It’s day 15 of the PILE on the MILES Challenge and today’s theme is MEDAL MONDAY. If you’re new to running, social media or Earth, Welcome! We’re happy to have you!! Let me tell you what this whole ‘Medal Monday’ thing is all about…
What is MEDAL MONDAY?
Medal Monday, often seen with the hashtag #MedalMonday on social media indicates when someone shares a photo of a medal they received after a Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K, 5K or other distance race. These photos can be a close-up of the race medal, the runner wearing the medal or some other creative image.
It’s an opportunity for runners to share their accomplishments, post a race recap on social media, reflect on a great race, share a lesson from a hard race or post just because. #MedalMonday is often posted the Monday after a race weekend – but that’s not a rule. Sometimes runners take some time to reflect on their race, write their race recap, go offline for a big after a race, or just want to celebrate a past race whenever they feel like it, so Medal Monday posts are common year round.
The classic Medal Monday photo – Wear your medal and hold it up. Get someone to take a picture of you with the finish line or other runners in the background. Do it right after the race, BEFORE you change clothes or sit down. Put any water or fuel you received out of sight of the picture so you’re not standing next to a random pile of water bottles and bananas.
Bite the Medal photo – You may have seen pictures of athletes biting their medal. Yes, they BITE or pretend to bite their medal. (This isn’t exclusive to running medals, many Olympic athletes do this.) It’s kind of weird but a tradition that goes back a long time. (It doesn’t really make sense any more, but people still do it out of tradition or because they’re encouraged by photographers.)
The medal biting photo is just like the classic except you pretend to bite (or actually go for it) your race medal. I’ve had friends tell me ‘pretend to bite it’ when snapping a post-race pic for me! And I’ve seen a ton of similar pics, so it’s pretty common.
WHY DO RUNNERS BITE THEIR MEDAL?
People used to bite into gold to check if it was real (human teeth are harder than gold so it would leave a tiny imprint). In the past Olympic athletes who won a gold medal may have bitten into their medals for this reason. Now Olympic gold medals only have a small amount of gold in them… so why bite it? Athletes still do this because photographers encourage them to do so. It’s become tradition and most of the world’s most decorated Olympians have pictures doing this.
Runners do it with marathon medals because it’s a common thing to do, we’ve seen so many others do it and what the heck else are you supposed to do with this big, bulky shiny object hanging from your neck?! It’s all a little weird. And it’s all a little awesome. Might as well have fun with it!
Medal Monday Flat Lay photo – A flat lay is when a photo is shot from directly above objects on a flat surface – it’s common in food and fashion photography. In this case the focus would be your medal and you can arrange different objects around it on a flat surface.
One easy option is to arrange your race tee shirt, bib and medal on a flat surface with any other items that have the race logo or go with the theme. Think ‘Flat Runner’ but for after the race.
I’ve taken photos of my race medal with donuts and other pretty food for #MedalMonday pics too.
Artsy Medal Monday photo – If you want to get creative with your Medal Monday photo and prefer to focus on the medal and not be in the picture – go for it. Take a photo of your medal with a gorgeous background, next to your post-race meal or use your imagination and do something unique.
I’ve seen amazing Medal Monday photos where the medal is the focus but you can see an iconic landmark local to the marathon in the background. This is a great option if you’ve traveled for the race.
Medal Monday celebration photo – This is a photo featuring you with your medal taken after the race in another location, often after a shower and some rest. These are popular for Run Disney races as many runners take photos inside Disney World or Epcot (but you can do this anywhere a good post-race photo op is guaranteed).
To get a great Medal Monday celebration photo – decide on the location and timing before your race (or take one right after the race just in case your plan doesn’t work out). After you shower/get ready, rehydrate and refuel – take your medal to a great photo op location and have someone snap away.
These are some tips on getting a great #MedalMonday photo – but if you don’t get a super fancy pic, it’s not a big deal. Post it! Celebrate your accomplishment. Share your experience with others and let them cheer for you too.
The running community on social media is very welcoming and supportive. I encourage you to participate and make some friends and virtual running buddies.