Run The Blades Half Marathon (Andrew)

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A few years ago the Edinburgh festival of running gave competitors a medal shaped like a willy. They didn’t set out to make a willy shaped medal, it just happened to look like that when you looked at if from the back rather than the front. If you Google it you’ll see what I mean.

Medals should be easy. They’re round. They have the name of the event on them and, if you’re feeling fancy, you might have the event logo on it.

Ideally, the medal should have the date of the event so that it’s personalised, but, if you’re short of cash just have then name of the event and that way you can print the date on the ribbon and reuse medals from year to year.

I don’t really give much thought to medals. I keep them in a box as a momento of the races I’ve completed but I’ve never looked at them beyond taking them home and packing them away.

I might make an exception for the Run The Blades medal.

Run The Blades is a race round Whiteleee wind farm, just outside of Glasgow. It has a 10k, a half marathon and an ultra run. I was running the half marathon as a final long run before Norseman. There was around 200 – 250 people racing too, with around 75 running the ultra.

I could tell they were running the ultra as they all wore an identical uniform of hydration backpack, compression socks and kinetic tape.

They were prepared. I was not – when I was on the start line I noticed I’d put my number on upside down. It was too late to switch, and, as I wasn’t 666 or 999 it was obvious that I’d got it wrong. Oh well, another thing to watch out for at Norseman: getting my number on correctly.

The race was varied with a good mix of tracks around the tubines, some hills, though nothing compared to Tenby, and some running along the main tarmac spine road. I tried to keep a steady pace while listening to an interview with Jimmy Carr on the Comedian’s Comedian podcast.

Occasionally I would check my time and distance on my watch and I’d think, is this really 13 miles. In my head I could see how the paths we were on would be exactly 13 miles. I was right. As I approached the finish a sign said “400 metres to go” and we were only at 12 and half miles. At the finish line my watch said 12.9 miles so, after I’d picked up my medal, I decided to run a bit further until my watch was over 13 miles.

Once I’d made sure my Garmin record was okay (I didn’t want to record it as having run short), I was able to look at my medal – a standard round medal with the logo, the race name and, the best bit of all, three blades of a turbine that spun round. It was medal you could spin! What a brilliant idea and I can’t wait to see if other races start to copy it: make the medal interactive based on where you are.

Glasgow half marathon could have a flick knife built in. The London marathon could have an oyster card, while the Edinburgh festival of running could be filled with knobs… oh wait, they’ve already done that.

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