The Ultimate Warrior Medal

Some people run for the bling. That's not the only reason I run, but it sure is nice to receive a shiny medal to remember each of my races, or running challenges.

The 2016 Ultimate Warrior Medal

My Ultimate Warrior Medal arrived in the mail this week. This is a special medal offered by the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon. To earn it I needed to run three military-sponsored races in the year starting after the 2015 Navy-Air Force Half, and culminating at the 2016 Navy-Air Force Half. I also had to register and pay a little extra for this medal, but I think it was worth it. The races I used as my three qualifiers:

2015 Marine Corps Marathon
My Ultimate Warrior Races: 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, 2016 Marine Corps Historic Half, 2016 Navy-Air Force Half Marathon, culminating with the Ultimate Warrior Medal

During the same time period I also ran the 2016 Quantico 12K, which would have been a qualifying race if I needed another. In the Washington DC area it's really easy to find military-sponsored races. In my years of running (my very first 5 miler was in November of 2004), I've run the following other military races:

2005 Joint Staff Olympics 5K
2006 Army 10 Miler
2006 Marine Corps Marathon
2009 Navy 5 Miler
2011 Marine Corps Marathon 10K
2012 Marine Corps Historic Half
2012 Air Force Marathon
2013 Marine Corps 17.75K
2013 Marine Corps Marathon 10K
2014 Bataan Memorial Death March Marathon
2014 Navy-Air Force Half
2014 Marine Corps Marathon 10K
2015 Marine Corps 17.75K
2015 Navy-Air Force Half
2016 Army 10 Miler

One thing that all these races have in common is excellent planning and logistics. I've got to give these military organizations credit for that. And some of these races also have great spectator support (Marine Corps Marathon and 10K, Army 10 Miler). They all offer a great race experience.

If you're thinking about earning the Ultimate Warrior Medal for next year, you should start planning your races now. Military races after 9/18/16 count, and you'll need three of them.


  1. I'll have to look into the requirements for this medal. I'm planning to do Bataan next year, and I've been thinking about doing Marine Corps again.

    1. Those two races plus the Navy-Air Force Half Marathon in the correct 365-day cycle would earn you the medal. Navy-Air Force Half is usually the day after the Air Force Marathon in Ohio, which is about a 7 hour drive. So you could conceivably earn it next year if you did Bataan, Air Force and Navy-Air Force half.


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