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Race medals have come a long way in a short amount of time. Bling is the thing, now.
Look no further than the race medals from the famed Carlsbad 5000, which is about to have its 30th running. Traditionally, medals were given only to the first 250 finishers of each division. Now, all participants get one, though the first 250 get their own medal.
Michelle Wilson, a Carlsbad resident, is one of seven who has run every single Carlsbad 5000 dating back to its inaugural race in 1986. Even more impressive, she has finished in the top 250 almost every year as well—a broken toe slowed her down and kept her out of the top 250 in 2002, and an ACL tear from a soccer injury made the 2006 race a struggle (though she still finished).
Wilson has kept all of her Carlsbad 5000 medals dating back to 1999. Here they are: a nostalgic look at the evolution of the race medal at one of the most famous 5Ks in the world.