My second marathon was the Presque Isle Marathon in 2003. I am going to be 100% honest. I think that Finisher's Medal that year is one of the ugliest in my collection. I know others have told me I have worse ones but to me, that puppy is right up there on the list.
Decide for yourself (For some reason I could not get my scanner to scan this in color, which added to its ugliness):
However, when I ran the race in 2006 as part of Fiddy2, I was pleasantly surprised to see the medal had undergone a significant upgrade. Keeping with the Lighthouse theme (which is located on Presque Isle) you can see how nice this looks.
Even more so were the personalized Age Group awards (presented at the race, even) that were pictures of said Lighthouse. (No Picture of this one. Given the sentimental value , this award sits on a shelf in my parents' living room).
So, 2007 rolls around. And The Erie Runners Club outdoes themselves again with the hand-carved Finisher's Medal below:
Then in the mail I received this:
Wow. I am just so impressed with the ERC. No, medals do not make a race great. But when you have a race which has grow from 185 finishers in 2000 to 456 this year, with finishers breaking 2:30 you already have a good race adding hardware worthy of a great race can do nothing but bring more runners to the race.
Looking for a good race next fall? Try Erie.