We’ve all been there, or seen it happen in a race. Cramps, pains, whatever it may be… it makes you — or someone around you — drop out of the race that you are running. Either you drop out at a medical tent or they hop in the vehicle following the runners to catch a ride to the finish.
RRCA has reported that some of these races are picking these people up in vehicles and dropping these people off near the finish so they can cross and get their medal/finisher items.
So, the question is, do you feel like this is cheating? Do you think that people should get rewarded for attempting to run the race, and receive a medal despite that?
I am not a huge medal person… I like them, but I won’t decide to run a race just for the medal. I do feel like they symbolize a big accomplishment, so for that, I really appreciate them… especially on those days when you just need that little push of inspiration.
My feeling… yes, this is cheating. I get it. You train and train and train and it’s not just your day. You have to drop out and still feel like you should be recognized for what you’ve accomplished. But, you aren’t a finisher. It’s fake. Can you really be proud to show people your medal, for an accomplishment you really didn’t do?
That being said, there is ALWAYS a gray area. For the Boston Marathon runners in 2013 who were unable to finish, yes, I do believe that they deserved the medals they received.
I have heard thoughts that this is spawn on today’s society where we give everyone a trophy and a pat on the back just for trying. But, what does that really do? Don’t we need to instill that drive for success? You won’t succeed at everything you do, there are times where you will fail and maybe even come in dead last (a.k.a. when I thought I’d try my skills as a 100M sprinter… yes, it was that bad.).
And as upsetting as those times may be, as hard as it may be to admit defeat, it is in those moments that we grow and become stronger. We kick ourselves into gear and say NO, this will not happen again.
Because of this, no, you don’t deserve a medal unless you fought the entire race and your feet padded across every piece of that course. You want a medal? Pick yourself up again and finish what you set out to do. The right way.
What do you think? Why?
Have you ever come in last? What did you learn from the experience?
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