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Old 11-11-2012, 10:15 PM   #31
TEK224


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I agree that finisher medals should be for finishers. If a race gives out medals for "participation" then yes, everyone who started the event should get one.
As for the journey, every race I do is for the journey. I'm a slow, back of the pack-er. So for me, the preparation leading up to the race, the race itself, meeting new people and visiting new places are all part of the journey for the event. But if I don't finish, then I don't expect a medal. I could better accept someone receiving a medal for finishing after the cut-off time moreso than someone who was lagging behind pace being given a ride to a spot further ahead on the course. That to me is insulting to every other person on the course trying to finish under their own power.

I would never demean anyone who DNF'd. I've been there, on the sweeper bus with tears running down my cheeks, because I got swept. It is not a good feeling. But getting a medal anyway would not make me feel any better, because I wouldn't feel like I earned it. And even in those events where I dnf'd, after my initial disappointment subsides, I realized that I still accomplished a lot just by getting out there and participating.

Case in point: I did the very first Goofy Challenge. I probably had no business being out there. It was my very first half marathon and my very first full. I had been training, but not properly. I finished both races and got my Goofy (and Donald & Mickey) medal. After the fact, I found out I was over the marathon cut-off time by 8 minutes. My chip time was 7:08. So while I am very proud of that Goofy medal and the fact that I covered 26.2 miles, I don't consider myself a "marathon finisher" because I didn't finish in the time specified by the race.

I'ved tried 3 other times to finish a full marathon, but due to some injuries have not been able to. But I'm going to keep trying. That is part of my journey. Unfortunately, I missed the cut-off for the 2013 WDW event, so I'm setting my sights on Goofy 2014.

And I'll echo the comments about Coach Charles being very helpful on the boards. His willingess to answer questions and post tips has been a benefit to me and many others.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:31 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by Worfiedoodles View Post
WISH is supposed to be a community of support and encouragement. It makes me so sad that it has apparently evolved into a group that is reserved for the "real" runners.
Maria, I don't think anyone is saying that this is a group for the "real" runners. I think what many people believe, and what I said in my original post, is that medals ought to be for finishers and not for people who laugh about getting swept and receiving the medal anyway. I've got the utmost respect for anyone of any size, shape, or speed that gets out and trains for a race, no matter the distance. It takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to prepare for a marathon. Whether you're running sub-3 or sub-6, you're still out there for months in advance putting in a lot of long hours on the road, and anyone who does that ought to be applauded for their effort. I think where we will have to agree to disagree is that I don't think you should be given a medal just for that effort and training. Respected and commended for your dedication and the good example you set for others, sure. But not patted on the back and given a medal just for showing up. I will always believe that medals are for finishers, especially when they're handed out at the finish.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:51 AM   #33
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I signed up for the Princess Half and I am seriously unsure that I will be able to finish in the time allotment. I will GLADLY get my finishers medal.....even if I get swept and continue to walk to the point of my 13.1.

I have been training for this race....long and hard. Perhaps I bit off more than O could chew when I signed up. But.....I am trying....training....and will be out there to share the course with all of you.....finishing this rest as best I can....within the course time limits or not.

I will chalk it up as a learning experience and do better the next time around. That is all I can hope for...and live up to.

If my best does not warrant a medal....well.....it just makes me really wonder about those I share a course with. We all have to start somewhere.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:17 AM   #34
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I signed up for the Princess Half and I am seriously unsure that I will be able to finish in the time allotment. I will GLADLY get my finishers medal.....even if I get swept and continue to walk to the point of my 13.1.

I have been training for this race....long and hard. Perhaps I bit off more than O could chew when I signed up. But.....I am trying....training....and will be out there to share the course with all of you.....finishing this rest as best I can....within the course time limits or not.

I will chalk it up as a learning experience and do better the next time around. That is all I can hope for...and live up to.

If my best does not warrant a medal....well.....it just makes me really wonder about those I share a course with. We all have to start somewhere.
You have plenty of time to earn that medal...the Princess isn't for a while. Accepting that you will be swept now is akin to those laughing about not putting any effort towards earning a medal. You have plenty of time to get the proper training in, pick up your pace and be fully prepared when race day comes around. If you have doubts, please join a local running group, most running stores have free ones or very affordable ones. If you have a Galloway Group in your area, go for that one. The run/walk method helped me improve 30 minutes from my first half to my second one. That was doing the 30 second intervals.

You may be saying this today, but until race day, your attitude and viewpoint may be 100% different. Training is so different than the actual race day. Don't fail with your training to prove your statement.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:25 AM   #35
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You have plenty of time to earn that medal...the Princess isn't for a while. Accepting that you will be swept now is akin to those laughing about not putting any effort towards earning a medal. You have plenty of time to get the proper training in, pick up your pace and be fully prepared when race day comes around. If you have doubts, please join a local running group, most running stores have free ones or very affordable ones. If you have a Galloway Group in your area, go for that one. The run/walk method helped me improve 30 minutes from my first half to my second one. That was doing the 30 second intervals.

You may be saying this today, but until race day, your attitude and viewpoint may be 100% different. Training is so different than the actual race day. Don't fail with your training to prove your statement.
I have been HUGELY diligent in my training...considering I am totally self trained. I am working on week three of c25K as well as getting in the long walks per the Galloway training program. I feared that the walking would just not do me justice and have seen my long walk pace go from a 18:50 to a 16:30.....so there is progress. I am just keeping it real.

I attempted a half when I weighed over 300 pounds. Got to mile 9 and died. And that was with an 18 minute pace.

At that race I spoke with John Bingham who told me there is no shame in getting your medal and keep on going. I rally think he has a good point....and one that I can live with. I did not keep walking that day.....but I will do it this time....one way or another!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:30 AM   #36
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. I've got the utmost respect for anyone of any size, shape, or speed that gets out and trains for a race, no matter the distance. It takes a lot of time and effort and dedication to prepare for a marathon. Whether you're running sub-3 or sub-6, you're still out there for months in advance putting in a lot of long hours on the road, and anyone who does that ought to be applauded for their effort. I think where we will have to agree to disagree is that I don't think you should be given a medal just for that effort and training. Respected and commended for your dedication and the good example you set for others, sure. But not patted on the back and given a medal just for showing up. I will always believe that medals are for finishers, especially when they're handed out at the finish.
Hi John,

I appreciate your comments -- and your viewpoint. I will happily agree to disagree and I appreciate that you feel it is acceptable for me to have a different point of of view. There are many of us that can't "just go faster", and who are following recommended training plans religiously. Not everyone attempting a WDW race is going to be capable of finishing, particularly those of us who wandered over here from the weight loss section of WISH. I think that for the time and financial investment a race is for many of us -- I freely admit I cannot afford to do more than one a year -- that medal is a symbol of a lot more than just finishing the race, and if Disney is giving them out, I think it is fine to take it. JMHO, I'm not going to repeat myself any longer -- but thank you for your response.

Maria
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:57 AM   #37
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A finisher medal is what it states, a finisher medal. Disney might as well call it a starter medal if they give one to everyone. Not everyone should be entitled to the medal if it is not earned. It is like tryouts for sports, not everyone makes a team, should we feel sorry for those that did not make the team and give them a spot? It is the same in this case. Just because you entered does not entitle you to a medal and it should not. You should only obtain that medal if you cross the finish line. I am a firm believer on this, but the society we live in today is no one loses and everyone should be rewarded. This is a horrible thing to do because it doesn't provide any motivation or determination to get better, cause you will be rewarded anyways. Yes, you may have paid like everyone; yes, you probably trained very hard, BUT entering a race, you should know that finishing the race should be the only way to obtain a FINISHER medal, not a "I tried, came up short medal". I am not here trying to put anyone down, I'm trying to put my view across and that is you finish, your rewarded; you don't, you don't get the medal, you train harder for next year and finish.

I think it's a joke to Disney races that they hand out medals to all those swept and really in my eyes, ruins the reputation of their races. You're not really earning your medal then, you're just paying for it. "Show up, start and here is your medal, thanks for your money." That should be the slogan of these races if this continues. I really hope that they change their antics and not give out medals to everyone, but only those who finish. If not, change the name of the medal to a starters medal.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:58 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by lizdotcom99 View Post
I have been HUGELY diligent in my training...considering I am totally self trained. I am working on week three of c25K as well as getting in the long walks per the Galloway training program. I feared that the walking would just not do me justice and have seen my long walk pace go from a 18:50 to a 16:30.....so there is progress. I am just keeping it real.

I attempted a half when I weighed over 300 pounds. Got to mile 9 and died. And that was with an 18 minute pace.

At that race I spoke with John Bingham who told me there is no shame in getting your medal and keep on going. I rally think he has a good point....and one that I can live with. I did not keep walking that day.....but I will do it this time....one way or another!
You are improving and that is great! With a few months to go, you can get closer to a 15 min. pace or better. Plus, the energy on a Disney course does seem to help a little. I don't know what distance your plan is setting your longest run/walk for, but I would suggest going a bit over the 13.1 mile distance for your longest one just based on your other experience with mile 9. John Bingham is great and he often helps the last finishers get across that line. I think most people with your attitude end up finishing their second races. You can do this!
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:07 AM   #39
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I am not old school and definately not fast, but I agree with the people here who believe a finishers medal should be for finishers and I've put my money where my mouth is so to speak.

People talk about Disney races being expensive and they are. That's at least one of the reasons I started out with smaller more local races. I'm not sure I'd put the money into a destination race that I didn't feel fairly confident in finishing.

For me, the first long distance race I signed up for was the Cleveland Half Marathon. I signed up way in advance and payed $35. During training for that event I did a 5K and 10K. I finished as a walked in 3:28.

After that I signed up for Columbus and started Bingham's Walk/Run plan. Finished Columbus in 3:08. It was at that point I signed up for Disneyland as my fall race the following year; and Xenia, Ohio as my spring race. I finished Xenia in 2:51:02 and Disneyland in 3:11. Disneyland was a warm day and I did everthing wrong with travel plans and packet pickup the day before. It was a rough race. I had good corral placement from my Xenia time. Probably a little bit too good. I started out too fast and bonked in mile 10.

For this year, I signed up for Cap City as my Spring Half Marathon and a repeat of Columbus for my Fall Half Marathon. I did Cap City in 2:52:30. During training for Columbus this fall I built back to to a 13 mile long run when I started developing knee issues. I ended up taking my first DNS at Columbus. Had it been a destination race I may have tried it but in hind sight, I'm glad I skipped the race. Instead of completely blowing off the race, I decided to volunteer at the race. I was working at Mile 13 directing half marathoners to the finishes and Marathoners to continue on. Since my DNS was a race morning decision, I had my race bib with me. I was even dressed for either possibility racing or volunteering. I could have easily slipped into the race walked the .1 miles to the finish and claimed a medal, to "celebrate the journey". The training was essentially done, I was on track for a big, the weather was perfect, but the body wouldn't let me do the race that day so I didn't deserve the medal.

There's no guarentees in these things.
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:59 AM   #40
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I think the getting "swept" and then arriving at the finish line to be given a medal must be a Disney thing. I've never seen that at any other race, full or half distance. That said, I don't usually hang around the finish line after I cross, so perhaps I'm just not around to witness it.

I agree with the most of the other posters, however. If I didn't finish, I wouldn't want the medal. Every time I saw it I'd be reminded of failure.

I'm running the Disney full this year for the first time (not my first full ever, just first Disney race). I was supposed to run the Disney half back in 2010, but ended up having a badly ruptured appendix about three weeks before the race. Since I had already paid for the travel, my wife and I went to Florida anyway. I picked up my packet and wandered around the expo, sad and jealous of all of the other runners. I thought for a moment about trying to do the race anyway. (I probably could have finished, even though it would have been painful and stupid to do so.) I decided against it because running 13.1 after a major operation would have been completely irresponsible.

It never occurred to me to start the race, get picked up in a van, and then be carted to the end to pick up a medal.

This must just be a difference in perspective, but I don't see how the medal is commemorative of anything if I don't finish the race. The "journey"? I don't even understand what that means. The reward for my training and hard work is a better body. My reward for finishing the race is a medal.

Anyway, I don't mean to bag on people who think differently. Everyone is allowed to have their own philosophy on this sort of thing.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #41
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Reporting on the WaD sample certainly generated some animated discussion...

A couple personal additions, I DNF'd Ironman China in 2009, and then completed Ironman Wisconsin later that year. The failure, inability to bring home the finisher's medal due to that failure, and general disappointment is what charged me to try again, and motivated me until I succeeded. I tell everyone that the success I eventually had was made infinitely sweeter by knowing how the failure felt. I wouldn't even wear my Ironman China clothing (which I'd purchased prerace) until after I finally finished one...

The underlying issue is how welcoming RunDisney has made these long endurance races. There is a reason why less than 1% of people are marathoners, and it is that it requires a level of skill earned through training and practice that is not attainable for everyone. But in order to maximize participation, RunDisney has done what they can to encourage anyone to at least come to Orlando that weekend and give it a go, whether it be to increase the runners cap via wave or corral starts (and therefore increase crowding), or hand out medals to all who attempt. Discouraging participants from trying (and signing up for additional races) would not help them as an entity.

I would compare this situation with longer races, such as a 100 mile trail race such as Western States or Leadville, or a half or full Ironman. Can you imagine if people were bussed from the 20 mile point of Leadville to the end and given a finisher's buckle? Or if they didn't finish the swim of an Ironman they were bussed to the finish, skipping the bike and run altogether, and allowed to cross to the announcer's phrase "You are an Ironman" and handed a medal? Even an athlete who trained perfectly could have a mechanical incident on the bike (or even a crash) that ends their day prematurely, and none of them expect to be treated like a finisher. Sometimes bad luck plays a part, but there's always another race in the future somewhere.

It's true that of the ~20 DNF'rs I saw that were bussed from somewhere early in the race that some of them might have had catastrophic injuries or extenuating circumstances end their race. They might have trained longer and harder than most of us. Failure is a part of life as much as success is, and their eventual success when they complete a race of that distance would have been made sweeter if they didn't already have the same prize for the failure.

What I love most about WISH is the way I describe us to people who ask (like several times on Saturday). I say it's a group of people of all shapes, sizes, speeds, and abilities, who encourage each other to lead healthier lives and reach their exercise goals. While a marathon (or half) is certainly a "popular" goal these days, it's not for everyone... I would be just as encouraging to those striving to complete something within their ability level at the time, regardless of distance.

I do find it interesting that they organized the separate finishing area well away from the actual finish in a separate lot. That obviously required additional resources vs just taking them to the actual finish. I get the feeling they were trying to avoid this exact conversation? It certainly seems like one of those controversial topics where everyone has an opinion and is ever convinced to change theirs...
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:57 AM   #42
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My thoughts are this:

Disney offers a 5k option with every race. If you are someone who knows you can't keep up at 16 minute pace, or that hasn't trained beyond 4 miles, then there is no shame in the 5k. It comes with a medal, fireworks, Disney characters, the whole 9 yards, and there are no sweepers. You still get congratulated in the park, and yes, you accomplished something! This is the race for those who are trying to become healthy, but haven't trained to the point of being able to do 13.1 in 3 and a half hours.

There was just too many people trying to do 13.1 as a first race, which I find to be very strange. I started out with the 5k as a bucket list item, then a 10k because hey, it's only twice as long, and only then even thought about a half marathon. It see many people signing up for halves without so much as running a mile.

I tried training for the full, and realized that I am just not ready and deferred it. I decided to keep doing halves, and try to lower my time and get a few more under my belt before trying again in a year. Sometimes you have to be honest with your abilities, otherwise, you may do yourself more harm than good through risking injury.

Giving everyone a medal causes people to try to do something they aren't prepared for. Half marathons and full marathons are not something to joke with. People have died attempting them. Even at the 10 miler, undertrained people were passed out, vomiting, and you could hear people calling medic constantly! It's just not worth that risk.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:10 PM   #43
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Someday they'll hand out medals with the bibs and goodie bags. Cut down on the congestion on the course.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:53 PM   #44
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I find this a very lively and interesting debate. Now I'm going to be looking at everyone wearing a medal during the WDW Marathon Weekend wondering if they ran the entire race or not. But I've learned not to judge by outward appearances. I've witnessed people of all shapes, sizes and ages running races and I think it's AWESOME! I'm going to have to look at other characteristics like that awkward post race gait/limp/swagger. This could become a very entertaining people watching game.
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Old 11-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #45
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I find this a very lively and interesting debate. Now I'm going to be looking at everyone wearing a medal during the WDW Marathon Weekend wondering if they ran the entire race or not. But I've learned not to judge by outward appearances. I've witnessed people of all shapes, sizes and ages running races and I think it's AWESOME! I'm going to have to look at other characteristics like that awkward post race gait/limp/swagger. This could become a very entertaining people watching game.
The test for me would be to put me in a chair. Let me sit for 10 minutes then ask me to get up gracefully and take 10 steps in less than 10 seconds. That is my authentication!
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