Lonely Goat Running Club member, Ian Payton (in the photo above), shared a post on our Facebook Chat Group recently which sparked off a discussion about “How proud is too proud?” Specifically, for how long after a race should you wear the medal?
We thought it was an interesting chat, so here’s a summary of the discussion below…
“Do we in the U.K. need to address our attitude to medals? Having run Chicago at the weekend I did the usual. Medal round the neck until I met my wife, who then wore it for a little bit before it gets put away, then hung up when we get home.
However, on Monday and Tuesday in Chicago there were literally hundreds of people still wearing them when they were out and about without any hint of ostentatiousness, just pride in what they had done. Even on the flight back there was a chap still wearing his medal and all I could think was “Mate, please take that off, people will think you’re a right ******”.
However, maybe we’ve got this wrong and could learn a lesson from our American friends. Maybe we should just wear them and be proud. Discuss…”
“I think it’s a bit OTT to still wear it the next day. Yes on the day of the race wear it with pride, then do the British thing of having a cup of tea and moving on!”
“I work bloody hard to finish a half and I’m going to make sure people know about it.”
“I wore mine with pride Sunday/Monday and to the airport Tuesday. So did lots of others. We didn’t shout about it, just a nod to each other to acknowledge our achievements: well done we earned it.”
“It’s your medal, you earned it. Wear it for as long as you want.”
“I think it’s totally up to the person. I don’t even take medals or t-shirts as I don’t wear or display them so it’s a waste. I think when you register you should be able to say if you want one or not”
“If I finish my first marathon next year I’ll probably wear it all year cos I’ll want the world to know I did it.”
“We work so hard to train for these marathons, why not wear our medals with pride! It’s amazing how many people came up to me to congratulate me in Chicago too.”
Leah Jo Perry
“When I did my first half marathon back in May this year, I wanted to wear my medal out for dinner that evening as I was soooo pleased with myself! I’d love to embrace their attitude to medal wearing!”
“I don’t think it is national thing or cultural, it’s a personal thing. I’ve only ever worn a medal for the obligatory photo and the walk to the car/bus/train when it goes in a bag. I don’t judge people for their choices to wear them for longer as I don’t expect to be judged for my choices.”
“I was staying in Ambleside the weekend of the Lakeland 50/100 and made a point of congratulating anyone I saw wearing the finisher t shirt the next day and the day after. Such a huge achievement – I could completely see why they wore their t-shirts for the following few days.”
“I had the same experience in Berlin in 2019 After the marathon I wore it the rest of the day, but not after. However, all around the city and then the airport on the next day, people all around were wearing them – even on the flight. I loved it and felt a bit left out I didn’t have mine on!”
“Personally I think people should do what they want. I wouldn’t want to wear a medal once I’d got changed and showered as it wouldn’t feel right. However, if I see someone the next day wearing one I think it would put a smile on my face.”
“I love all my medals and I’ve just asked my husband to make me another medal hanger. I like looking at the medals from years ago too. I’m getting older (71) and getting more nostalgic.”
Emily Calista Walker
“I think you can wear it till you’re not sore anymore. I wore mine the day after London this year when I was walking the dog in case anyone asked what was wrong with my legs.”
“I haven’t got the cahoonas for fear of people giving bad looks. After London last year I put the finishers t-shirt on and wore it home but not the medal, even though the medal is one of my most treasured possessions.”
“I think they’re a waste of money and just more tat to clog up landfill. For me it’s all about taking part and having fun. I’d rather they halve the entry price and get rid of all the crud like medals and plastic gifts. I’ve handed plastic gifts back to them in the past and told them to give it to someone else.”
“My sister has Down Syndrome. During 2020 we did a Harry Potter 9 3/4 challenge. In 3 segments she ran a total of 9 3/4 miles. She got a medal and the t-shirt.
She wore the medal every day the following week, so proud of her achievement. Whilst I would have felt silly doing that – like having pride in oneself was wrong – I saw it through her eyes: There’s nothing wrong at all in feeling proud of yourself. Achievements should be celebrated and do contribute to our feelings of self worth. We should feel free to express how we feel without the fear of judgement.
‘Do what you wanna do, be who you wanna be.’ Pride isn’t wrong.”
“OMG, I so love this. It’s not about showing off, but the sense of pride after all the hours and months of training. I always feel bit sad it’s over so quickly; the celebrations, comradeship. I would wear mine to work, if it was not a health and safety issue.”
“I don’t need to wear a medal to show off what I’ve achieved. This is instead replaced by dropping it into conversation at every possible opportunity, even if it isn’t relevant to running. ‘What did you have for tea?’ ‘Pasta. Let me tell you a time when I had pasta before a marathon…’.”
“I always wear my medal in the car on the drive home after a race and then all evening at home. Then, at some point, I take them and put them round my Dad’s urn (he devastatingly died from blood cancer 2 years ago), tell him all about the race and take a photo.
I only took up running at 43, and my Dad was very proud of me. He always tried on my medals in life and said he wished he was well enough to be able to get one himself. Him being proud of me was all that mattered to me and I like to think maybe he still knows and is still proud.”
Thank you to all the Goats above, and the many more who offered up their views on how long you should wear a medal for.
If you’ve got a burning question you want the Goats’ input on, start a discussion in our Facebook Chat Group here: LINK