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Old 02-28-2013, 02:37 PM   #16
JCH
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Originally Posted by Diskidatheart View Post
I know personally, if I trained really hard for a half or full marathon and for some reason (such as overheated, muscle pull, etc), I couldn't finish the race and I got a finishers medal, I certainly wouldn't be bragging about the medal or showing it off anywhere. It would just sit in a shoebox somewhere so that I wouldn't be reminded that I wasn't able to make it. It certainly wouldn't be hanging anywhere near the medals I earned by finishing a race.

I know Disney would never consider this, but maybe they should have an "unfinished" medal, which would be less formal than the FINISHERS medal. That way, there would be even more incentive to FINISH the race.
I always thought they should have different ribbons that are just plain, no fun colors, no date, no name of the race. If they can do different ribbons for the perfects, they can do it the ones who didn't finish, also.
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Old 02-28-2013, 02:48 PM   #17
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I wonder why when the TOT race was a 13K and they also had a 5K,they gave a real medal just scaled down version. I'm sure people would be a bit more willing to just do the 5K if they were getting a real medal.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:40 PM   #18
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I *hate* the fact its become a participants medal as I feel (as others do) that it promotes 'inclusion' of those who do NOT have place attempting a half or full.. It's not safe for them nor is it safe for those around them who have trained (and I say this as a rather slow runner..)

Its amazing if you look at the results for ToT last year HOW many people DNF (3+ pages) and most did not have times that you could tell it was due to injury (sub 40ish 5K) most of the times were 18+ min miles and most didnt get beyond the 5K mark...

Its a catch 22 as in some ways Disney sees it as being 'all welcoming' yet they really need to do something to stop the 'trend' of not attempting to finish...

I wish Disney would offer some timed 5Ks/10Ks with real medals (more than everest but part of other weekends) so that those who are not physically able to do 13.1 have a 'challenge' thats achievable and only offer FINISHER medals to 10 miler + runners.

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Old 02-28-2013, 04:06 PM   #19
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Warning: I have a very strong and in some circles quite an unpopular opinion....

No finish, no medal - PERIOD!

Our society has become such that it caters to the lowest common denominator that everyone is a winner. Little Johnny must have his participation trophy because he just might feel bad that he isn't good enough. Too bad. Life is not fair and some people just can't be good at everything. You shouldn't be rewarded and shouting, "Look at me, I crossed the starting line!"

This then enables those that attempt to do things that they can't or have not properly prepared for.

Then you have the entitlement folks. "I paid XXX and I deserve...." Um, no you don't. Too much entitlement and not enough self-responsibility.

Then you get the excuse of - well if you try you should be rewarded. Your reward is self value, that you attempted to do something many won't try and THAT is your reward. I'd like to maybe do Boston, so if I try - based on the arguements - then I should get in because I tried and I should be rewarded.

I'll get the arguement that people went out there and trained just like I did and had an injury on course or an injury before and should get the medal too. My answer is still NO.

There are two events that I paid for and didn't even toe the line. One was due to injury about a week before the event. Did it suck? Absolutely but I'm smart enough to not want to exacerbate the injury or permanently take me out of the running game. Why would I want to do that for a medal? Yes I trained, yes I paid the money but the money is a sunk cost at that point and is the $100 worth making things worse?

Second time was because I was grossly undertrained. I signed up for the Disney marathon and when it came close I had no business even attempting. Heck I should have and gone around bragging how at least I tried and here is the wonderful medal for me because I tried. I paid for it too, I should get the medal. Nope.

I'm not that old and I just can't stand the entitlement mentality of some folks and the excuses as to the justification on why they should get something they don't deserve. Just starting and attempting shouldn't and doesn't bestow you the same priviledges as those that finish. End of story.

Why would you want a constant reminder of something that you didn't achieve? Then you have those that say well it doesn't matter because it doesn't devalue your medal. Yes it does. You are given the same rewards as those that actually did it, that is like saying to those that those that complete, well good for you but next time don't try as hard because you'll get the same benefits. Of course personal satisfaction would be greater because I know I finished.

Anyway, you get the idea. YMMV.
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Old 02-28-2013, 04:45 PM   #20
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I'm not that invested in keeping my medals, so I'm probably not one to talk. But as long as it's runDisney's official policy, I try to embrace a "as you see fit" position.

That said, I'd prefer it was a finishers medal for many of the same reasons other posters have brought up. For some people, knowing they will be given a medal regardless of whether they finish might encourage undertraining (or no training); that could be dangerous. Knowing that a finishers medal is only awarded to those who finish - and finish within the pace requirements - might be extra motivation to complete the training.

I've said before that I'm willing to give up the medal if I could get a lower registration fee, something that was either an across-the-board decision or by offering an optional finishers medal fee for those who want it. Yeah. Like that's going to happen.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:14 PM   #21
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I used to be of the thought that finishers medals were just for that. I am to an extent as well. No, I do not respect those that apparently walk barely anything, quit and still get a medal. I despise those that brag about it or even look at the bus as an option before they even start a race. It is never acceptable to me to even have that thought in your head. You start, you plan on finishing.

My view now is that if that medal inspires that person to come back next year and kick butt and actually finish, then give them a medal. If they actually expect to get a medal, no way. I faced the conundrum this year at the Marathon.

I started the Goofy feeling okay, but it was oh so hot and humid. Even Atlanta had been cold, so apparently, Florida didn't get the memo. I finished the Half but definitely felt a little affected by the heat and humidity. I had a bit of a headache and just took a nap and hoped for the best. It did make me feel better, so I was ready for the Marathon the next morning and honestly felt tired and a bit sore as anyone would going for that. I was fine up until the point that the sun came up. With the changes in the course, the part that affected me the most was the area in WWOS. Hardly any shade and the sun beating down was not fun. I realized that I wasn't sweating anymore, and I couldn't seem to drink enough or cool down. So, at Mile 20, I visited the medical tent with the hope that they would have a thermometer to make sure I wasn't dealing with heatstroke. But, they didn't. They covered me in many bags of ice and gave me 15 minutes to decide if I would continue. I don't think it was five minutes and I opted to continue with my friend. But, after Mile 21, I still felt weird, honestly can't remember the conversations I was having with my friend and saw the sweeper buses sitting around a corner. I knew that although physically I could finish the last five miles, that I had to make a decision and opted to ask the Guest Relations castmembers if I could get on the bus. It was easily the most difficult decision ever. The hardest part was knowing that I wouldn't be able to donate two medals to Medals4Mettle (the Marathon and Goofy) and it still bugs me. I did get a Marathon medal, but passed it on to my other half. He has always liked the medals, supports me all the time with my race schedule and won't ever be running anything over a 5K, so I thought it was good to give that to him. I have heard that some were able to get Goofy medals, but I didn't even try that.

I will say that when they finally did sweep, that I felt that all of those people did deserve those medals. It was hot, and very dangerous. There are rumors that two people died, and if giving someone a medal to get off the course is what it takes to keep someone safe, then I am all for it. I guarantee that none of those people were the types to wear a medal as though they did cross the finish line. I really do hope to see every single one of them next year. The common theme was that no one was ever going to run another Marathon, but I think we have all had those thoughts and changed our minds.

So, the moral of the story is that I could care less now if people get a medal or not. I donate all of my earned medals, and none of them are worth any less to the people receiving them because people at the same race I crossed the finish line got medals for not doing that. I would be angry if everyone who registered for a Disney race got a medal regardless of if they were there or not. But, I have yet to ever hear of any race that does that, thankfully.

Perhaps if we all witnessed people being swept, instead of just listening to rumors, we would all have a different view.
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Old 02-28-2013, 05:20 PM   #22
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I like this thread. It is a tough issue. I don't really understand why someone wants the medal if they didn't finish. I wouldn't want it as it would have no positive meaning for me at all. I would absolutely turn it down. But a part of me says what does it hurt for someone to get the medal if it would mean something to them. That doesn't downgrade my accomplishment in finishing.

And I think that's where I'd normally come out EXCEPT that in the case of the Disney races there seem to be abnormally large amounts of people who are completely ill-trained. The PHM last weekend was my first Disney race, and I was stunned by that. I'm even more stunned by the blog linked above.

Clearly there are people who have done NOTHING to train and show up to get the medal. To discourage them, perhaps medals should only be given to the finishers. That would probably help. It's a safety issue for the people who have trained and are trying desperately to get around the untrained people, and it's a safety issue for the untrained. No one who hasn't trained properly should get out on a course and try to go 13.1 miles. That's insane.

Perhaps one solution would be to require registrants to show proof of completion of a 10k in a time that demonstrates that you can complete the 1/2 marathon within the 16 minute per mile pace. That would discourage people who simply don't want to put in the training time. And it would preserve the medal for not finishing option for those who want a medal regardless of whether they finished or not and who did train hard but had something unforeseen happen on the course.
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:36 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasonDuo
I can go either way with this.

For me personally, I know I finished and that medal is priceless to me as it serves as a reminder of an accomplishment. If others are satisfied with not finishing and get a medal it may represent something different or they may be happy with that.

On the other side (don't hate me for this) I get a little irritated because the RunDisney events seem to be attracting quite a few people who are no where near ready to complete the races. I personally don't care how you complete them run / walk / run-walk but those who aren't ready for it are getting in the way of others trying to go around them during the ratce as well as eating up spots for sold out races.

If Disney starts cracking down on non-finishers (no medal), people may be a little deterred from signing up if they aren't ready or in training to complete the race. I'm all for everyone trying but it seems like there are quite a few people not finishing and with each year/race the number is growing.
This post sums up how I feel about it. I am all for people getting off the couch and being active, but I worry that Disney is enticing people to attempt long distances before they are truly ready. That not only poses a safety hazard for these participants, but also potentially endangers other runners as numbers of participants swell and courses get more crowded, particularly with people not familiar with race etiquette and safety. Sure, I understand that any runner or walker might have a bad day, in spite of training, and may not finish. It could happen to anyone. I just worry a lot about those who don't seem to have even prepared at all, and I feel bad to see so many people in such a bad way at a typical Disney finish line. I would prefer that Disney discontinued their practice of giving medals to everyone.

I personally don't think I would accept a medal if swept just because I wouldn't feel comfortable with it, although admittedly I can't know for sure what I would do without ever having been in that situation, the decision to accept one, or not, when offered is personal, and I don't judge other's decisions. Whatever others do doesn't hurt me, and doesn't change how I feel about my finish or the value of the medal to me. In the end, it's a material thing that sits on a shelf. If something happened and I lost all my finishers medals, i wouldn't have the hunk of medal but would always have the sense of accomplishment from the races I've finished.

Last edited by Phdmama06; 02-28-2013 at 07:42 PM.
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Old 03-01-2013, 02:20 AM   #24
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I'm not judging--just wondering how most of you feel about this. I know somebody who got swept at Mile 5 of the Princess Half. The race officials loaded those who were behind pace at that point onto a bus, drove them to the finish line, and gave them the medal. So really, it's more of a participant's medal and not a finisher's medal. Are you okay with this?
No, not at all.
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Old 03-01-2013, 07:53 AM   #25
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Disney has a strong incentive to give the finisher's medal to those who are swept. They purchase a finishers medal for everybody who enters the race, even though they know a certain percentage of entrants will not finish.

Disney buys too many metals for two reasons: 1. Their prediction as to how many entrants will finish is just a prediction, and 2. Disney is so show/guest oriented, they don't want to run out of medals. They want a medal for the last person who finishes the race. They buy more than they really need, because they don't know how many they will need.

So now what do you do with the left over medals? Can't sell them in the parks or online. Why not give them to the people who were swept? Otherwise they just take up space in a warehouse.

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Old 03-01-2013, 08:42 AM   #26
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This post sums up how I feel about it. I am all for people getting off the couch and being active, but I worry that Disney is enticing people to attempt long distances before they are truly ready.
I agree with this 100%. Personally, the medals don't mean much to me; for me, it's the journey that gets me to a race that means the most and, for whatever reason, the medal doesn't serve as a visual reminder of that. For me. I completely understand that many others see it differently, so I tend to feel that medals should be for finishers for that reason alone. Because it's really not all about me, lol!

Would eliminating medals for non-finishers help reduce the number of totally unprepared racers at Disney events? IDK. Maybe. I can't really think of any better way. I wound up running a ridiculously slow TOT due to injury, so, even though I'd put in the training and was more than prepared for a faster race, I wound up spending much of it in the far back with a whole lotta folks I imagine weren't adequately prepared. It was downright scary, how bad some looked. I lost count of how many times I asked in passing, "Are you okay?" Now, heat was a major factor in that one, so it's hard to say how much was due to that vs. undertraining, but still - scary.
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Old 03-01-2013, 08:58 AM   #27
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So now what do you do with the left over medals?
Rick
Donate them to that medal organization. Much better cause than giving to those that did not earn the medal, no matter how much you trained, you only earn the medal if you finish.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:01 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by rmgreenesq View Post
Disney has a strong incentive to give the finisher's medal to those who are swept. They purchase a finishers medal for everybody who enters the race, even though they know a certain percentage of entrants will not finish.

Disney buys too many metals for two reasons: 1. Their prediction as to how many entrants will finish is just a prediction, and 2. Disney is so show/guest oriented, they don't want to run out of medals. They want a medal for the last person who finishes the race. They buy more than they really need, because they don't know how many they will need.

So now what do you do with the left over medals? Can't sell them in the parks or online. Why not give them to the people who were swept? Otherwise they just take up space in a warehouse.

Rick
If the concern is space in a warehouse, why not just hand them out to random spectators? That's pretty much the same thing. The spectators also got up early and are spending money at Disney!

I just don't buy that logic. They can always donate them to a charity that gives the medals to kids with illnesses. There are several of them, some of which don't care if the medal was earned and would take the donation.
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Old 03-01-2013, 09:58 AM   #29
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I will say that when they finally did sweep, that I felt that all of those people did deserve those medals. It was hot, and very dangerous. There are rumors that two people died, and if giving someone a medal to get off the course is what it takes to keep someone safe, then I am all for it. I guarantee that none of those people were the types to wear a medal as though they did cross the finish line. I really do hope to see every single one of them next year. The common theme was that no one was ever going to run another Marathon, but I think we have all had those thoughts and changed our minds.
I am in a few FB groups for Princess and one woman told us she was swept but her profile pic is of her wearing her medal in the parks. Don't get me wrong, I think that going out there and getting to mile 8 of a half or like you mile 21+ of a full (Especially after a half the day before) is a great accomplishment. Each race is a different experience and I'm sure there were plenty of people who trained hard but were not used to the heat/humidity and that stopped them. I know it slowed me down. But,IMO, that woman should not have been wearing the medal in the parks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmgreenesq View Post
Disney has a strong incentive to give the finisher's medal to those who are swept. They purchase a finishers medal for everybody who enters the race, even though they know a certain percentage of entrants will not finish.

Disney buys too many metals for two reasons: 1. Their prediction as to how many entrants will finish is just a prediction, and 2. Disney is so show/guest oriented, they don't want to run out of medals. They want a medal for the last person who finishes the race. They buy more than they really need, because they don't know how many they will need.

So now what do you do with the left over medals? Can't sell them in the parks or online. Why not give them to the people who were swept? Otherwise they just take up space in a warehouse.

Rick
Send them back and have them melted down or destroyed in some other way?
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Old 03-01-2013, 10:36 AM   #30
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To me it's a finisher's medal. DW and I trained hard for this race. It was my first race of this distance and I'm hooked. To be quite frank, it bothers me more to see medals on EBAY and people bidding on them. This I just don't understand.
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