The Sunday Read: My, that’s a…er, happy looking medal

Say, is that your race medal or are you just happy to see me? In what may be one of the most embarrassing race gaffs ever,  as runners came across the finish, Edinburgh Marathon volunteers placed medals around their necks. The only problem was the medals looked like penises.

In a story titled “Phallic medal stuns Edinburgh Marathon runners, The Edinburgh Evening News described the unfortunate award as “a tacky souvenir from a raucous hen party.”

Apparently, the medal became an instant hit on Facebook and Twitter with many of the 23,000 race participants posing in suggestive ways with their medal.

Race organizers took it all in stride. Marathon director Neil Kilgour told the paper that “the design brief for the medal ‘included detailed measurements,’…but no-one had noticed the potential for embarrassment. ”

Certainly, the uniquely shaped award gave runners the opportunity as they finished the race and had the medal placed around their necks to tell volunteers: “Well hung!”

The full story is here: http://is.gd/OgezzR

Enough frivolity. I love this editorial piece on disabled athlete Oscar Pistorius and his bid to race the 400 metres at the London Olympics this summer. Ford Vox eloquently argues against the nonsensical argument that Pistorius’s prosthetic limbs somehow lend him an advantage in the race.

Bullshit, says Vox, who defends Pistorius and his carbon fibre limbs. Writes Vox: “The material can store and release some of the kinetic energy you put into it, but they’re only a pale imitation of the superior energy return capacity muscles and tendons provide.”

Convincingly, Vox proposes: “The normal range of human variation must allow for our repair and adaptation.” He calls Pistorius “a bright, shining reminder that all athletes are physically unique in ways that profoundly impact their performance in sport.”

Read the piece here: http://is.gd/poExI1

A week ago the 25th running of the Cabot Trail Relay Race took place, an event that currently is open to 70 teams of 17 people who race for two days non-stop over some very challenging terrain.

The Halifax Chronicle-Herald’s running columnist, Deborah Wiles, did a good job of summarizing the team work that goes into that particular race, as well as capturing some of  the event’s more unique aspects.

Wiles managed to evoke both the excitement of the more popular stages of the race as well as some of the lonely legs in the middle of the night where runners are alone with their thoughts as they pace themselves along the dark roads.

I like that she was able to capture this particular truth: “The Cabot Trail Relay Race is exhilarating, entertaining and epic. It is also at times frustrating, baffling and even monotonous.”

The race is epic. You struggle, your teammates struggle, through hard stages, every kind of weather and more. It’s entertaining: just watch some individual with a gnome hat blast by another runner to experience that. And it’s frustrating, baffling and monotonous. Trying to set up shuttle arrangements to get runners to every leg, provide support, arrange for proper housing for sleep and more is all of that.

That’s what makes the race so unforgettable and keeps people coming back for more.
You can read the article here: http://is.gd/QmSfbq

What with all the fuss over hot races recently – and we don’t mean popular, either – I thought it might be worthwhile to link to this extremely well-done infographic from The Washington Post on heat and how your body deals with it.

This extremely informative article tells you how you acclimatize to heat, how long it takes, and the physical changes to occur as you adjust. Fit folks get used to the heat in two weeks, so if you have a race coming out where you know you may be looking at hotter than normal  temperatures, you can prepare ahead of time.

That hot-looking piece is over here: http://is.gd/HpWE8T

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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2 Responses to The Sunday Read: My, that’s a…er, happy looking medal

  1. SeeAlliRun says:

    I am so adding the Edinburgh marathon to my “bucket list”. HAhaha

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