ReviewsVirtual Medals

Run the Year Medal Review

Looking at the 1st medal of 2019

I am kicking off my new review section with a look at Awesome Virtual Running’s Run the Year medal that arrived earlier this week. This is by far the biggest medal in my collection. This is a new concept from Awesome Running with 2018 being the first year they have done this type of challenge. They have continued it for 2019. In this review I will take a look at the sign up process, the challenge itself, how you submit evidence and finally the medal. Over the coming months I will be reviewing other medals from races and virtual companies.

If you’d like me to review a product please get in touch.

When this medal was brought in I was still part of the ambassador team for Awesome Running so this was a free entry but to enter it was £22.00 which is more expensive than your usual virtual medal but then this is technically 5 medals in one.

Official Description

Our biggest (120 mm Diameter) and most exclusive medal to date! The seasonal medal sections attach to the main medal body via magnets which look really cool, even the magnets are engraved!

You can take part solo or in a team. Remember this is your race, at your pace, open to all abilities. There is no fixed distance you have to run during any of the seasons. Its down to you, you’re in complete control.

If your taking part in a team the miles can be split however you want. That’s great news for both experienced runners and runners with less experience. Mix it up as you like, get out there and have fun. You can have as many runners in a team as you wish.

Sign Up Process
When you visit the site, you click on Enter Races/Challenges on the main menu, then you select the medal you want on the selection screen. You then add the medal to your bag (aka shopping basket). You are then re-directed to your shopping basket and if you are only entering the one challenge, you press the checkout button. The site automatically calculates the shipping cost. Good news! if you live in the UK shipping is free. You then enter your shipping details, press continue. On the next screen you enter your email address and checkout using paypal (you don’t need to be a paypal member to use it.

Once you’ve paid you are done and you will receive a confirmation email. Next is the small matter of completing your challenge.

Completing the Challenge/submitting Evidence

So to complete this challenge is different from most virtual runs as it’s split into 4 parts. One for each season. You can enter solo or as a team. Then after each season you can claim the next part. For 2018 there was no official distance you had to reach each month and was based on entrants being honest when requesting their next piece. On the medal it states 1000 miles, so technically you should be achieving 250 miles each season. So for example first part was spring, so during the spring season you should have done 250 miles. If you are doing their 100 mile monthly medal challenges it should be easily attainable.

Now I hit 50 miles most weeks, so even with the shit year I had last year I still managed to hit 1,000 miles by the middle of the year. For me it was just a case of waiting each season to apply for my next part. When submitting evidence all you have to do is go to their dedicated page, enter your name, email address and select the part you are applying for from the drop down. It is as simple as that for this challenge you don’t even need to prove you’ve done it. Personally it’s open to abuse from those who will claim despite never actually doing the miles required.

Once you’ve submitted you get an email confirmation and then when your medal is shipped you get a further email via paypal which is good. I applied for final part on Monday and it arrived the next day.

The Medal

The medal is massive and one to show off! The overall size is 120 mm, when you apply for the spring section the spring section comes but also the main disc which has the centre piece and ribbon on plus has slots for the 4 season parts that slot in and connect via a unique magnet system. Not sure how true it is but they claim “Our bespoke magnetic medal system is exclusive to our runners. No other medal on the planet looks like this.”

I love the concept and actually enjoyed seeing the medal take shape and it was a fantastic feeling to see the completed medal this week and took to social media to show it off. The medal when complete weighs a whopping 350g making it my heaviest medal yet. The ribbon complements the design with the same design on a black background. The medal is brushed metal with the engraved designing flowing from one section to another. Spring has green elements in the design, Summer then goes to two red shades, autumn yellow/brown and then winter is two shades of blue. It’s an elegant design and one I didn’t think they could out do but this years version looks even better. If you did a 1,000 miles in 2018 what a unique way to brag about it to friends and family you can still enter and get your version.

Overall Thoughts

I’m a big fan of the concept and how it come together. The medal is fantastic and very well designed and the magnet system is simple yet highly effective. The price at £22 might be slightly steeper but then you are getting 5 parts in one medal and building up your medal gives those who find 1,000 miles a challenge something to keep those miles ticking over.  My only gripe is that applying for parts is based on trust. I still think proof of doing X amount per season should be required or all 1,000 miles. Or better yet when they do 2020 don’t put 1,000 miles on the design and when people sign up make them commit to a certain amount of miles. So you could have a few options for example 500, 1,000 etc etc. I still want a virtual company to also cater for the more experience runners who want a proper challenge. I know the market is aimed at more the beginners but still there is people like me who like virtual challenges but actually want a challenge 😉

My Ratings

Difficulty of Challenge

A fantastic concept, that keeps you going all year. The final medal will be one anyone should be proud off. The biggest in my collection

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