First, I would like to begin by saying that I doubt the buyer is purchasing the medal to pretend they ran a race they didn’t complete. Maybe a fellow runner wants to frame one for their office? Maybe a fellow participant lost their luggage including their hard-earned medal on the flight home? Maybe their dog ate it? I don’t see anything wrong with these scenarios. I’m sure both parties have a good reason for their actions.
Lastly, I think selling race medals and shirts as a way to finance future races and travel expenses is a genius idea. Except for the first week post-race, I rarely show anyone my medals. They hang idly on my window curtain rod in my bedroom. Normally, if I’m sharing my race story with someone, it is accompanied by showing the poor soul old photos from my races. Those precious memories frozen in time are what really matter to me. Those photos and memories are the real proof of my accomplishments.
Personally, I’m torn between hoarding my race t-shirts and bling, and selling them to the highest bidder to fund my future adventures (Why are races so expensive these days?!). $170 in exchange for a medal could get me far, but those medals sure are pretty, darn it! I’ll let you know what I decide.