by Karen Bertasso-Hughes
After running a medal and trophy studded career for more than a decade, The Pace Setter asked Karen about her first medal and how she dealt with the “problem” of ever accumulating awards. To follow is her kind reply.
In terms of road races, I’m not sure if it was the first win or just the first win a that a newspaper that wanted to talk with me, but it was the Thunder Chicken 5k in Portsmouth, NH. I was 26 years old and just starting my Internal Medicine rotation in PA school and was living there for 5 weeks. It was a big event in the town and got a lot of attention. I remember getting a gift certificate to a couple local shops in town which was nice.
I’ve limited my medals to keep only those from half and full marathons and even that is starting to get out of control! Right now, I have my awards in a spare bedroom I use to do strength and supplemental exercises. It helps keep me motivated!
Honestly, I love the practical awards (wineglasses, shoes, gift cards, apparel, money!) or nice trophies (the glass kind). Bridge of Flowers used to give blown glass globes by a local artist. Those are the most unique ones that I love. After I ran my OTQ (Olympic Trial Qualifier) our USATF Adirondack Association gave me a glass award as a reminder, I love that one too!