Medals 22, 23, 24

In 2012, I completed my Canadian Hat Trick in Montreal. This year, 2022, I completed my American Hat Trick thanks to Philadelphia! A few weeks ago, I completed the Italian Stallion Challenge portion of the Rocky Run! In completing the Italian Stallion Challenge, I ran a 5k, a 10k, and a half marathon. This medal trinity is meaningful in a few ways.

First, I now have a hat trick in both Canada and the USA. Luckily, I completed my Canadian hat trick a decade ago when I was still able to travel without much difficulty. Completing a hat trick in both countries checks off an item on my running bucket list.

A second item was checked off my running bucket list with the Rocky Run achievement. I have now achieved 8 medals from Philadelphia. Why are 8 Philadelphia medals significant? 

When I chose my running tattoo, I chose the Philadelphia Marathon logo. Philly was my first half marathon. Philly was my first full marathon. At the time I had my running tattoo done, I had 8 medals. So when the Philly logo was tattooed on my arm, I had the artist add stars so that there are 8 stars that matched my 8 medals. My thinking at the time was that I would keep adding stars on my arm – one star for each medal. I would add stars in batches every few years to match my medal count.

Adding more stars to my existing tattoo has not been an option, for multiple reasons. Suffice it to say, I have 8 stars, and it will remain at 8 stars. Thus, the 8 stars needed a new meaning.

Since my running tattoo is to commemorate Philly being my first, I decided that the 8 stars would represent each one of my Philly medals. In completing the Italian Stallion Challenge portion of the Rocky Run, I now have 8 medals from Philly to match the 8 stars of my tattoo.

This is a huge item checked off my running bucket list.

My ultimate goal is to achieve 26 medals. Once I have achieved 26 medals, I will retire from competitive running. I will still run, but I won’t be focused as much on medal achievement. My goal for retirement is to be able to keep running until I die. My focus will change from full and half marathons to medals to being able to run the marathon of my life – I want to run until I die. 

I am now registered for a race in December 2022 in which I will earn medal 26. The race I have scheduled for December is another race that has been on my running bucket list for a very long time.

That means that as I head into the 2023 running season, I will look to earn my 26th and final medal. That’s a tall order. I started looking at races for 2023 for medal 26. I did not realize how difficult it would be to choose a “final” race to earn medal 26. While I will continue to run even after achieving 26 medals, it will be the end of an era. It makes my choice of race for medal 26 feel like it is so significant. It is actually quite daunting trying to choose a race for medal 26.

For now, I am proud and content in the 24 medals I have earned. By the Grace of God, I look forward to earning medal 25 in a few weeks.

Once 26 medals have been achieved, I will have new running goals. I may try to run a certain amount of miles in a year, or a certain number of days in a row. We will see. I will keep running, but I will have new goals that no longer include chasing after medals. For now, though, I am still on the path of medal achievement. Here’s to medals 22, 23, and 24. 

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