No medals at the finish line for Richmond Marathon

Published: Nov. 12, 2021 at 6:42 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Richmond Marathon will be held in person this weekend, but one of the lingering effects of COVID-19 is still making an impact at the finish line.

Alexandra Murphy was one of the thousands of runners out at packet pick up on Friday grabbing their race shirts and bibs, excited for the races to be back in person.

“I mean, the finish is pretty exhilarating, especially because in Richmond, you’re running downhill,” Murphy said. “So you got that momentum taking you all the way there, so it’s definitely exciting, and then you get wrapped up in a blanket because it’s usually pretty freaking cold.”

But the finish line victory will be without one of its most rewarding parts after organizers were told this week that all race medals were stuck in port in California due to the global supply chain issue.

Sports Backers say they ordered medals earlier this year than they normally do to try and avoid the issue, but unfortunately, it made no impact.

On Thursday, the race told runners about the issue and how they will make sure every runner still gets their medal.

Some runners at Friday’s pick-up say it was a little bit of a letdown.

“I don’t feel great about it because I love wearing it after the event for the evening to dinner,” Kelly Chapman, who traveled out of state for the marathon, said. “But I understand the situation. I’m just hoping they end up mailing them to us afterward.”

Mailing medals may be what Sports Backers decides to do, after having to mail medals earlier this year for other races, some of the groundwork is already laid out.

“It’s the understanding that once has completed a race, once they have done it, once you have shown the proof of finishing, then you’re stuff is shipped. So, obviously, it’s a much bigger scale because we have more people taking part in these races,” Pete Woody, with Sports Backers, said. “The idea of shipping items to people is something we’ve been doing quite a bit over the past year.”

Woody says they’re still waiting to hear when the medals will get to Richmond before they update runners.

Some participants, like Tim Lighting who is running his first marathon, say the medal doesn’t matter.

“Yeah, I know they probably won’t mail it until next year, but that’s not why I’m doing it; I’m just doing it for my own personal goal,” Lighting said.

Runners will still be able to pick up their hat and blanket at the finish line.

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