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  1. #1
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    Finishers medals/tokens

    Does anyone else cherish these things or is it just me?

    As someone who has a snowballs chance in hell of ever podiuming at a Marathon event and only enters to make up numbers and try to finish them, its always a nice touch to get a token, buckle, medal, tshirt or some other junk trinket to say I actually finished.

    I've read about the Marji Gerik (sp?) and the buckles they give out if you finish in a certain timeframe which is a cool idea. Certainly a goal worth aiming for, even if you have no chance of being on a podium.

    The multi-day events here in Australia sometimes have finishers medals, but the single day events normally don't which is a pity.

  2. #2
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    I think it's great tbh. I like my podium stuff "more" but my LT and Breck Epic belt buckles are looking over my home office along side some of the other higher placing trinkets.

  3. #3
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    When I did the Trans BC, one of the volunteers was driving his personal van as a shuttle vehicle. And the whole dash of the van was decorated with belt buckles and badges and all kinds of cool memorabilia from the BC Bike Race, Singletrack races, NIMBY 50, etc. Was an epic collection that must have taken years to build.

  4. #4
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    I have all the number plates from all the races I have ever done (and was allowed to keep the number plate). I can't make myself to part with them, maybe one day I will decorate something with them
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  5. #5
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    I've never done an event that's had anything bar a piece of paper for finishing off the podium.
    Most don't even have the piece of paper.

  6. #6
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    I don't have any of the medals/trophies, etc. from over the years, but I do have a small collection of pint glasses.
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  7. #7
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    There is a fifty miler where you get a plate of fried chicken in exchange for returning your rfid plate. First time doing that race so no friggin way was I going to return the plate.


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  8. #8
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    Belt buckles are cool, but I'm not ever going to actually use one.

    Best finishing trinkets IMO are the finisher's hats from the Cascade Creampuff 100 and Fritter 50.

    Pint glasses are close second!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  9. #9
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    How I feel about the medal depends a lot on the race of course. Finisher medals used to be less common here in the US but they they're everywhere now. Even many 5Ks have finisher medals now.

    Separate from the medal for all finishers thing, the races that offer different levels of buckles/medals is genius from a marketing perspective. I'm strongly compelled to come back and keep shooting for the sub-9 buckle at Leadville because it represents a significant challenge for me, but it's not ridiculously impossible like finishing on the podium. Seeing the people walking around with the dinner plate sized 10-year buckle is another big draw, even if you can't make the sub-9 buckle you can still work towards something through perseverance (and $$$). In fact they acknowledge the 10 and 20 year buckle recipients way more than the sub-9 finishers, calling the 10 & 20 year buckle recipients up individually to receive their buckles during the awards ceremony.

    So while I'm pretty saturated on normal finisher medals at this point, I freely admit I've completely fallen for their trap on the whole buckle thing.

  10. #10
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    I like to keep number plates and will usually buy a shirt if they aren't already given to racers. It's fun to look back at those and remember the races.

    I have no interest for anything resembling a trophy or medal for a race I didn't podium.

  11. #11
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    Breck Epic buckles are a keeper, mostly because of what it says on the back :-)

  12. #12
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    I don't really care about them. My small Leadville buckle is sitting in my desk drawer and won't come out until it's big sister arrives someday.

    A Breck or BCBR one would be a keeper. I usually just don't take a finisher medal tbh.

    I love on course photos though and I'm always sad when they don't get added.

  13. #13
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    I started keeping (most) all my numbers from when I started, '89 ish, and I made notes on the back; where/when/finish, how I felt. That's a good way to keep #s. I've got a mug that's a cool trophy, and a couple of boxes of podium medals, - they'll be good to display at my funeral someday.
    I know a guy who was a recent legit pro moto racer, he was talking about how he threw out all his trophies and giant checks etc, -didn't care at all about that stuff, but he's young and will probably wish he kept it at some point. An office wall finished in giant-oversize checks would be super cool.
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  14. #14
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    I have a good collection of race numbers and event posters (Epic Rides gives out posters to commemorate events) along with some pint glasses. I like those things over the finisher medal.

    I have a cool work area in my garage that is covered with my race numbers and posters. I wrote my times and some notes on the back regarding how the day went. When we moved 2 years ago, it was fun to read those notes from 10+ years ago.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcadbiker View Post
    Breck Epic buckles are a keeper, mostly because of what it says on the back :-)
    Don't leave me hanging - what does it say?


    I agree that medals and trophies should be limited to the podium. I like the idea of pint glasses or mugs for completion of a long hard event, especially if the glass is served full! At the Kowalski challenge here in Australia, they had an inflatable pool full of ice and cans of beer at the finish line which was a welcome sight!

    Even a trinket like a bottle opener that says "(insert event name) Finisher" is a cool little take away.

    Really like the idea of the sub X-hour buckles. Thats a good thing to aim for! The fields at the marathon events are so big sometimes that limiting swag to the first 3 or 5 riders means there's often several hundred riders that don't get anything to show for their efforts.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodles View Post
    Does anyone else cherish these things or is it just me?
    Depends on how hard the event is.
    My first "big race" was Epic's Whiskey 25 (30 miles actually). It was the toughest race and toughest day riding I had to that point. I still cherish my finisher's pint glass.

    One year later I did Epic's Whiskey 50 (Year of torrential rain, wind and snow). I finished that too and given the high number of DNFs I cherish my finisher glass as well.

    Since then "finisher" awards don't mean as much since now I expect to finish big rides. I if I did just the Whiskey 30 well I darn well better finish. I still won't podium though. But if I find a race or event well beyond my current state of riding and I finish I appreciate awards like this. I just finished my first Breck Epic. 6 days 200+ miles and over 30k climbing. I feel I earned the hell out of my finisher belt buckle despite a mid pack finish.

    So in the end alot depends on how hard it is given my current state. In 2017 I finished the Arizona Trail 300 bikepack race. Hardest thing ever. No finisher award, but I am still damn proud I finished that beast. 3 days 16hrs. Not close to winning, but better than others that backed out and pretty darn good to know I completed it on my first try. I know other who are faster, but took 2,3 or 4 attempts to finish and other DNFs who finished in years prior.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by toodles View Post
    Don't leave me hanging - what does it say?..
    can't post it because the filters won't allow it.

    Lets just say... think of the wallet in Pulp Fiction.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    can't post it because the filters won't allow it.

    Lets just say... think of the wallet in Pulp Fiction.
    Google search came through for me... Nice.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Belt buckles are cool, but I'm not ever going to actually use one.

    Best finishing trinkets IMO are the finisher's hats from the Cascade Creampuff 100 and Fritter 50.

    Pint glasses are close second!
    I still use my 1st place clock from the Cream Puff (Masters, 2001). As well as all the hats, including a coveted DLBF version which is harder to earn than one might expect.
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  20. #20
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    I see them as a status symbol. I was doing well enough to pay for a $2000 race and in good enough shape to finish it. Being able to do that on an annual basis is a big deal in just about any walk of life. To me they symbolize that your in a good financial situation with a good quality of life any year your able to finish one.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    I see them as a status symbol. I was doing well enough to pay for a $2000 race and in good enough shape to finish it. Being able to do that on an annual basis is a big deal in just about any walk of life. To me they symbolize that your in a good financial situation with a good quality of life any year your able to finish one.
    Iíve never thought of it that way but you are 100% correct. Its truly a blessing and a privilege to be able to have enough spare cash, time, and energy to do these types of events.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Udyr View Post
    Iíve never thought of it that way but you are 100% correct. Its truly a blessing and a privilege to be able to have enough spare cash, time, and energy to do these types of events.
    Not to mention injury free playing which is just something that most people will eventually have to deal with due to zipping along at 20 mph through the woods for 2 hours a day. At least a broken wrist isn't as bad as being the guy that got hit by a car on his commute into work.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparticus View Post
    I still use my 1st place clock from the Cream Puff (Masters, 2001). As well as all the hats, including a coveted DLBF version which is harder to earn than one might expect.
    =sParty
    Hilarious! I've got a half dozen of those crazy clocks, and I love them. I keep saying I gotta get them all up on one wall someday.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by kosmo View Post
    Hilarious! I've got a half dozen of those crazy clocks, and I love them. I keep saying I gotta get them all up on one wall someday.
    You could put a place name sign under each clock set to the correct time for the different places you like to ride like Oakridge, Bellingham, Moab, Whistler, blah blah.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    Not to mention injury free playing which is just something that most people will eventually have to deal with due to zipping along at 20 mph through the woods for 2 hours a day. At least a broken wrist isn't as bad as being the guy that got hit by a car on his commute into work.
    Injury Free and keeping your bike togehter are key for stage races. At Breck this year I crashed on day 3. Hit a tree with my handlebars and kicked me into some rocks that send me down on my knee hard. Hurt like a mo-fo. Just 2 miles to the finish, but I was worried about the next 3 days. I was able to deal with it and minor bike damage after with no effect on later days, but it is a risk. I saw a number of riders drop out of Breck due to crashes and injury including many on the podium. Same for long bikepack races where a simple fall or repetitive motion injury can end your race quickly and it even more critical for bike maintenance since you are on your own. For stuff like this riding fast important, but also riding smart. No good to go too fast and end in a crash by riding over your head.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Injury Free and keeping your bike togehter are key for stage races. At Breck this year I crashed on day 3. Hit a tree with my handlebars and kicked me into some rocks that send me down on my knee hard. Hurt like a mo-fo. Just 2 miles to the finish, but I was worried about the next 3 days. I was able to deal with it and minor bike damage after with no effect on later days, but it is a risk. I saw a number of riders drop out of Breck due to crashes and injury including many on the podium. Same for long bikepack races where a simple fall or repetitive motion injury can end your race quickly and it even more critical for bike maintenance since you are on your own. For stuff like this riding fast important, but also riding smart. No good to go too fast and end in a crash by riding over your head.
    Well, a wreck in general during any time of the year can easily set you back 6 months or more. A broken wrist in March can easily put you out for the rest of the year if not longer. To complete a race you need the following. Be healthy enough and have enough time to train to complete a 12 hour race. Then you need a huge wad of cash to pay for the entry, travel, hotel, and ect. Then you have to hope you can ride for 12 hours straight on race day. IMO race completion awards are definitely a symbol of prosperity in all aspects of life during that year in my book.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by party_wagon View Post
    IMO race completion awards are definitely a symbol of prosperity in all aspects of life during that year in my book.
    Agreed 100%. Prosperity that includes a very loving and supporting family / partner. I know I wouldnít be able to participate in all of these amazing races in incredible places without buy-in from my wife.

    Iíd be lying if I said I wasnít quite fond of my 2018 ITI130 winnerís mug. Iíve got a bunch of finishers medals and belt buckles in the workshop somewhere, but the mug gets a place of prominence on a bookshelf.

  28. #28
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    Yes it takes money, but really that is the easy part. There are ways you can do events on the cheap. Also some people have money to burn, but skill, fitness and the dedication are not bought. No level of money that can substitute for that.
    Joe
    '18 Specialized Epic 29", Vassago Verhauen SS 29", '13 Santa Cruz Solo 27.5", XC, AM, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Yes it takes money, but really that is the easy part. There are ways you can do events on the cheap. Also some people have money to burn, but skill, fitness and the dedication are not bought. No level of money that can substitute for that.
    More than a little truth there.

    I'd also note that the older I get, the more the finishing/podium trinkets mean to me.

    When I was young, I donated all my motocross trophies to a charity that just put different tops and plaques on them.

    No real regrets there, except that it was stupid not to have kept three of four of them. Ah, the folly of youth!
    Whining is not a strategy.

  30. #30
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    I used to keep all that stuff. I had this huge collection of medals from my running days, mostly they are gone now (well, left with my ex wife to toss I guess). I only hold on to ones that have specific meaning, or podium awards. I unfortunately couldn't find my first pro race plate, which I am hoping is hiding somewhere, it has special meaning for me (total coincidence, my first pro plate had the same number I used when racing motorcycles). Otherwise, I prefer not to get anything.

    I have gotten a couple of nice glasses from my 50k's and my 50 miler running race, but only kept one when I moved out.

  31. #31
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    Never got a medal from a running race. Even when winning a local half marathon 2 years in a row and another local race 3 times in 5 years.
    I just think they're not as big on medals over here. Trying to keep the costs down.

  32. #32
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    i've saved all my numbers. I write down my time and where I finished, overall and within my age group. These are mostly from footraces and about a half dozen sprint triathlons. I've got a couple of trophies and a medal from podiuming in some 5Ks. I like getting a nice t-shirt. I filled out a poll for a local race promotor and one of the questions was what to get for swag. I put cotton t-shirt as I've gotten enough tech Ts to last me awhile but haven't gotten a nice cotton T in a good while.
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