Friday, January 1, 2016

Friday Favorites #9: 2015 Medal Faves

With 30 races completed in 2015, it's hard to come up with the idea of even having a favorite medal. One is impossible, even five is hard, so I rounded it up to thirteen (because odd numbers are better) and chose some of my favorite medals from the past year to share with you. Some of these are favorites solely for the medal (because who doesn't like a good-looking piece of hardware?) and some are the memories, races, and adventures tied to them! 

In no particular order, but you might guess my ultimate fave, I bring you my most favorite 13 medals of 2015. Race recaps linked below too! 

This race has become one of my favorite ways to wrap up the year - San Diego, sunshine (even with 30 degree temps at the start) and a finish at the beach. I love this year's medal, as it encompasses everything about the race I love: San Diego, the holidays and glitter. Because duh. 

The race was alright (who doesn't get bummed when you run an extra .6ish miles?), but this medal is everything. The 5K version was slightly smaller, the marathon a larger pair of sunglasses. Love, love, love. 

This medal makes the list for a few reasons. A) It's huge. It literally takes up the entire palm of my hand. B) Pacing Team 2:10 that day was a blast with Patty and Bear and I can't wait to pace with them again! C) It reminded me that running - and yes, even racing - can and should be fun. Who skips to the finish line? Looking at race photos from that morning show me what this is all about - achievement, yes, but community, laughs, and some personal fun, too!

Portland is obviously on the list and again for a few reasons. State #8 for me, so that's always fun, but because this medal is gorgeous. If you click on the photo to open it, you might also see that there are two runners in the center of the rose. Portland is an amazing race, so well done and so thoughtful. Roses and trees at the finish line and just a great event altogether. This was my birthday racecation weekend with Doug, so definitely worth throwing on this list! 

The race recap above is for OC, since I claimed my BCC there, but run any of the Long Beach, Surf City, OC races in order and you can claim your medal at the third and final race. I'll be claiming another (a golden sand dollar) in 2016, but this one was just about getting it done! It was my first race challenge, though a long series, and I was excited to finally be able to pick up my bonus bling at the end!

Apparently I only got around to recapping part 1 of Ragnar Del Sol. Ragnar is one of my favorite, ridiculous running events ever and this was on a total and complete whim - hooray unemployment?! I joined the team for Del Sol (Phoenix) about a week in advance and had an absolute freaking blast with Tina, Erica, and Mandy and other new friends! There is no better way to get to know your friends better - and make new friends! - than 35 hours in a van or sleeping on a high school soccer field. No better. I hope I can achieve a Ragnar each year - so far, so good!

Citrus is my most favorite local race, sponsored by the Riverside Road Runners, and one that is done so, so well. I'm a legacy for the half marathon (started in 2014) and hope to continue as long as possible! In 2014, I was under-trained and really just doing the race for that medal (just as pretty) but kicked my own butt and finished in a terrible 2:32. My goal for 2015 (after 2.5 pre-race miles) was just to run better, smarter, stronger, since I was in the middle of LA training. Mission accomplished with a 2:08. The orange in the center is covered in glitter and spins and is a pretty great way to greet you at the finish line!

State #9 and just a week after Portland, Brooklyn was the extended birthday race-cation. I got a few days to play in New York and visit my sister, all while running this inaugural race. I love Rock 'n Roll races and loved being a part of the #RocknBlog team this year! 

Tinkerbell Half Marathon
I apparently never got around to recapping Tink, but probably because it was such a weird race for me. Due to work on Saturday, I had to sprint down to the expo on Thursday evening and didn't get to participate in any of the fun social happenings going on all weekend, so I literally came to Disney to run and go home. After representing Sparkly Soul at so many Disney races prior, it was a little surreal. Regardles, I rocked a 2:12 finish after being on my feet literally all day Saturday, got to see tons of friends, and had a blast running through the parks. This pearlized beauty doesn't hurt either! First west coast Disney race in the books! More to come?

This beauty is the bonus medal for running the Holiday 5K on Saturday and the Holiday Half on Sunday, As a part of their ambassador team, I was gven the opportunity to participate in both, and complete the sold-out challenge. I am beyond grateful. Despite a twingy back muscle, I rocked a 1:58 finish (way more than satisfied), got to run with so many IERC-ers, and had a freaking blast. This might be another new favorite holiday race in So Cal!

Lace Up Series (10K/Half Marathon)
I was an ambassador for Lace Up, so yes, I'm a little biased, but these medals are legit. Much like Revel, they're also the size of your palm, and don't change in size between the 5K, 10K or half! Ribbon colors chance the race distance/city, but the hardware is the same! I was fortunate enough to run 3 out of 4 events (if you ran all 4 you got a bonus medal too): the Irvine 10K, Palos Verdes 10K and ran/paced the Riverside half marathon! An amazing Southern California series I will definitely be back for! 

Probably the story of the year - the race where I ran in someone else's shoes. Read the recap. It's a good one, so for obvious reasons, this baby made the list. Solely for the story behind it!

As I was celebrating my 30th birthday this year, I thought it was only fitting that I run a marathon that is also celebrating ITS 30th birthday! Best yet, they made sure that their medals acknowledged the fact so that everyone knew you ran its 30th birthday. LA turns 30, Megan turns 30. Perfection. Though the race didn't turn out as I wanted, given race day temps, I still PRed this race and given it was my only full of the year... it's my standing PR. 4:52 will be destroyed in 2016. I feel it. But above all, this race stood for a lot and meant a lot and is absolutely gorgeous and I will officially declare it my favorite medal from 2015. 

I had an amazing year and can't believe all the adventures I got to go on! Two new states, another Ragnar adventure, and lots of fun miles inbetween! 2016 is going to have a lot to top... 

What's your favorite medal from 2015?

For this post, I'm linking up with Smitha and Dani for their #YearInReviewLinkUp!

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