Finisher Award


There has been a recent trend we have been watching where races of shorter distances are giving finisher medals to participants.  This has been the case for a long time with longer distances such as half marathons and over but it is a fairly recent phenomenom with distances such as a 10K or even a 5K.  What is really behind this movement?

There are really two drivers behind this trend.  One is that with the number of events people have to choose from these days, race directors are looking for ways to stand out.  This becomes a constant concern for any race director in that they need participants in order to cover all of the costs.  With the growing cost of conducting races it is even more important to attract as many runners as possible.  One of the attractions that a race can offer is to provide finisher medals for everyone.  The other driver is that new participants are coming in to the market and asking about finisher medals.  Whether they are wanting the medals for motivation, bragging rights, or simply collecting hardware; race directors are getting these requests.

There are many that are old school distance runners that see this as the equivalent of giving participant ribbons at a kids fun run but there are equally as many that see this as providing motivation and encouragement to those runners who may need it.  Many distance runners forget that they didn't always have the ability to run the long distances and they themselves may have needed encouragement in the beginning.  Providing finisher medals to everyone is a great way to provide that encouragement that may be needed to continue on in the quest for improved health or other goals.

A big concern with providing the additional medals is increased cost to the event.  People who have never been on the financial side of producing a race have no concept of how expensive it is to produce a race.  Adding the additional cost of providing finisher medals can put a big strain on a budget which is already stressed to the limit.  Most non-profit races depend on every dime coming in to help support their cause and race fees barely cover operating costs.  In fact, most of the races would lose money except for the additional sponsorship money that is raised.  Many of the for-profit events are starting to charge outrageous prices for their 5Ks in order to provide all of these amenities but who really wants to pay $40 or more for a 5K.  Personally I am offended that a race director would think that price is reasonable for a 5K but people are willing to pay it if the value equation works out.   Increasing the price on the race is certainly an option but most people are not willing to pay those increased costs.  So what is the solution?

Athlete Guild is now going to be offering Finisher Certificates to all races that are timed by us.  While this is not a medal provided at the race, it is something that a participant can easily download and print out to frame and hang on the wall.  This is a free service that we are automatically providing to our customers and will keep races from having to charge more for an amenity that some won't care about.  The certificate is simply attached when results are posted and immediately available for download.  If it is something you want, then you can download at your leisure.  If it's something you don't care about, then you didn't pay any extra for something you didn't really want.  Just one more service our extensive platform can provide to our customers and participants.

See you at the race!