You are knocking races out, and the bling is piling up.
What do you do with all that race recognition and memorabilia? Here are some cool ideas:
Hang it. The easiest way to add order and show off your collection of medals is with a medal hanger. Dozens of companies provide wall mountable displays with sayings to show off your personality as well as your bling. Offerings include medal hangers, laser cut from heavy gauge brushed stainless steel (see Gone for a Run, Running Medal Hangers.com or AlliedMedal Displays) and wooden plaque displays with hooks (see Running on the Wall).
|Medal hanger from Gone for a Run – Wooden Hanger from Running on the Wall|
Displays run ~ $15 -$60 depending on the size, detail and number of medals the display will hold, and most companies accommodate customizations. DIYers, check out this blog on how to make your own display like the picture below. CUUUTE!!
Frame it. Frames and shadow boxes allow you to take the display further with space for items like your bib, race shirt, course map, medal etc. You decide. Large scale races often connect with companies like Fond Memories Graphics to provide recognition products customized for that race. Below is a product offered for Rock N Roll Chicago that includes an additional finisher’s medal, event logo plate, pewter disc of runners, engraved plate with name and chip time, laminated replica of your bib number and a mat opening for a 5” x 7” photo.
|Matted frame display from Fond Memory Graphics|
At around $175, these products beautifully preserve details of your accomplishment. Similar custom work can be done in the framing departments of stores like Hobby Lobby or Michaels. You would have to use your medal for the frame and create a reduced replica of your bib. Their custom framing costs are a bit high, but these stores almost always have a huge savings coupon or sale going on. (Check their websites for details). If you are crafty, pick up the supplies and have a go at it yourself. The result will be all you.
Scrapbook it. Scrapbooking is another personalized option to preserve and display your race bling. Go at it yourself, or if you are not so craftily inclined, check out RaceDayBooks. I discovered this product at the Women’sHalf Marathon expo in December. The brainchild of runner Lauren Kapeluck, RaceDay provides a beautiful scrapbook prepared to store all your race memorabilia from bib numbers, race photos, race statistics and finisher’s certificates. The book can hold contents for 10 races. ($50) Cool product.
|Race Day Books Scrapbook|
Photo book it – If you lean more to the “picture is worth a thousand words” side, perhaps a custom picture books is a fit for you. There are tons of sites online that allow you to upload pictures, add commentary and design a book to commemorate the race or series of races.
|20 page photo book of my first marathon|
The sites offer soft back and hard cover options and once created, you can order more than one to give a supportive friend or family member a copy. Pricing is very reasonable and an internet search will typically result in a promo or coupon code with a big discount. See Snapfish, Shutterfly, or Picaboo.
I’m a bit sentimental so I’d like to commemorate each event. I’m also a bit OCD and at the rate of a dozen or so races per year, it quickly got to the point where stored memorabilia felt like clutter. To balance it out, I don’t keep bibs, course maps, timing sheets, race brochures etc. but capture that detail in pictures and/or blog posts. Special races get a special commemoration so I did a plaque with the whole nine yards, (extra medal, photo, time plate etc), for my first big race – the Disney Half Marathon in 2003. My next special commemoration was the photo book above for my first full marathon Rock N Roll New Orleans in 2012.
Shamefully, my medals are the mess hanging off a shelf in front of my treadmill (picture at top of this post). As soon as I settle on the perfect saying, a medal hanger will be on the way.
How do you commemorate your races? Share ideas, pictures and keep rocking those races!