What are the basic requirements for a qualifying event?
Only USA Track and Field (USATF) certified half marathon (13.1 mile) and marathon (26.2 mile) courses held within the State of California can be applied towards individual qualifications for the Golden State Marathon Series.
It is important to note trail half marathon and marathon events, as well as so-called “off- road” half marathon and marathon events held within the state also potentially qualify. Our main concern isn’t so much on what type of surface you ran, but that the distances are verifiable.
What about relay events and/or ultra marathons?
Unfortunately, any relay event, including half marathons and marathons (where several individuals compete as a team, but only one person runs at any given time to collectively finish 13.1 or 26.2 miles) cannot be applied to satisfy the individual qualifications for the Golden State Marathon Series. Only events in which a person runs and completes an entire half marathon or marathon by themselves can be applied.
In the case of ultra marathons – we can accept verifiable ultra marathon events in lieu of standard marathons to meet individual qualification requirements. Each ultra marathon event must be run in it’s entirety by the person for whom they are being applied. Also, each ultra marathon event (regardless of length) counts as one full marathon event for meeting individual qualification requirements. Thus, a 50 mile ultra marathon (or 100 mile ultra marathon) counts as one marathon event towards the medal requirements … not two (or more) marathon events, etc …
What about events of different lengths?
Half marathons are the shortest distance qualifying events for the Golden State Marathon Series‘ awards. Thus, other organized races shorter in distance, such as: Mile “Fun Runs,” 5K’s, 10K’s, and 15K’s, etc … cannot be used to satisfy any award requirements.
What is the difference between an “event” and a “venue”?
An event is a single and unique occurrence. Basically this translates to when a race was held (i.e. the 2008 Los Angeles Marathon, the 2010 San Francisco Marathon, the 2012 Disneyland Half Marathon). A venue is the location, or the name organization holding the event (i.e. the Los Angeles Marathon, the San Francisco Marathon, the Santa Barbara Half Marathon). Therefore, if one were to run the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 Los Angeles Marathon that would count as four events … all at the same venue. Or, a different person might have run the 2007 Los Angeles Marathon, the 2008 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon, the 2009 Long Beach Marathon, and the 2010 OC Marathon, which would also count as four events … at four different venues.
How are “regions” determined?
California is one of the largest states in the union, and, consequently, different parts are referred to as “Northern” California, “Central” California, and “Southern” California. While it would seem simple to define each region the problem can quickly become the definition of these areas (especially cities on the periphery between regions) can vary widely – the answer depending largely on who one asks. For the purpose of the Golden State Marathon Series we take a number of factors into consideration including; traditional geographic interpretations, the unique situation of the person, and any other extenuating circumstances. For example, we’re not going to allow anyone to count an event held in Los Angeles as a Northern Californian event, or an event held in San Francisco as a Southern California event. However, events held in cities like Santa Barbara (for example) could be considered as being in Southern California, or Central California.
We will look at all the events you have completed, and if all that is faulting is one event from a specific region, if you have any from areas between regions we can apply them in a way that helps satisfy the requirements.
Which events do I have to run? Do I have to run them in any particular order?
The simple answer is … any event, anytime (past, present, or future). As long as it was a half marathon or marathon held within the state of California it doesn’t matter when it was held … as long as you ran it. The Golden State Marathon Series’ awards don’t work in the same fashion as multi-event challenge medals (i.e. Triple Crown, etc …) – which are connected to a specific set of events, and require them to be completed in a specific sequence or timeframe. Our awards are designed to reflect lifetime achievements, and therefore it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to meet those requirements. If you already have enough for a Silver medal … great! If you’re running your first marathon you can take a year to finish the requirements for the bronze, or twenty years … however long it takes you.
Do my finish times matter?
Only in the sense we need to be able to verify you did finish … it doesn’t matter if it was in two hours or eight hours. Keep in mind, however, most events have time requirements on their courses, and if you happened to cross the finish line after the allowed time your finish may or may not have been electronically recorded. We can only accept officially recorded finish verification for events that employed electronic runner tracking systems. In other situations we can potentially accept other forms of proof of course finish, but only on a discretionary basis.
What about events outside of California?
Only events held within the State of California can be applied towards individual qualification requirements. While we certainly encourage people to run events in locations all over the country and the world, for the purpose of the Golden State Marathon Series one of our primary goals is the support and encouragement of organized endurance running events throughout the State of California.
What is the Order of Pheidippides Distinction?
The Order of Pheidippides Distinction applies to any person who meets the qualifications for any medal tier will ALL full marathons. The distinction is symbolized by a silver colored pin device added to the ribbon, directly above the medal (for an additional charge) – the device itself consisting of two olive branches in a wreath (as was a customary distinction of honor in ancient Greece ) with the words “Order of Pheidippides” written above the branches in Greek (Pheidippides being the Athenian warrior who ran the first marathon over 2,000 years ago).
The Order of Pheidippides Distinction device does not have to purchased at the same time as a medal order, and can be applied for separately if the requirements are met at a later date than the medal award. As with other award products orders are limited to quantities expressly for personal use, and only to individuals who have met the qualification requirements.
How do I submit verification?
For virtually all events held in recent years this isn’t a problem (and even most others going back ten or more years) — almost all events now use time chip systems that track each participants progress during an event, and the online archives that store this information can be used to easily verify your qualification(s). All we need is your name (first and last), the name of the event, and the year it was held. In the event this information isn’t available (for whatever reason) or the venue didn’t use timing chips we can accept other forms of verification on a discretionary basis.
You can submit your events for verification by filling out and returning the Award Application form, or, if you are a member of a club or organization that has this type information available online (such as the Athlinks, Active.com, Marathon Maniacs, etc …) you can send us a link or printout of your running profile in lieu of filling out the event fields on the Award Application form.
Does it matter when I ran an event in California?
No. As long as it was a USATF certified half marathon or marathon it doesn’t matter if it was held in 1910 or 2010 (or any time in between). In the case of events held prior to the 1970’s there are notable exceptions to this policy. Please contact us if you have any questions about events you ran before the 1970’s to apply towards the Golden State Marathon Series. Nine times out of ten times there will not be a problem.
Is there a limit to how many items I can order?
Sales are limited to quantities expressly for personal use. While you are certainly welcome to buy more than one of any particular item for which you qualify you must also give a legitimate reason for such a request. For example, you may want a medal to display at home, and a duplicate to display at work. Or, you may simply want to replace a lost or damaged medal. Or, perhaps you’d like to create your own custom display for your medal(s).
Any purchase requests that are deemed attempts to resell or redistribute will be denied.
If I qualify for a higher medal tier can I also buy items from a lower tier?
Yes. Because each medal tier’s requirements progressively expand on those of the tier directly below it (with the exception of the bronze medal) anyone who qualifies for a higher tier also qualifies for the tier(s) below it. For example, if you qualify for the gold medal you can also buy silver and bronze medal items (pending approval).
As in the case of multi-item purchases within the same medal tier, orders crossing one or more lower medal tier(s) must be limited to quantities expressly for personal use. All qualifying persons must also furnish a legitimate reason for any multi-tier order request as well.
Do I need to give you my finisher’s medals for one of the awards?
No. Your finisher’s medals are yours! While our awards make it easy to display your running accomplishments the individual finisher’s medals you earned along the way from each event will always be yours.
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