Monday, December 21, 2009

Best of 2009... Marathon Medals Edition!

Best Marathon Medals of 2009...
I've taken all of my ratings from my 2009 Marathons (18 in total) and ranked them best to worst, with the top 5 taking the prizes*. I'll do a new "Best of" each day for the next few days, ending with "Best overall marathon." I've included pictures below to the "Best of" as well as the remaining marathons.... and I've thrown in a few from prior years as well. Links will bring you to the full race ratings. Hope you enjoy.
*Actual prizes can be redeemed in "cool points"

4c. Leading Ladies "It's All in the Bag- Purse" Medal (3-way tie for 4th place) 4.0/5.0
Date: Aug 16, 2009
Spearfish, SD
Overall rating: 4.3/5.0

Info: This seemed like a great design for an all-women's marathon- great slogan, a purse, a touch of pink. But, it is a little hard to read the lettering... brown and red may not have been a great combo.

 4b Vermont City Marathon Medal (3-way tie for 4th place) 4.0/5.0
Date: May 24, 2009
Burlington, VT
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0

Info: There is just something I love about this one... the size, design, and color, give it sort of a distinctive regal look. Some may think it's boring because it's just an emblem, but I liked it!

4a. OBX "Pirate Coin" Medal (3-way tie for 4th place) 4.0/5.0
Date: Nov 8, 2009
Overall rating: 4.8/5.0

Info: I gave this one the 4A of the tie because, if I had to choose, it would definitely be above the other two. I think I was sort of disappointed when I found out it wasn't the treasure map they had the year before. Still... a pirate coin is very cool!

3. Nashville Country Music "Ten Year Anniversary" Medal 4.2/5.0
Date: Apr 25, 2009
Nashville, TN
Overall rating: 3.2/5.0

Info: The X representing the 10-years, gave a little something special for those of us at the anniversary. This is a rock-n-roll marathon, so the guitars added an appropriate touch. Not for the weak... this medal is HEAVY- as thick as it is colorful!!!

2. ING Georgia "Skyline Spin" Medal 4.5/5.0
Date: Mar 29, 2009
Atlanta, GA
Overall rating: 4.1/5.0

Info: If you click on the picture, you'll have a better idea of how cool this is. The skyline actually spins and the color and design are awesome! I really love when the designer put effort into the laynard as much as the medal itself. Colorful, fun, different... love it!

And the Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge #1 rated medal for 2009 is.... *Drum roll*...

1. Walt Disney World "Mickey" Medal 4.8/5.0
Date: Jan 11, 2009
Orlando, FL
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0

Info: A medal as distinctive and fun as it's race... it's very tough to beat a Disney World Medal. These are new due to complaints that the previous design was overused... they kept the Mickey and have a colorful and fun lanyard. The back is actually velcro for our convenience. This was my first race for 2009, so the medal got a 4.8 in case something better came along... there's still hope for a 5.0.

3 Worst Medals of 2009
I like to call this years worst the...
"Where's my medal?"... "That IS your medal!"... "THIS?? Oh dear lord!" Awards!

3. Louisville Marathon's "Did I get this out of a cracker jax box" medal 2.6/5.0
Date: Oct 18, 2009

Louisville, KY
Overall rating: 2.5/5.0

Info: Images in picture are NOT bigger than they appear... you really can't get the total feel for the medal until you see it. That shiney coat on th top is paint... its actually plastic.

2. Erie Marathon at Presque Isle "I'm so breaking this before I get home" Medal 2.2/5.0
Date: Sep 13, 2009
Erie, PA
Overall rating: 3.8/5.0

Info: Sometimes "different" isn't always good. This medal is glass... and we're lucky I got a picture of it in one piece. It's kind of hard to read, and it's not the prettiest picture on the front. Great marathon.... not a great medal.

And the Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge WORST medal of 2009 is... *drum roll*...

1. Park City's "What exactly IS that" Medal 2.0/5.0
Date: Aug 22, 2009
Park City, UT
Overall Rating: 3.0/5.0

Info: I don't think there is much more required here except the picture... ick. I actually asked a person in the finish shoot where we got our medals. She told me I was holding it... I tried not to look too disapointed. Great Race... great area... poor medal.

Remaining Medals of 2009...
The "Betweener" Medals

Date: Jun 13, 2009
Williamson, WV
Overall Rating: 4.8/5.0

Info: The entire race weekend was about these two families... specifically these two men, so it was appropriate to have their faces on the medal. Very intricate and nice for such a small race.
Date: Jul 26, 2009
San Fracisco, CA
Overall Rating: 2.8/5.0

Info: This is a pretty good sized medal. The back of it, has little legs so that it can be turned into a drink coaster... that's pretty cool. It scored a little lower because the design is awfully boring for such a huge race!

Date: Jul 11, 2009
Baraboo, WI
Overall Rating: 4.2/5.0

Info: I love the little running devil on these. Cute medal, but my issue with this one was that the half marathoners took all the medals, and we had to wait 3 weeks to get ours. Definitely affected the way I scored. Oops. Also, I think they use the same medal for all the DWD marathons, but I could be wrong.

RI 6-Hour Ultra"6th Place???" Medal 3.7/5.0
Date: Nov 15, 2009
Warwick RI
Overall Rating: 4.9/5.0

Info: I thought for a first attempt at a medal (new race with a new race director) this was a pretty good job! I like the colors on the laynyard, it has the race logo on the front, waves and all, just nice. Bad side? People kept asking me if I got 6th place... some people are so dense.

Date: Oct 4, 2009
Portland, ME
Overall Rating: 3.8/5.0

Info:  This one is kind of little, but I like the whole State-shaped one-- especially for all the 50-staters that participated in this one!

Date: Sep 20, 2009
Boulder, CO
Overall Rating: 3.4/5.0

This is an unusual medal done well.

Date: Jun 6, 2009
South Bend, IN
Overall Rating: 3.0/5.0

Info: And this is a great example of a smaller medal done well. The entry fee for this race was pretty low, which usually means a bad medal, but this one wasn't too bad! I like the gold... it definitely stands out.

New Hampshire Marathon Medal 3.0/5.0
Date: Oct 3, 2009
Bristol, NH
Overall Rating: 4.0/5.0

Info: I liked this one because it also had a state on it and it was a big 50-Stater marathon. But the medal was a little dull other than that.

Northern Central Trails Medal 2.8/5.0
Date: Nov 28, 2009
Sparks, MD
Overall Rating: 2.9/5.0

Info: Picture Coming Soon....

Distinctive Medals of Stephanie's Marathon Past...
Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon
Cincinnati, OH
First weekend in May!
Info: Double-click on this one!!! Yes, that's a butt you see on the back-side of the medal. One of my favorite races (and not because I live in cinci) and one of my favorite medals. This one would get a 4.9, maybe even a 5.0 if it were in the 2009 ratings. Yes... it would be Mickey!!!!! The blue ribbon, is the half-marathon medal. It's a little bit smaller, and the lanyard is not as nice-- but then again its half the race!

Marine Corp Marathon 2007 Medal
Quantico, VA
Late October

Athens Classic Marathon
Athens, Greece
Info: This is my first marathon medal. The medal says (spelled in english) Klasikos Marathonos Athinon... Classic Marathon of Athens. There isn't anything too grand about this medal... which, surprisingly I can say the same about the very low-key race-- but it's pretty cool because its THE marathon. :)


  1. Awesome post. Loved all the medals. Where do you keep all of them?

  2. Oh wow! Thanks for sharing with us! Those are so neat to see!!! Congrats on a great year of running girl!

  3. Great post!

    I can't wait to read some of your reports. I was looking at Erie for 2010.

  4. I love this post. I ALWAYS want to know what the medal looks like. It could be the deciding factor between two races!

  5. Awesome post! Thanks so much for sharing. I love the pictures of all the medals. I'm running the Disney World Marathon this year - it will be my first full marathon, and it's all about that coveted Mickey medal! :) But, I have to say the Flying Pig medal is very cool too. I should do that one as I'm originally from (NE) Ohio too!

    Good luck on your quest! That is truly amazing!

  6. cool post! The Erie medal I would hang on my Christmas tree. But the Park City one? WTF is that thing? LOL! Reminds me of a keychain I had back in the 80's!

    Happy New Year!

  7. What a great idea for a post! That Park City one is so so bad. Some great races are ruined by poor medals and schwag (like the lame plastic lei I got in Maui this year -- now THAT was embarassing).

  8. Wow that is a lot of medals! Still laughing at the idea that someone actually made glass medals. I hope they had extras as many must have broken in shipping alone.

  9. great post.
    Good luck with your running in the new year

  10. Besides my Boston medals (for obvious reasons) the Flying Pig Marathon medals I have are definitely my favorites. I would even say they rank higher than the Tiffany's necklace I got for finishing NWM.

  11. Well done on your medals, I just got my first and I am addicted! Its a long time before I can get as many as you!

    I have to say my tastes are a little different to yours. I prefer the classic, bronze and sombre medals. They look like real medals to me! I'm not big on colour or patterns!

    Plastic has NO place on a medal! Couldn't agree more with you on your bottom 3! Park City's is DISGUSTING!! Its totally gaudy cheap and HIDEOUS!!! Who on Earth came up with that design?


  12. Awesome post! I love my 2010 OBX Pirate coin!

  13. loved getting to see all your bling (I'll NEVER have that many LOL!!) but Flying Pig is way cool :)