The World Championship podium finishers in the Road Mile, 5km, half-marathon and half-marathon teams' standings will earn medals in gold, silver and bronze according to the place earned. The medals are designed to be heavy to represent the hard work, long hours and energy put into training by the athletes to become the best in the world.
Finishers' medals hold immense significance as a well-deserved reward for the determination and perseverance displayed by all participants throughout the course, as well as the effort they invested in training. Receiving a medal upon crossing the finish line holds particular importance for mass race participants. Therefore, all participants who complete the World Championships over 21 km, 21 km relay, 5 km, Road Mile race, and the Kids’ Day distance races will receive medals.
What sets the World Championships medals in Riga apart is that they are designed with the motifs of Strunke, ensuring both world champions and mass race finishers receive these special tokens of accomplishment.
Both the design of the medals, created in inspiration of Niklāvs Strunke's work "A Man Entering a Room," and the official running shirt of the championships, featuring Vilhelms Purvītis' work "In Spring (Springtime)", have been made with the kind support of the Latvian National Museum of Art, allowing Latvian art to become an integral part of the global sports and athletics events.
To strengthen the profound connection between Latvian culture and the World Championships, the starting point for the Road Mile race will be situated at the base of this iconic museum. Additionally, participants in the 21 km distance will have the privilege of running past this prominent architectural gem.
The painting “Man Entering a Room” (Cilvēks, kas ieiet istabā) by one of the most original Latvian interwar modernists Niklāvs Strunke is one of the relatively few cubist works in Latvian art.
© Lauris Aizupietis
Maija Rozenfelde, the designer of the medals, is a partner at "KID Design", an associate professor at the Art Academy of Latvia, and the head of the Design Department.
The concept behind the medals is rooted in the geometry of the race, encompassing elements such as body position, step angle, breathing rhythm, and pulse rate. It symbolizes the multifaceted journey of each participant towards the finish line, abstractly representing the length of the specific distance (1 mile, 5 km, 21 km). The longer the distance, the more strategic and precise effort must be invested, overcoming various obstacles.
Stylistically, Maija drew inspiration from the work of Niklāvs Strunke, one of the most original artists from the Latvian modernist generation. Strunke's artwork "A Man Entering a Room" from 1927 is prominently featured in the permanent exhibition of the Latvian National Museum of Art. His works were influenced by constructivism, drawing upon the foundations of futurism and cubism.
The championships program and medals have been intentionally designed to allow the most enthusiastic runners to aim for all three championships medals by participating in multiple distances. It begins with the Road Mile race, followed by the 5 km distance, and culminates with the option to run either the 21 km half marathon or participate in the 21 km relay in the afternoon, with each participant covering approximately 10 km.
With days counting down until the inaugural World Road Running Championships in Riga, will you rise to the challenge and earn all three World Championships medals?