You have undergone weeks of preparation: woke up at the crack of dawn to condition your body into running; denied yourself of your favorite junk foods so you can be a lean, mean running machine; and spent countless hours on the treadmill pushing your limits. On the day of the race, you run like your life depends on it. At the finish line, your neck is adorned by a shiny medal—the prize of all your efforts. Then you go home, set it on a table somewhere, and forget about it being there. That is until you go looking where you last put your keys and find a medal instead.
Though medals are great rewards and reminders of all your victories and hard work, they really don’t have any other function. People nowadays are embracing more function with the new things they choose to include in their lives and homes, so finding creative ways to celebrate triumphs is ideal. Here are some fun alternatives to finish line medals:
If you want something shiny around your neck, why settle for a medal? A lovely bit of jewelry can make for a fantastic finish line prize, as you can use it to accessorize every day. This can be a small, unique charm that can be given out in boxes and can be hung on necklaces, bracelets, and even be set on rings. Imagine the conversations that could stem from such pieces: “I won this from a race!”
Custom-made enamel lapel pins are also a creative and useful alternative to medals. Think of them as a simple yet sophisticated jewelry for your clothes. Simply stick them to your collar or your lapel whenever you go out for work or any special occasion. Every time a co-worker asks about it, you can bring up how you won it in a race after training for a long time.
- Bottle Openers
A bottle opener is a fantastic prize to receive after a race. Several races have already made the transition from medals to bottle openers after the price was received so well among participants. Among the most creative iterations have been mounted wall plaques that also double as bottle openers, fancy race keychains with built-in bottle openers, and even handy utility cards with— you guessed it— a bottle opener and other tools.
- Vacuum Flasks
Insulated water bottles aren’t just for the gym or for a short outdoor trip. These days, everyone tows one around everywhere they go: to work, on the commute, and even to bed. Vacuum flasks can be on the pricey side, however. Giving out a quality vacuum flask is a great way to reward a win. You can even opt to have the flask customized with the organizers’ or sponsors’ brand. Race participants will always remember their victory every time they pry open their flasks for a cool or warm drink.
- Camping Chairs
Camping chairs make a curious addition to this list, as they are not as portable as the first four items. But imagine you’re a runner with over 50km behind you, and waiting for you at the finish line is a cold drink and a welcoming chair. Camping chairs are foldable, comfortable, can come with pockets and cup holders, and have fabric that can easily be customized to display the name of the race and its sponsors. They can also be used for other occasions: afternoons at the park, a day at the beach, a picnic, a barbecue, for camping, and many more.
In this day and age, it’s great that we get to reevaluate the value of victory as being more than just a shiny disc we hang around our necks. Hopefully this list can help you come up with even more awesome alternatives to finish line medals.