Airport Security Confiscates Runner’s Miami Marathon Medal

Yeah, they kind of look like ninja stars.

athletics us marathon miami

As is customary for most marathons, finishers of Sunday’s Miami Marathon took home a beautiful medal—if they could make it home with it, that is.

Upon crossing the finish line, runners were given a sun-shaped medal to commemorate their achievement. However, the jagged and pointy edges of the sunbeams on the award easily resemble something a ninja might use in a movie, so much so that race organisers gave a preemptive warning to participants to check the medal in their luggage before flying out of Miami.

The annual race, which features a half and full marathon, winds through the city of Miami, including South Beach, Brickell, and Coconut Grove, and includes a large amount of Florida sunshine, making the design fitting if also a little dangerous.

The Miami Marathon from Instagram

Detroit-based runner Joe Robinson posted on his Instagram about TSA agents confiscating and throwing away his medal before boarding a flight back to Detroit. “Yo, @tsa just confiscated my @themiamimarathon medal saying it can’t fly on the plane! They threw it away,” he said in the posting, expressing his frustration. “That’s insane!”

For their part, marathon organizers say they included a warning about the medals in a pre-race email sent out to participants.

“The countdown is on, and we can’t wait to award you with your own 2024 sun-shaped spinner medal as you cross the finish line! Given its design, we have been informed that the TSA may not allow the medals to be carried on flights. As such, we encourage you to plan ahead and check your bag with your medal secure inside to avoid potential issues,” the email read.

“Miami Marathon did do what they could as far as communications prior to us receiving the medals, however I missed those emails and post,” Robinson told Runner’s World. “In the end, they (Miami Marathon) did say they would replace my medal. Ultimately, my issue was with TSA for throwing it away, not Miami Marathon.”

“This was proactive on our end. Once we got the initial batch of medals, we were like, ‘Hey you know what? Someone could misinterpret this,’” Frankie Ruiz, the race director, told The Miami Herald. “I can think of other medals, even ours throughout the years, that have sharp edges or they have corners or whatnot and people wear them to the airports.”

Throwing stars are on the TSA’s list of prohibited items alongside other ninja-approved weapons like nunchucks, swords, sai, and axes.

“They love to wear them after the race,” Ruiz said. “I just wanted to give people a head’s up—it has not happened in the past—but in case there’s an agent who flags it. We’re thinking ahead for people.”

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