Posts Tagged ‘medal’

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by Meagan Cross from the Foundation for Angelman Syndrome Therapetics. She heard about the virtual race I’m directing and wanted to put together a story about my cousin’s daughter Kyla, the race, and a little bit about me. The link was posted to the Foundation For Angelman Syndrome Therapeutics Facebook page. That means the 7,388 people that “like” that page will see the story. I’m hoping to get a lot of registrations from that.

Only 6 days remaining until the prices for the Running For Angels Virtual Race increase by $5.

Now thru 2/28/13, you can get a race entry, and a custom medal for only $20 or for $30 you get a race entry, a custom medal, and a tech tee.

After 2/28/13 the prices will be $25 with a medal or $35 with a medal and tech tee.

Register at

Check us out on Facebook at

Although the 5k distance isn’t my specialty, I decided to run one last weekend. I just wanted to do a race. The only day I was available was Sunday. It turned out the closest race was almost 2 hours away in Meridian Township, MI.

It was supposed to be a small event that is sponsored by Playmakers. The course consisted of a short, paved corse thru the woods, down 2 roads, then a short sprint to the finish.

The day of the race, I woke up with a sore throat, so I wasn’t really expecting a very fast time. I figured I’d run it in about 23 minutes.

I managed to run it in 20:28, which was way better than I hoped for. That ended up beating my PR by 3 seconds!


Polar Bear 5k results

I won my division, and come in 6th overall out of 229 runners. This was the first time I have ever won my division in a race.


Polar Bear 5k medal

Age group winners received great medals made by!

About the event:
-Race day registration was well organized.
-Very affordable. Only $25 on race day.
-Pre/post-race refreshments. Hot chocolate, coffee, bananas, granola bars.
-Nice medals to top 3 in division, plaques to overall male, female, and masters.


Race map on

-Not chip timed.
-Shirt was not available in my size. Only XXL shirts were remaining.
-Almost no crowd support.
-They played awful music the entire time.

I liked the event. It was small, but well organized. You don’t really expect much when the price is so low, but it was better than I thought it would be.




Thanksgiving is a very big day for running races in the United States. Here in Detroit we have the Fifth Third Turkey Trot. It is the largest road race in the U.S. on Thanksgiving day. This year was the 30th anniversary and for the first time they offered medals to all finishers of the 10k, 5k, and 1 mile races. Last year there was an incredible 20,000+ runners that took to the streets of Detroit to take part in it. After running the 10k in 2011 I knew I wanted to come back and run it again. I learned last year that this definitely wasn’t a race to enter in hopes of getting a personal record. The course is extremely crowded, there are tons of walkers, people with strollers, and people walking and running with their dogs. Since a PR was out of the question, I had to come up with a way to challenge myself, but still go out there and have a good time. After all, this is a fun run.

While having a few drinks with my 2 closest friends, the idea hit me. I was going to run backwards for the entire 5k. Maybe it was the alcohol talking, but it sounded like a lot of fun. I had never run backwards in my life. The next thing I needed to do was find a friend to run with me and help navigate. I knew if I ran solo it would be insanely difficult to weave thru all of the other runners so I needed an extra set of eyes. My friend Jessica agreed. She isn’t really a runner, but she did her first race earlier this year when we ran the Warrior Dash together. Neither of us trained at all. She did absolutely no running recently, and I didn’t even train myself to run backwards. It was going to be a huge challenge for both of us, but we welcomed it with open arms.


We lined up at the back of the slowest corral not knowing what kind of pace we would run. Immediately upon starting the race, there was an enormous traffic jam. This was going to be tough. We had to weave our way thru tons of walkers and slow runners. I really couldn’t believe it, but we were actually passing a lot of people. The runners had mixed feelings about seeing someone running backwards for the race. Some of them cheered, high-fived me, and shouted “Go backwards guy!”. Not everyone was that supportive though. I had a few people call me a show-off. I was kind of taken back by that. After all of the races I’ve done, I’ve never had people say negative things to me. I wasn’t running to make others look bad. I just wanted a challenge.

Within the first 1/4 mile my quads were on fire. My legs can handle very high mileage, but they were almost instantly rebelling. My neck and my eyes were hurting from looking over my shoulder constantly. I now knew just how hard this race would be. If it started to hurt that quickly, it was only going to get exponentially worse. I kept moving backward (or forward depending on your perspective) and continued on. Jessica and I started to develop a good system for navigating. At first she would say “go right, go left” but that didn’t work too well. She started pointing in the direction I needed to move. That was a much better system. Things got much smoother as we gained some experience and the crowd spread out a little bit. Now I just had to grind thru this race and deal with the pain.

About half way thru the race my legs were dead, my neck was kinked, and my eyes were severely fatigued. Turning around and running forward was not an option though . I committed to this and I was going to finish it no matter what. As we got close to the end we ran into an enormous traffic jam right before the finish. The last tenth of a mile was jammed. Everyone was waiting to cross the finish line. Somehow the race staff and voluteers were not moving the crowd along fast enough. We ended up waiting about 5 or 6 minutes to finally cross the finish line and claim our hard earned medals.


It was finally over! I actually made it without falling. We went inside Cobo Hall to get some post-race refreshments and meet up with my friend Jason from my running group. He also ran the 5k, but he ran solo. Jason, his wife, and I went to the Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade but Jessica had to leave after the race.


We hung out along Woodward Ave. and watched the parade, sharing our individual experience with that day’s race. After having a few beers, the parade was almost over so we went on our way.

What I learned…
Running backwards is tough! The next day the pain really set in. I haven’t hurt that bad since my first full marathon but I do not regret going into the event without training. It was an incredible experience and a load of fun. Maybe next year I’ll run the 10k backwards!


I’ve only been running for 2 1/2 years, and in that time I’ve earned a few medals. They’ve just been piling up on my mirror one by one, not even highlighting some of the nice ribbons they hang from. Like any other runner, I’ve worked very hard for each of those and they should be displayed in a much better way. For about a year I’ve contemplated getting a medal hanger but all of them that I’ve found were severely over-priced. The nicest hangers I saw were made by Allied Medal Displays, but the couple of them I wanted were priced between $60 and $80. Although they were very nice, I would have to spend almost $200 to display everything. There had to be a different way – Something more cost effective.

I came up with an idea to simply use 2 hooks and a dowel in between. I didn’t want it to look cheap, but after all, the display should highlight the medals rather than the rack they hang from. I went to my local Lowe’s to take a look at some ideas and hopefully see something that would work. It almost made sense to start with the dowels and find one that would be strong enough without being too thick. They had some 3/8 inch dowels made of oak that looked pretty nice and they were certainly strong enough. Only $1.19 for a 36 inch cut. That’s a great start, so I grabbed 2 and searched for the hooks. That place is enormous, and it’s hard to find anything so I ended up asking an employee where they were. I have to say, he was pretty rude. He didn’t even stop walking past me as he told me where to find them. That attitude didn’t make any sense to me. Anyone that knows me would agree that I’m very friendly when I approach people, and this case was no different. Maybe he was really rushed on other tasks. Next week is the kickoff of holiday shopping season and I’m sure he had a million things to do, but that’s still no excuse.


Okay… I’m done venting now. Back to the hooks. I scored a 6 pack of some 3/4 inch cup hooks with a shiny brass finish for only $1.18. The dowels fit perfectly. This brought the grand total to $3.77 with tax. At that price I can scrap the whole idea if it looks bad.


I cut the dowels in half and screwed the hooks into the wall. I think it’s a huge improvement over the way it looked before.



I’d say this was completetly worth it. Hopefully my idea helps someone out there.