My Medal Tree

After a while, the medals start mounting up. After so many races, regardless of distance, there comes a time when the number of medals outpaces the space to put them in. I keep a file folder for each race I do, with race bib, finishing time, FAQs, travel information, and other pertinent materials and then I file each folder in chronological order in a large metal filing cabinet. In my salad days, I would slip the medal into each folder to keep it safe. After a while, though, the medals began to make the files very bulky, especially since some medals are large or heavy or 3 dimensional (like the flying pig one). What to do with the medals became a real challenge.
It occurred to me that I might find a way to display them so visitors could be impressed (at least a little bit) so I took the medals from their respective folders and placed them on a desk in the living room. Looked quite nice, too, but took up valuable desk space, and I began to run out of room once I reached the limits of the desk. At one of the race expos I visited, I had seen a clear plastic display case that would hold 10-12 medals and could easily be hung on a wall or set on a counter or table. I purchased one at a hefty price and quickly filled it up with a dozen medals. That left the remaining medals still on my desk top.
What to do? More races, more medals, and no place to put them. Some friends had various solutions; I’ve seen shadow boxes mounted on walls, hooks with medals hanging from them (with and without the lanyards attached), and wall-mounted brass or wood racks, similar to coat racks.
While browsing through one of the Sky Miles catalogs on a flight last November, I saw a free-standing circular shoe tree that had room for dozens of shoes and had a basket at the top. It was light and airy and cost about $100. I turned to my husband (who happened to be with me on that trip) and said, “Why can’t I use this to hang my medals on?” He agreed that it was a possible solution to my medal ‘problem’ and so it became an item on my Christmas list.
When it arrived, I could not wait for Christmas (!) so my husband put it together that weekend (he said it was easy, but I was glad he did it for me) and I started hanging my medals on it. I looped the lanyards through and around the posts for shoes. All my medals except for the ones in the plastic case and my huge ones (the 3 from Little Rock and the massive one from the Texas Marathon in Kingwood, TX) are now hanging on my medal tree and there is still plenty of room for more. In the basket at the top, I set my gifts and awards from various races, at least the ones that would fit and were unbreakable.

Here is a photo:

This solution seems like a pretty neat way to get those medals in view but with a small footprint. Someday I may have to get another shoe rack!

2 thoughts on “My Medal Tree

  1. Great solution, I love this. If someone were to do one marathon what would you reccomend for a first one or possibly only one as I cant even imagine doing one yet so who knows. I live in CT. The idea of a Disney marathon or Hawaii one sounds best for things to look at for 7 hours, but what would you reccomend if someone planned to only do one? Thanks again, Kelly

  2. I would suggest the following races for a walker who is just starting out:
    Disney (great destination race, 7 hour limit)
    Little Rock Marathon (early start which would give you 8 hours, very walker-friendly)
    Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati (fun race, 7 hour time limit)
    First Light Marathon (Mobile, Alabama) – 7 hour limit, very laid back race
    Portland (Oregon) Marathon (THE walker marathon, 8 hour limit)
    Austin Marathon (7 hour limit, great city to visit)
    Blue Ridge Marathon (Roanoke, VA) – 8 hour limit but mountainous, great scenery
    Besides looking at time limits, I would find out if there is an early start for slower runners/walkers – Manchester City Marathon in NH has an early start and is a great race
    I would avoid the Hartford Marathon in your home state – it has a 6 hour time limit but they start closing the course and aid stations at 5 hours! Unfortunately there are not many other marathons in CT with generous time limits.

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