Boston Marathon Criticized for Branded Finisher Medals

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Runners are disappointed that the new finisher medals feature a large bank logo across the bottom. “This isn’t a turkey trot.”

Cathy Connor loves the Boston Marathon. She loves the camaraderie. She loves the mystique of the event, which dates to 1897 as the world’s oldest annual marathon. She loves the idea that she gets to run the same rolling course that has been conquered by greats like Kathrine Switzer, Meb Keflezighi and Des Linden.

Ms. Connor, 58, loves the Boston Marathon so much that she has raced in it nine times. But there is one thing that she, and many of her fellow runners, do not love: the redesigned medal, which will be bestowed upon the 30,000 athletes who finish the 26.2-mile race on April 15.

“It was kind of a letdown when I saw the picture,” Ms. Connor, a graphic designer from Pittsburgh, said in a telephone interview. “Why mess up a good thing? This isn’t a turkey trot.”

Cathy Connor has completed the Boston Marathon nine times, receiving a similar medal for each finish.via Cathy Connor

The new medal bears more than a passing resemblance to versions from past years. The principle image, as usual, is of a golden unicorn, the longtime logo of the Boston Athletic Association, the marathon’s organizing body.

But the new medal has raised hackles among purists because of a key difference: It was redesigned to feature a large banner for Bank of America, the race’s corporate sponsor, along the bottom edge.

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