A few years ago the triathlon I help organize moved away from offering medals to our finishers. We offer a vintage t-shirt, socks, coozie, water bottle, full spread of food (BBQ Pork) etc, beer mug to top three in age group.
We aren't opposed to the medal, have just felt like our dollars were spent better elsewhere being it seemed like most of the participants didn't really care if they received one.
I would be more in favor of coming up with a unique idea that makes us different. Please share if you have any suggestions or cool ideas!