The Omaha Running Club was in the throes of the uncertainties surrounding early pandemic race planning when it first contacted Medalcraft Mint in the summer of 2020. The Heartland Marathon was coming up in September – maybe – and the organizing team needed to make decisions regarding a number of details, including what to do about a commemorative for age group awards.
“It was the first summer of COVID, and we didn’t even know if we were going to do our event,” relates Daren Konda, assistant race director for the Heartland Marathon presented by the Omaha Running Club. “We were looking for an award that we could give to our age group winners that they might actually use over time. We were up against the clock with regard to a short turnaround time, and we needed to get something quick that was cool.”
Our team was able to deliver a classy key fob that featured a 1.5-inch brass medal with antique finish affixed to a brown leather backing. Omaha Running Club was thrilled with the result and came back the next year with some of the same pandemic-related issues still in play. This time, the club opted for a brass bottle opener with an antique finish featuring familiar imagery of the iconic Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
“It turned out awesome and is a very functional piece,” Daren says. “We produced the items as age group awards, but also provided some to volunteers and sponsors.”
The 2022 age group award/commemorative was the first version to feature designs on both sides of a 1.5-inch brass key fob with an antique finish. The front features the Heartland Marathon logo, while the back lists the race distances and date. In an effort to help the club maximize its investment in die costs for long-term value, the die for the front is generic in nature for use in future years, while the back can be customized for volunteers, award winners or other recipient groups.
“We have been very happy with Medalcraft Mint’s quality and the fact their products are made in the Midwest,” Daren says. “They have come through with fast turnaround times when necessary, and their customer service representatives are super-easy to deal with.”