If my medals could talk, they'd probably have some interesting stories to tell.
It's tough to pic a favorite, but the Marine Corps Marathon medal is at the top of my list of favorites.
Care to hear its story?
Let me start by saying that I never, in my wildest dreams or imagination, thought I'd ever be a marathoner. Heck, the fact that I became a runner is mystery enough, let alone becoming a distance runner.
The MCM wasn't my first marathon (it actually was my ninth), but it had long been on my bucket list of races. The MCM isn't exactly an easy race to take on. There's a selection process, via a lottery. Lodging is tough to come by and is rather pricey. And, I'd bet that most of the participants have to travel a substantial distance to get there. But, it takes place in a very decorated city (and vicinity).
Anyways, this medal is not only a beauty to look at, but it has a great deal of sentimental value to me.
It represents many hours of training. I won't give you a detailed account of every long run, speed session, or total number of miles run leading up to October 27th of 2019. Suffice it to say that marathons require a lot of work. There's a lot of blood, sweat and tears en route to pinning on the race bib.
It symbolizes perseverance and grit. My race was a tough one...there was torrential rain, throughout most of the morning. At times, there was knee-deep standing water to wade through. My shoes and socks were thoroughly soaked even before crossing the start line. My body ached from the extra effort it took running (and walking) with sore, blistered feet. That's not even taking into account the hills (one of which was right before the finish line).
It pays tribute to not just the Marines Corps, but to all military personnel. Many have gone before us, and fought for our freedom. Many put their lives in danger, daily, while protecting the rest of us. It was an honor to take part in a race that honors them.
So, that's the story of this particular medal. As they say: always earned, never given. Mission accomplished.
Do you have a favorite race medal? Or do you have several?