Organizers of the Williams Route 66 Marathon revealed today the 2011 finisher medal designs for each of the Williams Route 66 events. The family of medals for November events includes seven different variations to designate different race distances and different runner affiliations. Also revealed was the design of a coin to be given to marathon runners who choose to take a detour to Tulsa’s famed Center of the Universe landmark, and the medal for the Williams Route 66 Quarter Marathon in October.
The 2011 medals draw on the history of Route 66 while incorporating the modern aspect of the race. As always, classic cars inspired the design. The 2011 medals feature a likeness of the 1941 Cadillac hood ornament, the Flying Goddess. The goddess was slightly altered to incorporate art deco aspects paying homage to Tulsa’s art deco heritage.
Click here to view this year’s family of medals.
“Finisher medals, now a tradition in the running world, are a piece of your race that participants take home with them,” said Chris Lieberman, executive director of Tulsa Route 66 Marathon, Inc. “We are proud to design medals incorporating the history of Tulsa and of Route 66, and know that we have to be better each year to impress our participants who worked so hard for that finisher piece.”
The 2011 family of finisher medals for the November events include a marathon medal and a unique medal for those runners completing their first marathon. Half marathon and marathon relay finishers also receive a medal. New for 2011, the race is also offering special medals for members of the Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Marathon Club. Runners from these clubs run marathons around the world, and this offering will attract additional tourism dollars to Tulsa.
Additionally, to inspire kids to run and participate in physical activity, St. John Health System is offering a kids medal to any child 17 and under finishing any Williams Route 66 race. Traditionally, only the marathon, half marathon and relay finishers received medals. Now, thanks to St. John, a child finishing any Saturday race, including the 5K and fun run, is rewarded with a special finisher medal.
The Williams Route 66 Quarter Marathon, set for Oct. 15, 2011, also offers a finisher medal to those finishing the 6.55 mile distance. This year’s quarter marathon post-race party is presented by Tulsa Oktoberfest, and the finisher medal includes a bottle opener as part of the design.
The 2010 marathon finisher medal received a third place award recognizing the best marathon medals in North America. Marathon & Beyond, a bimonthly magazine designed for runners of marathons and ultramarathons, conducted the nationwide medal competition. The ranking makes it the second consecutive year that the Williams Route 66 Marathon medal has placed in the top three of the top 25 ranking. The 2009 medal design was selected as the second best design in the country and was featured on the cover of the magazine. Only one-third of races featured in the 2009 rankings made the list again in 2010.
Finisher’s medals, not commonplace until the 1980s, are now a staple at distance-running events. These collectors’ items are important to runners, and many racers choose marathons based on the finisher’s medals.