Make Half Marathon History with the Harriet Tubman Finishers’ Medal: Who Wants to Join Me?

Last June I had a great time with Anita at the Niagara Women’s Half Marathon.  I wrote about the wine and whine of it all here.  There were all sorts of cool things about it, including the finishers’ medal. But in 2016, it proves to be even better with the most meaningful finishers’ medal I’ve ever seen: the Harriet Tubman Finishers’ Medal.

Check it out:

harriet tubmanHow amazing is that? To get a medal that honors an African American woman who served as a “conductor” in the Underground Railroad?

The Niagara Women’s Marathon Facebook page made the announcement on the weekend with this note from Ross Robinson, Race Director:

Harriet Tubman will be honoured by the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. Her picture will be on the 2016 Finisher Medal presented to over 3,000 runners and walkers.

She was an icon of American courage and freedom, risking her life as a “conductor” on the Underground Railroad. She led over 300 slaves to freedom in Canada. They followed the North Star from Maryland to the Niagara River, travelling at night, cold and poorly fed and being chased by bounty hunters.

We hope that while our runners and walkers are in Niagara Falls, they will take time to learn about Underground Railroad history on the Canadian side of the border.

The Medal is an artist rendering and the finished size is approximately three inches in diameter.

I wasn’t really planning to do the event again quite so soon. But with the announcement of this medal I’m starting to re-think my plans.

I’ve got a collection of medals that give me a sense of accomplishment as they gather dust on a hook on the back of my closet door.  But none of them has any deeper meaning beyond that. To have a commemorative medal that honors a heroic woman from Canadian history–that would be something really special.

Anyone else interested?

16 thoughts on “Make Half Marathon History with the Harriet Tubman Finishers’ Medal: Who Wants to Join Me?

  1. I might be. Seriously. Especially if there is a group of philosopher women doing it together and not aiming to set speed records. Keep me in the loop. I’m scared though… I have never done more than 10k.

    1. Awesome! You’re an amazon. I have no doubt you can train for a half. And also that you will probably want to run faster than I do! I can’t promise to get group of philosopher women together though. I’ll try, but my usual running crowd is made up of non-philosophers. I’ll keep you posted.

  2. So tempting! But I’ve trained for half marathons twice and ended up with stress fractures both times. I’m thinking of aiming an end of summer 10 km though. That’s my idea of a long distance!

  3. I hope you do. It’s a flat course and you get to go by the Falls twice and then along the Niagara River. Quite lovely. Then brunch at the IHOP after!

  4. Hmmm. I’ll think on it. Am traveling a lot this summer, but maybe. I’d have to walk not run. Sam? What do you think? Nat?

    1. OMG it would be so much fun to have everyone do it! Anita and I found a really good Italian place for the pre-race card-load. The Ramada on Stanley is a great hotel to stay at, a bit away from the tackiest part of Niagara Falls…

  5. That would be really unique medal finisher to acquire, Tracy. This historic area of Ontario is cool. I used to visit it often since a good friend right beside the historic Uncle Tom’s cabin area. Here is my piece and visit highlights:

    President Abraham Lincoln requested someone from his end to visit Buxton, Dresden where the freed blacks were spawning their own newspaper, had a doctor, etc. There was a little hub of black intelligensia during and just after the Civil War in US.

  6. I signed up for the Niagara Falls Half Marathon with my daughter for 2017. I heard about the Harriet Tubman medal from a friend who finished this year 2016. Is it possible to get a Harriet Tubman
    metal for me and my daughter when we finish for the 2017 marathon?
    It would be a special treat for us both. Ms Tubman is one of our
    heroes and that is why we signed up. Thanks. Diane Scotland

    1. They usually redesign the medal every year, so I doubt they will be giving out the same medal again next year. If you want more info about next year’s medal you’ll need to get in touch with the race organizers. Good luck in 2017!

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