2016 Updated Article! – Spartan Medals and TShirts
Continue below for original article.
What you are looking at here are Spartan Race finishers medals. To be specific, they are Sprint distance medals, dating back to their second ever race – held in Amesbury, MA in the early days of OCR, all the way back in 2010 – a 2011 medal, a 2012 medal and a 2013 medal. Not much changed, other than the backing (dropping the “finisher” text for an iTab slot) and the ribbon becoming color coded.
As many of you reading this know – they added a blue version, for the Super distance events, and a green version for the Beast distance events.
Apart from a few variations along the way, this medal style has looked great on medal holders and pinned to cube walls – especially when displayed alongside the coveted trifecta – a three way split of the colors, indicating you were a member of a pretty neat club and had completed and collected all three.
Like any good brand, Spartan Race are always looking to evolve. They had had overwhelming feedback in previous seasons that there are some pretty significant things that would make the athlete experience better – for example, not running out of trifecta medals at your world championship event, or having more than one finishers T Shirt style available – and I’m sure they are working on those things.
For whatever reason though, they have also decided to spruce up their finishers medals, and over the winter, a couple of different variations were posted – generally to very poor feedback. It’s not broken, don’t fix it. Someone has decided that this needs fixing though, and today they released their final design for the finishers medals in 2014.
The feedback on Facebook, and in the various groups has largely been – once again – poor.
As individual medals, these are not the Spartan Race medals people know. These are not the medals that people were inspired by. They don’t stand alone, as medals to themselves. If you are only able to run a Sprint (and many *many* people only run a single Sprint) – then you will have a 1/3 chunk of a medal. By itself, thats pretty sad.
You also no longer earn a trifecta medal. I guess this is a logistical blessing for Spartan, as they could never stock the trifecta medals properly anyway, but for the athlete pushing outside their comfort zone, they no longer earn anything for it … oh, sure, they could clip their existing medals together … it’s far from the same reward that Spartan has been touting for the past two or three years.
My real concern stems back to – it wasn’t broken, so why fix it? When people have dozens of boring, cheap cotton finishers shirts clogging up their closets, and just want a new style – when people are unable to buy race venue specific shirts because they ran out of stock by 10am Saturday – when trifecta medals are running out at their world championship, then showing up in the mail 2 months later … is a medal redesign *really* the thing to be worrying about?
*Cover story art by David Moore
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from what I under stand they are keeping the original circular medals for each race but the thirds are for the trifecta also
I don’t like them, don’t like them at all. I agree with the author, if its not broken why fix it. There is now essentially no inventive to complete the trifecta.
If it’s true that they’re keeping the circular medals, and the third is for those going for trifecta, I kind of like it. It’s not that it’s broken, but rather that that piece… missing the rest of the puzzle will piss me off. Will make me want the rest of it.
I think it really depends on your goals. But I agree, if you are going for a trifecta it gives you some extra motivation if you need all three pieces, which is a good thing in my mind. It reminds you that your spring finish is a piece of the process.
I can see how if your plan was only to do a sprint you would want a reward that shows you did a whole of something rather than a piece. Seems like motivation to do more would be a good thing though.
I agree. It wasn’t broken! Having a piece of a trifecta, a trifecta that I will never attain or have the opportunity to attain takes away from the original goal for me of a sprint. That’s what I’m going for. I don’t like having a piece of something “else”.
I personally like the old style medals!!! If its not broken dont fix it, or at least give people a choice!!!
So. My question is, does this also alter the Special Ops medal for Tampa or Colorado? I was under the impression that these races also qualified towards a trfecta.
If this was an optional “additional medal” offered to those who are going for their trifectas, cool. Have a checkbox on the spartan registration page to charge me an extra $10 for a “Trifecta Puzzle Piece” – I’d gladly pay for it. After I finish the race and get my normal full-spartan-logo medal, I can then walk to the trifecta tent and they can check my name off their list and give me the piece of the medal for that race type (sprint, super, beast). This way, if I end up not being able do a trifecta for monetary or other reasons, I still have a full medal to mark my accomplishment, not just a piece of one.
I don’t like the new design. I did like the old design. I’m guessing/hoping that this new design is short lived.
I love the idea, I’ve been running these for 3-4 years. I already have about 6-8 circular medals, multiple colors, and a trifecta medal. I’m glad I’ve got a new design to add to my collection. They aren’t pieces…they are a triangular shaped medal, medals come in all shapes and sizes…the added benefit of this design is that they fit together to complete a year of racing. I think the revamp is great.
Do we get a third of a shirt too?
Personally, I don’t give a $#!t what the medal looks like. I don’t do these races for the pretty colored necklace. The motivation I get from an upcoming race and the excellent shape my body’s gotten into is reward enough. Tokens of recognition are for posers.
@Justin: seriously, your only motivation for doing these races is the medals?
From what I’ve seen, all statements are correct in saying that you’re able to get the regular circular medal along with the puzzle piece. However, the only caveat is that you have to do a certain number of burpees at the finish line to get the circular medal.
I’ve seen people say it’s been 20 for the Sprint and 40 for the Super. I can only imagine the Beast being 60.
As someone that did the Vermont Beast last year, the last thing I want to do is more burpees after the 7 hours it took to complete the race…but I guess it is what it is for now.
I don’t like burpees at the best of times. The last thing I want is to do some at the end of a race. Yes, yes, I know, you hard core folks can knock off 100 of them at a drop of a hat lol. Ah well, we’ll just have to see how I feel at the end and if I have enough gas in the tank to do some more burpees.
I think it’s brilliant,although I understand the bad response.
I like it.
Old vs New – http://imgur.com/g67S78w
The new metal is bigger, and is distinctive in that it’s not a circle. I actually like something that looks different and stands out.
And as a bonus, 40 bonus burpees at Temecula 2014 got finishers the old school medal as well . If they do that for every race (and that means making more old school metals eventually after burning through all the old stock) its win/win for everyone.
I do agree, that’s the great thing about this race in Temecula.. after the race for 40 more burpees, you get the round sprint medal…I’m hoping that they offer that on every race.
They don’t offer the classic round medal for extra burpess at the finish line in every race. I just did the Spartan Sprint in Tampa, and we got the triangular sprint medal plus the Special Ops medal (which looks pretty bad ass – but, they ran out. Still waiting for mine to get in the mail).
During this weekends races, the first of 2014, you earn the pie piece and if you do 40 burpees at the finish line you earn the round one as well.
The biggest thing that I was upset about this past Sunday was that they ran out of all XXL Finishers Shirts by 12pm and also all XXL shirts at the merchandise tent. Sucks that now I have to wait for my finishers shirt if it comes.
It’s been said before, but it would suck if I could only do a Sprint and got something that looked incomplete, like my efforts weren’t worth a whole medal.
Just ran the Tampa Special OPS Sprint on February 15th and received both the “1/3 piece” sprint medal AND the specific Special OPS Tampa medal for the race. So I’m thinking that they will indeed have both at each race. I will admit that with getting the “1/3 piece” medal I am motivated more to complete the trifecta because I don’t like staring at a partial medal on my wall display. So their marketing strategy is working just fine on me haha.
August 9th 2013. We had just finished our very first Spartan run. We were covered in mud, sweat, blood and more mud. We were hooked. We loved the whole idea of the run; the crowd, the activities, the obstacles, the true grit. Game on. The trifecta was now in our future.
We would wear our medals around the house, the bumper stickers were on the car, text messages ended with ‘AROO’. We talked about how we would display our medals; a red Spartan Sprint medal next to the blue Spartan Super medal, next to the Green Spartan Beast medal. And last but not least sealing the deal would be the beloved Trifecta medal to display above the others to really send home the message that this is quite the feat.
This is no longer the case. With 2 out of 3 of our races booked we find out the medals have changed. A piece of the pie. We don’t want a piece of the pie. We want to show just how hard one needs to work for the ACTUAL trifecta medal.
I don’t have to tell you what the idea of YOUR race is- but I will. It’s about getting a sedentary person up off the couch. It’s about getting someone out of their comfort zone. It’s about pushing limits. It’s proving that you can run, even when the doctors told you it would never happen again. It’s about the medal.
Someone who is facing all odds doesn’t want just a piece of the pie. They want their full Spartan Helmet medal to show the world that they are a Spartan. They shouldn’t have to feel unfulfilled because they won’t be completing a Trifecta. Bring back the spirit; bring back the spark that we had when we completed our first Spartan. And maybe, just maybe that will inspire them to achieve that beloved Trifecta medal just like it did to us.
I am a fan! Does anyone know who manufactures Spartan’s medals?
A third of a medal? Really? Are you f’n kidding me?
i know this is months later, but i just wanted to let anyone know that is reading this and possibly deterred, that they are giving the full round medal for completion of your race and the 1/3 medal towards the trifecta if you choose to go for it.
At the PAC West Sprint, you got both the round and puzzle piece, while the puzzle piece is clever, I would prefer the old-school round-three color metal.
If you are going to make the medals in pieces here in the United States the program should be unilaterally consistent in other countries as well – Due to scheduling conflicts I had to go to Canada so that I would ensure that I got my second piece but was disappointed to find out that in the end I didn”t get it and had to go direct to Spartan HQ to see if they would endulge me. In Canada they were not giving out the corrosponding piece. . – Personally, I like the three pieces to create one medal.
Well my 3 piece Trifecta medal, magnetic polarity is messed up, they don’t all 3 fully connect. It sucked for about 45 min. I’m an OCR racer, Ironman Triathlete, trail runner, and have way to many finisher medals. I do like the Spartan Race medals, it’s different. How about a useful body towel to use to dry off after the race or to put on my seats in the car when I leave. LOL
Same issue. 2/3 to trifecta… But the medals don’t stick together.plus I bought a hoodie that has a huge defect in the fabric. Where’s the quality control? Or maybe I’m just not lucky .
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