I remember my first race, a proper 'beginners' one, and they promised a 'goody bag'. I was expecting all kinds of things, and was rather disappointed that I only got a bottle of water and a banana
Now, it is nice to have a memento. But I never put my medals on display or even in a particular place. I have got enough mugs, and enough t-shirts. It is definitely the race that is entered for its own sake.