Marathon runners take their hardware seriously, and rightly so after journeying 26.2 miles to cross the finish line. After finishing second and third the last two years, the Williams Route 66 Marathon finisher medal has been ranked number one among U.S. marathon medals, according to the May/June issue of Marathon & Beyond magazine.
The 2011 medal is designed to look like a hood ornament on a classic 1941 Cadillac. In Paul Gentry’s article, “Chasing the Flying Goddess,” the Williams Route 66 medal has been recognized for capturing the spirit of the marathon. Judges especially liked its elegant, sleek and shiny design that makes it look “fast.”
Marathon & Beyond formed a 23-member panel made up of marathoners from across the country and Canada to judge the 2011 marathon medals. There are an estimated five hundred marathons in the U.S. This is the third year in a row that the Williams Route 66 Marathon medal has placed in the top three, something no other event in the country has ever done.
“The attention paid to marathon medals has really escalated over the years,” said Rich Benyo, editor of Marathon & Beyond. “The perfect medal is one that perfectly symbolizes the area through which it runs, and the Route 66 medal does this perfectly!”
Gentry said of the marathon’s medal, “Without a doubt, Tulsa is the center of the ‘medal’ universe! To be in the top three for three straight years is truly amazing, especially considering that Marathon & Beyond has a completely different panel of judges each year. I am a proud finisher of this event, and I smile with pride every time I see my Flying Goddess hanging in my den.”
“This is a tremendous honor,” said Chris Lieberman, Director of the Williams Route 66 Marathon. “Of course, we wanted a medal that reflected the essence of the event and the history of Tulsa, but more importantly, we wanted the medal to be worthy of the effort of finishing the marathon.”