4 Awesome Races to Run + Their Medals!

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I recently bought a race medal holder on Etsy** to finally display my medals from my five-plus years of running. I previously kept my medals tangled in a pile in my athletic attire drawer, and they were begging to be rescued. But I worked too hard to earn this bling to keep it locked away collecting dust.

Now my race medals reside on a medal holder containing three race photos. It hangs above my desk as a daily reminder that I can do badass things when I try. Seeing them also helps me relive the memorable races I’ve had. Looking for a medal holder? I recommend this one. ** I also highly suggest displaying your hard-earned medals.

Find my running medal holder here on Etsy.**

Thinking of running a race? Here are my favorite medals and the races I ran to earn them.

  • Chicago Fall Half Marathon – Chicago. If you are looking to travel for a half, I recommend the Chicago Half. The medal is enormous: a golden, almost-plate-size token from your race. The race takes place in the southern part of the city. Shuttle service takes you from two L stops to the race, and the post-race party includes a free slice of pizza and beer. This is also the race in which I earned a double medal for also running the Chicago Spring Half. The race shirt is usually a long sleeve that is handy during fall and winter runs. The Chicago Half is usually in late September and registration fees ranged from $70-80 in 2016.
Chicago Half Marathon – September 2015

Chicago Half Marathon – September 2016
  • Ragnar Relay -Various locations. I have run Ragnar (a 200-mile relay race with 12-member teams) four times: three times at the Del Sol and once at the McDowell Mountain trail race. These challenging races make you earn your medal, which was a beer bottle opener the years I ran it. Beyond that, Ragnar has created medals that connect with each other, so each of the 12 runners can finish the race, collect their medals, put them together for a photo op and celebrate. You also have the opportunity to earn double medals with special names and designs that vary by geographic location. Races are held throughout the year all around the country. Registration fees can be heftier than other races, starting at around $120-130 a person, depending on when you register. You also have many other costs to consider, including van rental, food and gear. 
  • Phoenix Half Marathon and Marathon – Mesa, Arizona. I have done this three times (half marathon twice and 10K once), and I liked the consistency in their medal design. A Phoenix was designed on the medal, which fits the name and location of the race. From 2016-2020, though, the medals get even better. They connect to form a copper star; the five medals represent the Five C’s of Arizona: cattle, copper, cotton, citrus and climate. They are silver and copper and they look FANCY. Marathon costs were $80-125 in 2016. Half-marathon costs were $70-110 this year. The virtual half-marathon was $49. The next Phoenix Half Marathon and Marathon will be on Feb. 25, 2017. Race bags include runner arm sleeves, which I think is a nice touch.
Arizona Copper Star Medals via Phoenix Half Marathon website.

  • Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon – Louisville, Kentucky. I like this medal because it represents its area and the race so well. The marathon runs through Churchill Downs and is part of the Kentucky Derby festivities leading up to the horse race. This was also my first marathon so I have a special place in my heart for it. Registration fees start at $85 for the 2017 race. The next race takes place on April 29, 2017.
What are your favorite race medals? Share them with me in the comments!

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