Finish Strong

Keep On Running (The Real Milli Vanilli song)

As you read last week, I proudly finished the Princess 1/2 Marathon in 2 hours, 44 minutes, and 55 seconds and yes, I am still carrying around my medal in my bag to show people when they ask about it. I think it is a great acomplishment and I am very proud of myself. I crossed that finish line and recived not only personal satisfaction, but an awesome token to carry with me and eventually display proudly in my home as a reminder.

But, there are people out there who have a Princess medal and did not run the race!

It seems that even though Disney refers to the medal as a “Finisher’s Medal” a lot of people who were swept received these medals. Being swept means, if you do not keep the allotted pace designated by the race committee (in the case of the PHM a 16 minute mile) a van following the group picks you up and drives you to the finish and you are marked “DNF” (Did Not Finish) in the results.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I will encourage and support anyone who takes on a challenge. I applaud every single person who showed up at the PHM to give it their best shot. I saw men and women of all shapes, sizes, and ages show up on that early morning to tackle the 13.1 mile beast and I thought it was wonderful. I also believe every person who crossed that finish line should have gotten a medal, and if you didn’t cross, I’m sorry but, you should not have gotten one.

Maybe this is not a princess-like attitude to take, but I feel wearing a medal that you didn’t earn is like Milli Vanilli walking around with a Grammy. That may seem cold or even harsh, but that is really how I feel. You get a t-shirt and a bib for signing up and participating, the medal is for finishers. After the race when we strutted around the park with our medals (Ok, I strutted, My Other Sister and Special K walked like normal people), cast members were congratulating us, giving us high-fives, and telling us what a great job we did – because we FINISHED THE RACE.

I’d love to hear some thoughts on this. Do you think everyone is a winner or do you think medals are for finishers?


4 thoughts on “Finish Strong”

  1. yeah, I would find it odd to give everyone a medal…what? Like grade school? Altho I would like for the race committee itself not to pre-determine a pace…if it takes someone twice as long to finish as someone else, so what? They still finished and who knows what obstacles they overcame to be able to do that…to deny them that achievement because they ran slower than some group thought they should is kind of silly.

    1. The pacing requirement is for safety. This race is mostly on the highways leading in and out of the magic kingdom. As a result, in order to keep participants safe, they new to keep the 16mm pace so they are off the roads in time for Disney to open them back up to cars trying to get in to the parks.

  2. Well… I feel anyone who is brave enough to show up at the start line deserves a medal. Showing up at the start line is a tough decision and a brave one. Not finishing the race does not, in my opinion, equate to not deserving or not “earning” their medal. Congrats on your race!

    1. I agree it takes a lot to even try to tackle a a challenge like a 1/2, but I think the medal should be for finishers. You get a t-shirt for showing up and taking the challenge, you should get the medal for following through.

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