My friend, Teo Chen Lung, has an incurable fetish for medals. I reckon he must have accummulated up to a few hundred medals of wide-ranging sporting events as well as other non-sporting competition. I dare say he even considers himself something in the order of an expert when it comes to medals in general.
I'm not in the habit of discussing about running medals for 2 reasons. The first is that I don't think I'm qualified to give any meaningful comments or suggestions as far as the design and beauty of medals are concerned. And the second is that I think these are all subjective assessments anyway and depend very much on personal tastes.
This morning, a friend brought to my attention that the organiser of the Borneo International Marathon (BIM) had unveiled the medals for this year's races which include the 10km, 21km (half marathon) and 42km (full marathon) in its facebook page.
Apparently, Teo is of the view that the medals appear a little "messy", but as I said earlier, it's difficult to agree or disagree as it depends on personal tastes. I'm not sure whether "messy" is a good thing or not in this case. Personally, however, I think this year's medals are much more colourful than those in the previous years, and that is an exciting and refreshing departure from the "norm". I must congratulate the organiser for its efforts. The new design satisfies the requirement of "uniqueness" to me, and I'm guessing the colours and ribbon are more appealing to the younger runners. Some people are very sentimental though, and there will be bound to be some who're not very happy with the new colour scheme.
Looking at the comments in the organiser's facebook page, it seems that the majority are happy with the new design, although admittedly, some said they preferred the previous medals. But there are some who raised the issue of the missing mascot. They noted that the "orangutan mascot" is no longer found on the medal. For those who have not seen any of the previous BIM medals, here is an example from BIM 2011.
Notice how colourful the medal has become for the coming race. However, colours aside, I find the comments about the missing mascot very interesting. I note that several of those commenting about the mascot were Sabahans.
Being a Sabahan myself, I take pride in posting this article in the hope of educating not only the foreigners, but also some of my Sabahan comrades. That mascot you see on the BIM medals all these years is NOT an orangutan, would you believe it! Actually, it is the proboscis monkey. You'd probably know why when you look at its nose. These are two different species, although both are famous in Sabah.
I'm including in this post the photos of these animals of what they really look like in the wild:
One more final thingas some of the commenters on facebook have correctly pointed out, the mascot has always been a part of the BIM, so I can appreciate their reaction when they didn't see the mascot on the medals. But please calm down, folks, the mascot is in fact therejust that it's on the other side of the medal. Here is another shot of the medals (as per Medal Depot) showing both sides.