One race was all it took for Andrew Queler to get hooked on running, but it was the prize at the end that kept him coming back for more and more races.
"I love medals. I know it seems crazy," he said. "They are beautiful works of art."
Queler ran his eighth OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon Saturday morning.
"Cap City is great. It's the first real spring race. I use the races to keep me motivated to stay fit and stay in shape," Queler said.
Queler said his running journey began as a weight loss journey. He started out as a 220-pound guy, and while losing pound after pound he gained medal after medal.
"I love to run and I love to earn those medals," he said.
Queler said this race has some of his favorite medals, particularly the one from the 2016 race.
"It's this big square medal with 13 diamonds on it. It's beautiful," Queler said.
He displayed the earned works of art in his basement. That's where he dedicated an entire wall to hang all of his medals, from 5K races to full marathons. He estimated he has more than 300 medals in his collection.
Queler was not alone. He and his friends created a Facebook page, MW Athletic Community, dedicated to collecting and showing off race medals.
"It might sound crazy to some people but there's about 9,000 people on the Facebook page," Queler said. "It was about earning a medal, seeing what medals are out there and different states that you can travel to."
He said the bling waiting for him at the finish line of the Cap City will keep him going.
"It's real motivating to get out there, to race, to earn that medal and cross the finish line," he said. "Some times you're surprised by it and sometimes you know it is just a beautiful piece of artwork."