UPDATE: A spokesperson for the race says the medals have arrived. They were sent via truck to Arizona overnight on Friday, and arrived early Saturday morning, within a few hours of the start of the race. Organizers are relieved the marathon mess is behind them.
In a statement released by Executive Vice-President Josh Furlow:
"After sitting off the Long Beach, CA cargo port since mid-December, I am thrilled to inform you that the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona finisher medals were released Friday afternoon and have arrived at our finish line in Tempe.
You will receive the medal you have worked so hard to achieve at the finish line this weekend! We appreciate your patience and understanding over the last 36 hours and apologize for the scare. Receiving your medal at the finish line may be one of the most poignant moments of the running experience. We know you value that experience and I assure you, it's what drives us too.
Thank you for participating in the 12th annual P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona. The very best of luck this weekend!
Original story below:
You can call it the marathon medal mess. Just a couple of days before the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon it looks like thousands of runners will cross the finish line only to find out there won't be a medal waiting for them for finishing the race.
The medals are imported from overseas, and they may not make it on time because of a work slowdown at the docks in California.
Cargo Ships are backed up at the Port of Long Beach because of a labor dispute. There's a lot of containers on lots of ships and inside one container are the medals for the P.F. Chang's Rock and Roll Marathon.
"We are doing everything we can in our power, constant communication with port authorities and the trusted supplier who has delivered one million medals over the years. This is the first time we have ever dealt with a situation like this, and we are doing everything we can to make sure those medals will be there on Sunday morning.
But if those medals don't make it to Phoenix in time for runners crossing the finish line on Sunday, how would the racers feel about it?
"Yeah, I definitely would be bummed if I did not get a medal it would be a very big disappointment I hope they get here on time," said Patty Macdonald.
"Uh, it would be discouraging I would suppose. hopefully, there is a medal we will see," said Erik Truedson.
But other runners take a different view. "I am a little bummed, it is all about the racing, we will get them in the mail and get them eventually," said David Weller.
Organizers are trying their best, they say fingers crossed if the medals don't make the race organizers will mail them to the finishers. They say with some sort of discount or added gifts, so runners feel better about this unfortunate situation.