Friday, December 31, 2010

Best Medals of 2010... Marathon Edition!

Best Marathon Medals of 2010...
This year there was some serious bling in the marathon world that by far outshines my 2009 medals! I've taken all of my ratings from my 2010 Marathons (of the 27 marathons/ultras, only 23 gave out medals) 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 weeks, ending with "Best overall marathon." If you're looking for the best of medals 2009, please go here.
*Actual prizes can be redeemed in "cool points"

5b. Fargo Marathon's "Trippy" Medal (2-way tie for 5th place) 4.5/5.0
Date: May 22, 2010
Fargo, ND
Overall rating: 4.1/5.0

Info: This psychedelic medal was definitely unique and artistic. They put the same picture on the shirts as well. I especially loved the colorful lanyard.. 

5a Go! St. Louis Marathon's Arch Medal 4.5/5.0
Date: April 11, 2010
St. Louis, MO
Overall rating: 4.6/5.0

Info: This fun design and great colors make this medal very distinctive. The arch is predominant on the face and I like how it kind of looks like a beer bottle opener... am I the only one that thinks this?

4b. Philadelphia Marathon's "American Pride" Medal (2-way tie for 4th place) 4.6/5.0
Date: November 21, 2010
Philadelphia, PA
Overall rating: NA/5.0

Info: This is a fantastic eye-catching design on both the medal face and the lanyard. Being such a historic city, I like that they included landmarks on the medal. The design and red/white/blue colors really pop.
4a. Detroit Free Press Marathon's "2-Country Flag" Medal 4.6/5.0
Date: October 17, 2010
Detroit, MI
Overall rating: 4.4/5.0

Info: This is a great tribute to both the US and Canada. Both flags are represented on the lanyard. The bridge connecting the city is on the medal face as well as the pride of Detroit- the auto industry represented and the city scape. 

3. Mississippi Blues Marathon's "Guitar" Medal 4.7/5.0
Date: January 9, 2019
Atlanta, GA
Overall rating: 4.1/5.0

Info: It's a guitar and a medal... does it get any better? Love the colors, especially on the lanyard and the guitar is a great representation of what that weekend was all about... the blues baby! 

2. Marshall University Marathon's Medal 4.8/5.0 (pictured below...)
Date: November 7, 2010
Huntington, WV (Marshall University)
Overall rating: 4.2/5.0

Info: Although I feel like they copied my city's medal (flying pig) with the back/front animal concept, it's still really cool! Plain lanyard, but great design

And the Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge #1 rated medal for 20010 is.... *Drum roll*...
1. Little Rock Marathon's "Super Sized" Medal 4.9/5.0
Date: March 7, 2010
Little Rock, AR
Overall rating: 4.9/5.0

Info: You can't really go wrong with a medal the size of your head! A true tribute to the marathon distance, this medal is about the size of my head and thick as well. The downfall?... wearing it around for extended periods of time may hurt your neck! 
3 Worst Medals of 2010
I like to call this years worst the...
"Nice try, but let's work a little harder next year" Awards!

3. Delaware Marathon's "gumball machine" medal 2.9/5.0
Date: May 16, 2010
Wilmington, DE
Overall rating: 4.8/5.0

Info: For SUCH a great marathon, I'm really surprised at the medals. It's very plain and boring, and watch out if a breeze comes along... it may blow away. 

2. Omaha Marathon's "what IS it??" Medal 2.8/5.0
Date: September 26, 2010
Omaha, NE
Overall rating: 4.4/5.0

Info: Another great marathon with not so great bling. I don't know what is driving directors to go with these glass medals but 1) I'm willing to be it gets broken and 2) you can't actually see what the medal is supposed to say with the swirls of colors. Each medal was different (different swirls) but almost all were unreadable. 

And the Steph's 50 Marathon Challenge WORST medal of 2010 is... *drum roll*...

1. First Light Marathons "Stickers???" Medal 2.7/5.0
Date: January 10, 2010
Mobile, AL
Overall Rating: 3.1/5.0

Info: It doesn't hold a candle to the monstrosity from last year's worst medals, but it still isn't pretty. Stickers on a wooden block, does NOT a marathon medal make. 

Remaining Medals of 2010...
The "Betweener" Medals (from worst to best)

#20 Ocean Drive Marathon
Cape May, NJ 3.0/5.0
Info: Kind of a blah medal... 

#19 Dallas White Rock Marathon
Dallas, TX 3.6/5.0
Info: White Rock is not Athens

#18 Spinx Run Fest Marathon
Greenville, SC 3.6/5.0
Info: The rocky face was kind of different and the female runner was cool!

#17 University of Okoboji Marathon
Okoboji, IA 3.6/5.0
Info: The coined medal is the same as the award medals!

#16 Chicago Marathon
Chicago, IL 3.7/5.0
Info: This looked more like a bank logo than a marathon medal. I was expecting a lot more for 10.10.10

#15 Wyoming Marathon
Cheyenne, WY 3.8/5.0
Info: This pin (in lieu of a medal) had the state seal on the front. It was also the best feature of a terrible race. 

#14 Mizuno KS Free State Trail Marathon
Lawrence, KS 3.8/5.0
Info: I'm just happy a trail marathon actually gave out a medal. 

#13 Oklahoma Memorial Marathon
Oklahoma City, OK 3.9/5.0
Info: Great representation of the memorial

#12 Mesa Falls Marathon
Ashton, ID 4.0/5.0
Info: I loved the wooden medal-- it really went with the feel of the marathon

#11 Foot Traffic Flatt Marathon
Portland, OR 4.0/5.0
Info: I know some people didn't like the bike chain/recycled paper thing, but I thought it was really different. 

#10 Seattle Rock'n'Roll Marathon
Seattle, WA 4.1/5.0
Info: I loved the representation of the city on this medal... not the mention the sparkles!

#9 Bataan Memorial Death March
White Sands, NM 4.2/5.0
Info: This isn't technically a medal, but I think it was a great addition to the race and went perfectly with the event.

#8 Big Wild Humpy's Marathon
Anchorage, AK 4.3/5.0
Info: A nice sized medal but a little boring for most people going all the way to AK to run.

And the non-medaled marathons?...
HMRRC Winter Marathon ~ Albany, NY
HURL 50K ~ Helena, MT (gave out a certificate)
Bimblers Bluff 50K ~Madison, WI (gave out a hat and water bottle)
Dawg Gone Long 50 Miler ~ Caesar Creek, OH

Hope you enjoyed the best and worst of 2010 Medals!!!!

Happy Medal Collecting Racing,
"Run to Win" -Meb


  1. What a neat report! I wish the Oregon (Foot Traffic Flat) medal was better and could've been in your top 5. I don't care for the chain either...

  2. Love all the pics of the medals! Also, I just became follower #200 :)

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  4. What do you do with all your medals? I'd love to find a way to display mine, but right now they're all sitting in a box.

  5. Glad to see Detroit was one of the best. I liked the medal as well.

  6. Steph, you know the First Light Medal was handmade by residents of L'Arche Mobile? That was the whole point and why they handed it to us personally.

  7. My fav is the MS Blues guitar ... Hooray 17 degrees! I'm also curious what you do with all these medals - is there a good way to display them?

  8. DUDE, that's a lot of medals. Some of those "worsts" are baaaaad, but at least you got lots of awesome ones to make up for it!!

  9. Wow, amazing what some races dole out as a 'reward'! I guess finishing is supposed to be the reward, but heck, it's nice to take something home. I shared your post with a friend who selects races solely based on the medals they give out... :)

  10. there are marathons that don't give you medals?!?! WHAT??? that's crazy talk!!

  11. Hey there, I just wanted to say something in favor of the Omaha Marathon medals. They have purchased these medals for the past 3 years in support of a local art studio in Omaha. Each medal - yes EACH AND EVERY MEDAL is individually glass blown and made out of recycled glass. There are several runners who love looking for their favorite colors and designs. I think they are great!

  12. I like more the Marshall University. it looks pretty amazing that bull and it is quite a trophy to show.

  13. I am happy to finally see someone who isn't afraid to call out those First Light Medals for being hideous. I know they're "hand made" by special-needs adults and I don't care.