At Runner’s High Medallions, our custom race awards are based on the ideas and visions of our customer’s. Often times the theme behind the event is significant to the customer. Our hope is that every time they see the award it reminds them of the event’s significance. Over the years, we have created some memorable awards for both our customers and our staff. We decided to ask our staff what their favorite award either we created or they received was and why? Check out what they had to say!
Cheryl Robaczewski–R.H.M Manager
One of my favorite awards was The A.W. Gross Distinguished Senior Scholar-Athlete Award that I was nominated for. This award is presented to one male and one female senior student-athlete at Concordia University Chicago who demonstrates the highest standards in academic achievement, athletic proficiency, character, conduct, and athletic leadership. In four years of college, I was on the volleyball team, participated in indoor and outdoor track, was a writing and math tutor, and volunteered my time with Cougar volleyball clinics for grade school youth. This award was not only a surprise to me, but was such an honor to receive because I had to work on and off the court or field. This award showed me that all efforts, whether athletic or otherwise, are not overlooked
Darra Perteet -Graphic Artist
I have played many sports, throughout my life, but the one I am most passionate about was and still is volleyball. In high school, I was awarded MVP (most valuable player), there was a small speech and then I was handed a medallion with a depiction of a volleyball crossing the net and the letters MVP etched on the back. I remember tracing the letters on the back as my heart pounded with excitement. It was a symbol of the fact that I stood out, and I view the medal as a visual representation of success It showed me that what I displayed on the court was noticed; that my efforts to do my best in every game, were acknowledged. It was a fantastic feeling, and I am thrilled that I get to help other people achieve that same feeling when they cross the finish line.
Tom Brown -Customer Service
My favorite award was my “1st Place Sports News Story” I received from the Illinois Press College Association when I was a junior in college. This award is significant to me because writing is something I have always loved and as I started to get older, I was constantly told it was a dying field and offered no future. The more I was told this the more I started to lose my passion for writing so when I received the award, it was something that reminded me how much I love to write. It really helped bring my passion for writing back.
Vien Corpuz -Customer Service
The White Squirrel is a great medal because it incorporates the spirit of the white squirrel, which is what the town is known for. Another one of my favorites is the Brunch 5K because it just makes me want to eat. It’s so fun and different than a standard medal.
Dominic LoBello -Graphic Artist
My favorite award I have designed is the 40th Anniversary Chestertown Tea Party Medal. Every aspect of the project was something I enjoyed, not only was it one of my first spinners, I designed, but the first of its kind. It was the very first clock spinner of all the medals designed by RHM and the client loved it. The custom medal, the ribbon, the semi-custom medals, and the stickers are were all my design. As an artist, it’s one of the best feelings in the world to hear your audience being so excited for the work you made. I only hope to continue getting more like that, again and again.
Dary Martinez -Web Coordinator
An award I would like to get would look like the HOMRA insignia from the anime K. It sort of looks like flames. There will be an inscription on it that says “No Blood. No Bone. No Ash.” It’ll be black and red. Matte preferred. Not bigger than 3 inches. It would come on a chain or have a hinge on it so I can nail the award onto the wall.
What started as a fun hobby turned into so much more for Andrew Remley, Co-owner of DNA Athletics Running, Walking, & Lifestyle located in Crestwood, IL.
Remley, whose running career started in the seventh grade as a sprinter and jumper, did not find his true calling of distance running until his sophomore year of high school.
“I entered the [one] mile [race] in one of our meets my sophomore year, just for fun because it looked so slow and easy,” Remley said.
“I went out way too fast and ended up running a 5:02. After that race I scrapped everything else I was entered in and laid on the track for over an hour; I was dead. After I finally recovered I thought, well, I already ran [a] 5:02 without practicing much for it; I might be pretty good at this.”
Remley has come a long way since that mile as he was able to run competitively in college at North Central College where he obtained his degree in business.
It was during his college years that Remley began working at Dick Pond Athletics, first as a part time employee working the floor and answering the phone, but over time his role evolved into various tasks in different departments. After gaining experience in many different areas of the business, Remley was asked by management to be part of a team that opened the Schaumburg, IL location. This experience really got Remley thinking he could make a career working in the running industry.
“I thought to myself ‘What’s stopping me?’” Remley said, “I know all the in’s and out[‘s] and have experience opening a store, so why not me?”
Remley then decided to collaborate with his former North Central teammate and longtime friend, Dave Johnson and together they opened DNA (Dave and Andy) Athletics.
Johnson and Remley maintain a successful partnership with little to no disagreements; something that Remley said is because of their different personalities.
“We have completely different mindsets,” Remley said. “I am kind of the face of the company and will be out at events and interacting with the customers, while DJ works more behind the scenes. he doesn’t want to do what I do and I don’t want to do what he does so we both trust that the other is doing a good job.”
One of Remley’s ideas for interacting with customers was the No Foolin 5K, an April Fools themed race with many unconventional elements that will be held Saturday, April 1st at a local forest preserve.
“Everything about the race is like really, what, why?” Remley said, “I want everything to be a surprise, there are many goofy, fun, activities throughout the course.”
Although it may seem that way, a fun time actually isn’t the main goal of this race, instead the intent is to engage the local community in a very unique way and give them the sense that runners of all experience and ability are welcome at DNA.
“We want to be known as a place that’s welcoming to all members of the community, where people can hopefully meet other people who have the same goals. I want to veer away from being known as solely a running store and more of a lifestyle store. Where anyone in the community can come in and feel comfortable, and I think fun events like this one definitely establish that culture.”
One thing Remley quickly learned was just how challenging planning an event like this was. “The expenses are much more than you imagine at first: there are so many expenses such as toilets, or getting the course certified; that when you add everything up, you’re like, Man, that’s pretty expensive.”
All the logistical planning and joke scheming along with running the day-to-day operations of the store have kept Remley very busy, but that has not slowed down his personal running. Remley has now completed eight marathons and is planning to run a ninth one this October in Milwaukee.
This experience is one of the reasons Remley is able to relate so well to his customers, something that he feels is very important.
“Everyone that works the floor has an extensive background in the running field; so when someone comes in whether they are a beginner or more advanced [runner] we have the answers for them because everyone has a goal. They are just different goals, and it’s our job to provide the knowledge that comes from our experience to help them reach those goals.”
To find out more information about DNA Athletics including info on events like the No Foolin 5K please visit the company website.