Photo Source: mouseinfo.com
A finisher’s medal. It’s the one tangible item from an event that states that someone has successfully completed the obstacle set before him/her. It’s an item that some treasure dearly, proudly displaying it in his/her home. Some just place them in a box or hand them off to their children, proud of the accomplishment but not necessarily desiring the need to save them since having one doesn’t validate or take away the fact that he/she completed the race. However, one thing is certain. When a medal is awarded, it is because the participant earned it by completing the challenge.
Recently I had the unfortunate pleasure of discovering one of the more mainstream running events, runDisney, was awarding medals to participants who DNF (did not finish). These participants were ones that set out to complete the course but got swept up on the bus because they were not maintaining the minimum pace requirement. Everywhere on the event’s website and handbooks it states that medals are awarded to those who successfully complete the course, a requirement that is no different than that seen in other races. However, after a friend of mine ran the 20th WDW Marathon I found out the ugly truth. It was a fairly warm race day and many participants dropped out because of that. Those people still received the finishers medal. I was a bit surprised. I figured it was just an isolated event since the weather was supposedly bad. Even with this in mind, though, I ran across other examples of this happening again and again.
Most recently I read of another participant not completing the Goofy Challenge. The runner was able to complete the half on Saturday and 13.1 miles of the marathon the following day before getting swept up by the pacing bus. However, the runner went on to display a photo of the medals, proof of the runner’s accomplishments. I was shocked to see the runner had a marathon medal. I wasn’t alone:
Commenter: “Not to be rude, but how did you get a marathon medal if you got swept and didn’t complete the entire race? no offense. Just curious. I haven’t been swept before and I was told you don’t get a medal if you’re picked up. Also, what corral were you in?”
Photo Source: rundisney.com