5 Awards I Would Give out If I Was a Race Director

Friday 5While I was running the Marine Corps Marathon last month, I thought of a lot of things. One train of thought that got me through a few miles was imagining how I would do things if I were a race director. I thought about how boring it is to limit awards to race or age group placement. Even Miss America doesn’t just give awards to the points for poise, bathing suit swagger and … um … what exactly do the judges evaluate during the interview portion?

Anyway, somewhere towards the end of the race, I made a mental note of the awards that I would give out if I were a race director.

Who wouldn’t want to hang that in their office?

1. The person with the brightest smile. You know – that person who may be barely crawling to the finish but is smiling as if she won first place. She is the one you want to hug even though you do not know her.

2. The person who has come the furthest.  This is not necessarily the person who traveled the furthest distance. This is the person who has overcome major challenges just to enter the race, like the woman who ran the MCM after losing 200 pounds. I wanted to bow down to her. Instead, I told her that she was awesome as I ran past.

3. Anyone and everyone pushing someone in a carrier. I have mad respect for anyone who is racing this way. It takes an incredible spirit and physicality to be able to do this. Thank you, Team Hoyt, for making this more common place.

4. The spectator with the best sign. Why limit the awards to the runners?  I have seen some great signs in my day. My favorites so far are: “Hey random stranger, I am so proud of you!” and “Punch here for warp speed.”

5. Those most in need of a good sports bra. I would discreetly hand out coupons for a free bra to women I saw bounce across the finish line or maybe bounce up to the start.

And the honorable mentions go to men in running skirts and women who run in pearls, for no particular reason other than that they are rare finds.

How about you? What awards would you give out if you were a race director?

This post was originally published on November 22, 2013. 

I eat miles for breakfast, or occasionally for a snack later in the day. Self proclaimed 50+ and fabulous poster child, US Army vet, college professor, avid runner, yoga enthusiast, guest columnist, and I've used Olay since I was 17 so they should use me in at least one of their ads!

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  1. When my husband and I got married, we hosted a “Wedding Day 5k” the morning of the wedding. We ended up getting over 60 people to run a short out-and-back with us on local trails!

    We had some similar awards:

    Jet Lag Award – went to the individual who traveled furthest (went to a friend who came from Holland).

    Whippersnapper Award – went to my 4 year old cousin, who rode the trails on a tricycle.

    Over the Hill Award – the oldest participant – went to my 84 year old grandma who walked the whole thing!

    The Ringer Award – overall winner. Went to a close friend who ran it in 17:xx.

    There were more, I just can’t remember them all now! We also gave out standard “age-group” awards, so by the end, almost everyone got an award. I am biased, of course, but it was a pretty good time! 🙂

  2. Love these! I’d give an award to the most encouraging runner – like the person who you meet at mile 24 and keeps you running by sticking with you for the rest of the race.