The last Olukai Race they gave out medals for my age group (the coffin division as I call it, 60-99) but they didn't call us up like they did for all the younger age groups, to receive our little wood medals. So that felt funky for a moment. There were 3 of us pretty close at the finish, who were racing hard.... I even ran the beach as fast as my wooden legs would move... but we got snubbed.
The reality is that everyone is sinking beers like shots and aren't even listening to the announcers. Conner wins and take home the big check and the rest of us get kindling for our next cookout.
It's all little ego gratification that you can almost get sucked into believing but the reality is you need to do these races for yourself. No one cares how you do but you.
My big thrill is finishing without throwing a rod.
Had to explain to my wife why I was chuckling as I read about your throwing a rod comment. I can only add that losing a lugnut in the process wouldn't be good either :-)