Is it all about the bling?

Today was a rest day, and my plan was simple: get my head down and break the back of my next Open University assignment.  About 60 minutes in to the recorded tutorial, I fell asleep, and it’s been downhill from there.

Which is why, a few moments ago, I found myself on Facebook reading @ultrareluctant’s latest offering on, and though I agree with a lot of what Gary says, my main response to the article is “Yes, but….”

Yes, I did start running for reasons other than the bling, but I was still so disappointed by the lack of a medal after my first 24 mile race that I bought myself one to commemorate it.

Yes, I do remember my (medal-free) experience at Rutland Water marathon every time I’m wet, cold, picking my way over a cattle grid, running with @fairweatherrun, or recounting how I ended up with the fabulous @jovialgnome for my grand slam crew, but that doesn’t change the fact that I would have enjoyed finishing the race more if I’d been given a medal as I crossed the line.

Yes, I do enjoy the sense of achievement that finishing the grand slam gave me, but I’m still ridiculously glad that I earned this year’s bling rather than last year’s bling, and I will put up a fight should you ever try to take my gorgeous “100 miles – one day” and “400 miles – one year” buckles from me.

Yes, intrinsic motivation is wonderful, but I might never have become a runner if it hadn’t been for the extrinsic motivation provided by the lure of the parkrun 50-club t-shirt.

So no, bling is not my primary motivator.  I have absolutely no idea what (if any) medal is on offer for Lakeland 100 and the size and glory of Traviss and Rachel’s medals leave me unmoved.  But bling, in one form or another, drew me in to the running community in the first place, the one-day buckle gave me a reason to resist another death march, and if a medal is what it takes to tempt other sloths off the sofa, then it is surely no bad thing.




About abradypus

A Bradypus or Sloth am I, I live a life of ease, contented not to do or die but idle as I please; ... [Michael Flanders and Donald Swann]
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7 Responses to Is it all about the bling?

  1. mercyjm says:

    I am with you there, I don’t really mind what it is but I like a ‘thingy’ to prove to me that I have done a ‘thing’. If there is nothing I may just have created the whole thing in my overactive mind. It doesn’t really matter what the thingy is (but it should have the year on, so no bulk-buying of thousands of thingies for the next 20 years).

  2. I agree, bling is not the primary motivator but is a good momento which enhances a good run and consoles after a bad experience.

  3. plustenner says:

    I must admit, I have been tempted to races which have particularly nice medals, but at the end of the day, my medals are in shoe boxes in my cupboard..

  4. JovialGnome says:

    The medal for this year’s Giants Head marathon depicts the Cerne Abbas giant with a spinning willy – come on, admit it, aren’t you just a little tempted?! 🙂

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