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If you’ve been following my blog you’ll know how much I’m into being a healthy father. I love going to the gym, biking and also running. I’m far from being a fantastic athlete but I do enjoy road races a few times a year as it’s a great way to stay in shape after 40. I also have a cool medal or two to show for my effort. As an active father, it’s important to show my son that everyone can give a little effort on race day and have fun. 

For me, it’s never about the fastest time and the prize money, it’s more about challenging yourself to become a better runner and father.

Last weekend, my son and I ran a 5k together along with my wife. My son is only 7 and was included in the youngest age group. He followed me through-out the race and did not want to take a breather…We did not receive any awards that day or any type of run medals, but we did get to bond as father and son. It’s the perfect way to introduce an active lifestyle to your kids, and to maintain a sense of overall wellbeing.

Running races, be it a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or full marathon, are not just about crossing the finish line; they are about the glory, the achievement, and the recognition that comes along. 

Have a Great Race!

Understanding Age Group Awards

Age group awards are a way to acknowledge the performance of runners within specific age categories. They’re an essential part of any race, be it a 3k, 5k, 10k, half marathon or a full marathon, providing each participant, regardless of their age, an opportunity to shine.

These awards foster a sense of accomplishment, encouraging runners to strive for a better performance in their respective age groups.

Age Group Awards

Age group awards can be categorized based on different factors such as the type of race, material of the award, and the color of the race medals. Let’s take a closer look at each category.

Type of Race

Depending on the race, the awards can be classified as Finisher Medals, Age Group Awards Medals, and Charity Medals.

Finisher Medals: These are awarded to every participant who completes the race. The medals usually carry the race logo or name, serving as a token of the participant’s achievement.

Age Group Awards Medals: These are awarded to runners who place in their age group during the race. It offers a fantastic way to compare performance with other participants of the same age group.

Charity Medals: These are awarded to runners who raise money for a charity or a cause. It’s an excellent way to support a good cause while showcasing your accomplishment.

Award medals for running
image: [email protected]

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Material of Awards Medal

The material of the award plays a significant role in its appeal and longevity. The common materials used include metal, plastic, rubber, and wood.

Metal Medals: These are durable and long-lasting, perfect for engraving any design or text, providing greater potential for customization.

Plastic Medals: These are lighter and cheaper than metal medals but offer less durability.

Rubber Medals: Rubber medals are lightweight and flexible, making them a hit among younger participants. You can see the white medal in my picture…it’s made out of rubber.

Wooden Medals: Though not as widely popular, wooden medals are an option for those looking for something unique.

Color of Race Medals

The color of the race medals adds to their charm. The most commonly used colors are gold, silver, and bronze.

Gold Medals: Representing the highest achievement, the brightness of a gold medal is akin to the dawn of a victorious day.

Silver Medals: Silver medals maintain their subtle elegance, signifying a commendable performance.

Copper Medals: Copper or bronze medals reflect the distinguished achievement of the runner.


Design Custom Medals

The design of the race medal is crucial as it’s what participants remember after crossing the finish line. Here are some tips to create an amazing race medal:

  • Theme: Incorporate the theme of the race into the medal design.
  • Simplicity: A simple, easy-to-read design works best.
  • Legibility: Ensure the text and logos are legible from a distance.
  • Vibrant Colors: Use colors that stand out against the background.
  • Important Information: Include the race date and other essential details on the medal.

Custom Award Medals

Once you have the artwork ready, you will need to order the medals from a supplier or manufacturer. The finished medals, after 2-3 weeks of production, will serve as a token of hard work and dedication for the participants.

International Runners
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU:

Famous Marathons

Several marathon medals have become famous due to their unique designs and the prestige of the marathons themselves. Some of these include the New York City Marathon Gold Medal and the London Marathon Gold Medal. Each medal is a coveted prize for runners worldwide, inspiring them to push their boundaries.

Here’s a list of the most famous marathons from around the world. You should think about including it on your ‘old man’ bucket list. I’ll be seeing you in Lisboa for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Maratona de Lisboa. It looks amazing.

‘GUN’ versus ‘NET’ Time

‘GUN’ time refers to the time taken from the official start to when a person finishes, while ‘NET’ time refers to the time taken based on when the participant crosses the physical start line. The USATF (United States of America Track & Field) requires only GUN time to be used for awards.

Award Categories

Races typically give out overall awards to the first three male, female, and non-binary runners. They then give out awards in age groups by gender. The structure of these awards can vary based on the race directors’ discretion.

Buying Race Medals Online

Online platforms like Amazon offer a variety of running medals that you can purchase for your race. You can find medals of different sizes, designs, and materials that can be customized to match your event’s theme.

My Last Words…

Running a race is a test of endurance, determination, and hard work. Remember, these medals are more than just tokens; they are symbols of achievement that runners will cherish for a lifetime.  Running a short race or a full marathon is all about enjoying every step of the process and creating a lasting impression for you and your family.  If you feel intimidated into running outside, just simply run on a treadmill at the gym at first until you’re confident enought to register for an outside run. Don’t overthink it…

Man kissing his running medal
Photo by RUN 4 FFWPU:

Just FYI ~~

Here are some interesting facts about running


  1. Accessible for All: 5K races are popular because they’re accessible to beginners and experienced runners alike. Many charity runs and fun runs are 5Ks, making them a great entry point for people new to running.
  2. Health Benefits: Running a 5K regularly can significantly improve cardiovascular health, boost metabolism, and reduce stress levels.
  3. Parkrun Phenomenon: Parkrun, a free 5K event held in parks worldwide, encourages communities to come together for a Saturday morning run. It has become a global phenomenon, promoting fitness and social interaction.
  4. Color Runs: 5K races often have creative themes like color runs where participants are doused with colored powder at various points in the race, creating a vibrant and festive atmosphere.
  5. Fastest Recorded Time: The fastest 5K run was by Kenyan runner Rhonex Kipruto, who completed a road race in Monaco in 2019 in just 13 minutes and 18 seconds.


  1. Popular Distance: The 10K is one of the most popular race distances globally. It provides a challenge for beginners while also allowing seasoned runners to test their speed and endurance.
  2. Olympic Distance: The 10,000 meters (10K) is a standard Olympic track and field event for both men and women.
  3. Historical Roots: The 10K distance has historical roots. The original “Olympic foot race,” or stade race in ancient Greece, was about 10K in length.
  4. Corporate Involvement: Many corporate-sponsored runs are 10K events, promoting employee wellness and team building.
  5. Prolific Participants: Some runners use 10K races as training runs for longer distances like half-marathons and marathons, making them a crucial part of their training regimen.


  1. Origin of Marathon: The marathon race originated from the legend of Pheidippides, a Greek messenger who ran approximately 26.2 miles from Marathon to Athens to deliver news of a military victory against the Persians. He died after delivering the message.
  2. Boston Marathon: One of the world’s most famous marathons, the Boston Marathon, started in 1897, making it the oldest annual marathon in the world that is still run today.
  3. Ultra-Marathoners: Ultra-marathons are races longer than the traditional marathon distance. Some ultra-marathons cover incredible distances, like the Badwater Ultramarathon in the U.S., which spans 135 miles through Death Valley.
  4. Kipchoge’s Record: Eliud Kipchoge of Kenya set the men’s marathon world record in 2018, completing the Berlin Marathon in 2 hours, 1 minute, and 39 seconds. Brigid Kosgei of Kenya set the women’s world record in 2019, finishing the Chicago Marathon in 2 hours, 14 minutes, and 4 seconds.
  5. Mental and Physical Challenge: Marathons test not only physical endurance but also mental strength. Runners often hit a “wall” around the 20-mile mark, requiring significant mental resilience to push through and finish the race.
Man at finish line of a 5k run
image: [email protected]

More Fun Facts about running…

  1. Dress to Impress: The world record for the fastest marathon run by a person dressed as a fruit is 2 hours, 58 minutes, and 20 seconds. The record was set by Patrick Wightman, who dressed as a banana during the 2011 Virgin London Marathon.
  2. Beer Mile World Record: There’s a sport called the “Beer Mile,” where participants have to drink a beer and run a quarter-mile lap, repeating this process four times. The world record for the Beer Mile is an incredible 4 minutes and 33 seconds, held by Corey Bellemore. That’s chugging four beers and running a mile in less than 5 minutes!
  3. Costume Marathons: Some marathons have specific themes, and participants dress accordingly. In the annual Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco, you can see runners dressed in outrageous costumes, turning the marathon into a moving carnival. It’s not uncommon to see superheroes, animals, and even movie characters running the race.
  4. Running Backward: There are dedicated athletes who participate in backward running races. Believe it or not, there are official world records for backward running. The fastest mile run backward is approximately 5 minutes and 54 seconds, showcasing the incredible versatility of human movement.
  5. Marathon Monks: In Japan, there is a group of Buddhist monks known as the “marathon monks” of Mount Hiei. They complete a marathon a day for 100 consecutive days, covering a total distance of about 26,000 miles. This spiritual practice, called Kaihogyo, takes several years to complete and is a testament to the incredible endurance capacity of the human body and mind.

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