shirt. I'd probably buy a tech shirt (depending on the cost). I would definitely pay an upgrade fee to go to tech. Other items would depend on what they are. I would not pay for a wine glass or a beer glass. Winter clothing or other running accessories I might depending on the cost and whether it's something that I can really use.

Beth
from Central NYS


 Pounds lost: 80.0 
0
28.75
57.5
86.25
115
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
9/1/15 3:24 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The question is: If races separated the medal fee from the registration fee, would you pay for the medal? Some HMs offer this. For example, the Heart Break HM website says:

"Because not everyone wants a medal, and to reduce waste, we have ordered a set quantity of medals which are available for purchase. Medals are available while quantities last. We anticipate medals will still be available for purchase at the event, but itís not guaranteed."

Heart Break charges $6 for the medal. I've seen other races charge much more. For example, Cherry Blossom charges $10. (Races typically pay $2-3 in quantity but I'm not arguing that races shouldn't be allowed to make more money; just that you should get a choice.)

If you would pay for medals, it makes sense to consider: Why not pay for all the other bling offered at a race? For example, some HMs separate out the shirt into a separate fee. Some HMs charge only for a tech-upgrade fee. Would you pay for that tech shirt if it was a separate charge? What about other bling? For example, some wine-focused HMs (e.g., VA Wine Country HM) separate the charge for a wineglass. Where do you stop? Or do you prefer races that package everything into one fixed price?

Like I said in my original post, my upcoming HM (Parks) has bundled everything together: shirt, medal, beer glass and I'm wondering where it's going to stop. Contrast that with the next HM I will do (Bachman Valley) which separates everything and because of that, the base registration fee is just $15.

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
CHANGINGHORSES's Photo CHANGINGHORSES SparkPoints: (70,100)
Fitness Minutes: (98,913)
Posts: 1,248
9/1/15 5:00 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I got a 25% coupon that I thought was great! Less than that, naw, keep it. I think that most runners want the medal these days and also there is a lot of hype to do as many states as possible.
Maybe running has hit is peak again and is in a decline? Too many races to choose from I think.

Live your life as though you are obligated to make the world a better place. Make a difference today, be the one!


 current weight: 1.0  over
5
2.5
0
-2.5
-5
KKINNEA's Photo KKINNEA Posts: 2,972
8/24/15 10:26 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Good points all!

I think the trouble is that there are many races, and those of us that are motivated by things like an interesting course and don't care about medals are outbalanced by the people that need more extrinsic motivation to sign up.

Maybe I can get the local gas station attendants to hand me water, then I can cut back on races!

You can exceed what you think you can do.
-----
Runniversary: June 13, 2009
-----
Half Fanatic #2069
Marathon Maniac #6013
-----
This one's for you, mOm 1952-2009
-----
Minnesota, USA - Central Time


 August Minutes: 1,118
0
437.5
875
1312.5
1750
FUTBOLREF's Photo FUTBOLREF SparkPoints: (47,782)
Fitness Minutes: (31,841)
Posts: 90
8/24/15 8:44 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Coupons are OK but just about everyone can get some kind of discount if they look hard enough. The coupons from door prizes or AG wins tend to be worth more than ones just tucked in a bag. 10 percent off costs the store around $10 in missed revenue on an average pair of shoes these days and I can get one of those in most goodie bags at packet pickup.

Personal choice on where to get running stuff. I have chosen to get my shoes at a local running store because they support local races. I quit buying shoes online and at the big box stores precisely because of that. Part of the issue is size and feel is easier to determine from a try in the store. Costs me a bit more in dollars but I get more back in smug self-satisfaction that I am supporting a locally owned business that supports me and my hobbies.
I still get clothes from online or big box stores making sure that I never match brands or colors when I run.
But that's a whole nother topic...


Eric
"Old Age and Treachery..."
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
8/24/15 12:55 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
I have to disagree with you about coupons. In most cases, even with the coupons, I find better deals on the web (of course) or at one local store that underprices all the other stores. Frankly, I don't understand how most running stores stay in business.

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
KKINNEA's Photo KKINNEA Posts: 2,972
8/15/15 10:41 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Perhaps the bucket list people are dropping in numbers? I appreciate people who run for fun at races but don't understand their demand for medals.

I run races to have someone hand me fluids and appreciate a good snack at the end. I have medals hanging on hooks and they don't do much for me. I also have random glasses I don't use for any fluid.

The thing I would like most is a coupon for a percent off new sneakers!

You can exceed what you think you can do.
-----
Runniversary: June 13, 2009
-----
Half Fanatic #2069
Marathon Maniac #6013
-----
This one's for you, mOm 1952-2009
-----
Minnesota, USA - Central Time


 August Minutes: 1,118
0
437.5
875
1312.5
1750
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
8/13/15 3:51 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
The Nike Women's HM is more expensive now. $175 was for 2014, its last year in DC. The race still takes place in other locations and at higher prices. For instance, the San Franciso race is $200. That's a 14% increase.

PS: $200 is the *early* price. And there are no refunds, transfers, or deferrals. Plus, you have to pay another $7 for the registration service fee.


 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
FUTBOLREF's Photo FUTBOLREF SparkPoints: (47,782)
Fitness Minutes: (31,841)
Posts: 90
8/13/15 3:25 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
$175 for a HM?!? I don't care if it is a named one, that's too much...
You can do a three half marathon series around here for that if you register early enough.
And you get four medals...

Big ones...

My favorite HM (Topeka to Auburn) is held on the Saturday before MLK day in January and gives out the smallest finisher medals and they are the ones I treasure the most due to the difficulty of the course and unpredictability of the weather. I've seen 5K medals bigger.

They also give out pretty good swag, I've got a couple of great hoodies and a long sleeve tech shirt and every year they give a different colored pair of running socks with the HM logo on it for registering.

I overheard the RD comment that attendance is declining and he is not sure of the reason. They did increase the medal size slightly this year. I talked with a guy who finished the race and he ran it to check it off his bucket list and has no plans to run it ever again...

It'll be interesting to see what happens in January. I think this will be the 29th year the race has been run...

Eric
"Old Age and Treachery..."
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
8/12/15 10:36 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Oh? That's a pretty big glass for whiskey!

Another reason I'm unthrilled by the beer glass is that only once have I placed in my age group and the award was, you guessed it, a beer glass. It's a bit annoying to struggle to get the same thing in one race that everyone gets handed as they cross the finish in another race.

I agree with your other thoughts. Yes, it does seem to be a bling competition among RDs with runners paying the price (literally in this case).

I am soooo glad that the Nike Women's HM left this area this year. At $175 for a teeny silver necklace, I was stunned to hear people gush over it. I'm hoping that Nike's departure will stop the rapid escalation of race registration fees.

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
FUTBOLREF's Photo FUTBOLREF SparkPoints: (47,782)
Fitness Minutes: (31,841)
Posts: 90
8/12/15 10:18 A

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Some people love medals. I appreciate anything that is usable and relates to the race. I've got plenty of t-shirts,cowbells and medals. You don't have to drink beer out the beer glass. Whiskey works just as well. I appreciate winter running stuff I can use to train in. I think it just points out that there are too many races and the RDs have to provide more and more to keep/get the numbers up. around here there seems to be a competition among the RD's as to who can provide the biggest and gaudiest finishers medal for the HM. I like small and subtle.

Eric
"Old Age and Treachery..."
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
8/11/15 3:57 P

My SparkPage
Send Private Message
Reply
Attendance at Parks HM (Bethesda, MD) hit its capacity (2500) for several years and then took a significant dive last year with less than 2000. Coincidentally, the 2014 race offered a beer glass as a finisher premium for the first time.

I'll get off my chest that I think a beer glass is pretty lame, first because I'm not a beer drinker but second, if I was, I'd want more than one and I'm not so stupid that I'm going to repeatedly do a race 2 or 4 years in a row just to get a set of beer glasses.

Not sure if the RD was listening to (and misinterpreting) my thoughts because it was announced that this year there will be clothing, beer glass AND a medal. This race has never had a medal before - which I didn't lose any sleep over because it gave out interesting clothing, most of which I found usable.

All this bling combined with the participation falloff makes me wonder whether this is awesome or a sign of its coming demise. Many of my friends complain the race is too crowded for the course that its on though it feels about right to me. But this focus on bling seems unfortunate. I'd rather they just stop raising the price.

Bearing in mind that RDs can buy medals for $2 in quantity, are medals a sign of desperation? Or am I misreading it and simply have to acknowledge an RD who just loves bling?

 current weight: 172.0 
195
185.5
176
166.5
157
Page: 1 of (1)  

Report Innappropriate Post

Other Half Marathon General Team Discussion Forum Posts

Topics:
Last Post:
2/21/2018 4:22:56 PM



Thread URL: https://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_messageboard_thread.asp?board=0x1918x62231725

Review our Community Guidelines