You might not know this, but in a marathon everyone who finishes gets the exact same medal.
You would think that at some point on the clock the medals went from gold to silver to bronze. The truth is, the amount of effort it takes to finish a marathon isn't reflected in how long it takes to cover that distance. There are gold medal performances at every level of running. When you complete a marathon, your sense of accomplishment is every bit as strong as the elite runner who just won the event. I can tell you that firsthand. It may be true that the prize goes to those who run in the front of the pack, but the glory belongs to any one of us who crosses the finish line. Truly, it's a gold-medal moment.