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Why I Can't Organise My Race Medals

I HAVE A DESERVED REPUTATION among friends and family as a borderline-infamous purger. I’ve tossed a vintage Gucci handbag, a beautiful copper pot, and my wedding gown. But I still have all my race medals.

Juno Demelo

One’s for a 320km overnight relay I once did. My husband drove the team van, and when it was my turn to sit in the front seat, I asked him if he wished he were competing. “I would rather stick a fork in my leg than ever run another race,” he said. Yet he’s saved the medals from the two races he’s run, both of which he signed up for under duress.

We’re not the only ones with a medal hoarding trait, running coach Jes Woods tells me. “Nine out of 10 runners I know keep their medals, “ she says. Woods is that 10th runner. She recently moved to a new flat, and her medals did not come with her. “They were taking up cupboard space, and it seemed kind of rah-rah-old-school-tie to hang them up.” But she did pack up her ultramarathon belt buckles, the customary awards for those uncustomary distances.

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September/October 2019

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