‘Any idiot can run, but it takes a special kind of idiot to run a half marathon.’
(Spectator sign, Nashville 2019)
The process of running a half marathon has many layers. You have the training, nutrition, travel to the race site, EXPO and the actual race. Sounds like a lot but each layer gets easier the more you invest into the process of being a runner.
Took me a while to get comfortable with the concept of labeling myself a runner but finally stopped fighting the term and gladly accept it. Hi, my name is Calvin and I’m a runner! 😊 Felt good getting that off my chest. The quote above is from a spectator’s sign I saw while running the 2019 Nashville Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon. There are thousands of similar and funnier signs at every race. The spectators are there to cheer, motivate and at times make runners laugh to help get through their respective race. I make a point to acknowledge sign holders especially when they display a clever sign. Another of my favorites:
The signs and spectators are welcome distractions from the actual process of completing a 13.1-mile race. Music helps break up the miles, but the spectators always make me laugh with their encouragement and clever signage.
‘You know you’re a runner when…bling has nothing to do with jewelry.’
An overlooked layer to the half marathon is what happens directly after crossing the finish line. A legion of volunteers waits for each runner to cross the finish line and present us with city/race unique bling. I never thought race medals would mean much to me but getting crowned after finishing a half marathon completes the journey. I would feel I accomplished something big without the bling but let’s be honest—what’s the fun in that?! 😊
I always write about races and my training routine to get prepared. The race city and entertainment options are other favorite things I have written about. Decided to invest in a medal holder for the bling I’ve collected over the years to properly display my ‘adult trophies’. Didn’t realize how many medals or how cool some of them are prior to researching the medal holder. I didn’t have much of an organizational system for them either. This will all change since I put in the work to earn the bling—will get these properly displayed on a medal holder where everyone can see them and then must listen to me explain each one—just joking!
Seriously, runners put in a lot of work to get ready for the races and perform their best. The bling is a nice reminder of the race and city. The bling is something we cherish and look forward to seeing what next year’s bling will look like.
The Rock ‘n’ Roll series has a Heavy Medal program that allows runners to collect additional bling based on number of events:
Of course, I’m trying to get the Don’t Worry Just Run medal. I’m sure you can figure out why! Everything Irie!
Had an interesting conversation with a tree branch last month about race bling. He selects race participation strictly on the bling available for the race. Bling not up to par and he will not run in your race! I’m not there yet, if there’s beer at the end I’m probably going to run your race! 😊
How do you display your race bling? How important is this aspect of the race for you? Thanks!