randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

Athletic Supporters

on April 5, 2013
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So…how’s it going?

Nope this is not about a sports bra or jock strap…its about those that support my running efforts. The other day I was just telling someone that I actually feel bad when people come to watch me, because I know how painstakingly boring it must be to wait around for a few hours while I am out running! But while it might be painstaking for them and I do envision them high fiving each other after I run by if they do actually spot me in the crowd…I need them. Not at every race, but knowing that I have a group of people waiting at the finish line (usually with a tasty beverage) gets me through some of the low moments of races.

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My Mom might be reviewing my race day plan or looking for a bar…who knows

This adventure of running 13 halfs this year will really test my supporters, but they have been great so far and I will probably have to buy them all alot of drinks when I cross the finish in September at number 13 to thank them. So for the spectators out there, this post is for you. If someone you love has decided to take on a long distance goal…here are a few pointers to get you through those mind numbing  exciting hours on race day.

Before a race I have a routine and I need to do certain things at certain times…my supporters don’t question this routine. Going through the port-a-jon line 12 times in a row…don’t ask, just needs to be done! I also like to have a spectator plan…when they will hand Gu to me and where they will be standing. Reviewing this plan at least 3 times is a must. Again, don’t ask- just let your runner go through it with you, even though you will have plenty of time to make it to your “watch” spot.

Almost every big race I have run, I find my supporters before they see me. I am ok with this, they have been staring at unfamiliar faces for at least an hour and they probably are starting to see images similar to Magic Eye (remember those?) popping out of the crowd, so be ready for your runner to come running at you like they have not seen you in years. I also wear VERY bright colors, which helps with finding me. Know what your runner is wearing, so anytime anyone in the same color runs by, you get a glimmer or hope that it is them….Motivating signs are always a nice addition as well as a giant sign with your number on it helps runners see their spectators from far away. In my case, my crew holds up a Patron bottle on a stick and I know they are near. Whatever works right?

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Blood Mary break

I also like to take care of my spectator crew by packing them a “snack bag” with various things in it from puzzles to nips of alcohol. My crew is very resourceful in finding bars in between viewing spots to quench their thirst. More power to them, someone should be having fun on a Sunday morning while I am grinding out 26.2. If you are not familiar with the area that the race is taking place, scope it out the day before, so you know where bathrooms, food, and if you are into drinking, where drinks are served. Its a long day, you are going to be happy you planned ahead.

After a race, a meeting spot is key. With cell phones, it is not as challenging these days, but in Chicago my cell did not have service after the race so I was thankful for having a plan ahead of time. A lot of times, runners finish far away from where spectators can be, so if you think your runner is going to run into your arms as they cross the finish…think again. You will probably see them in about a half hour as they stumble towards you in a fog of complete happiness and exhaustion. Be thankful for this half hour…its gives your runner time to wipe the sweat and stink off of them from the hard race they just ran. Who really wants to hug someone who just ran for a couple of hours?

Congrats, you just survived your first race! 2 bits of caution: Don’t ask your runner if they are going to run another race right after they finished. (I knew the minute I finished my first marathon, I was going to do it again, but some people just lose it when they are asked this) The other word of caution: You may have do this all over again, when your runner decides to take on their next race!

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To my athletic supporters, I can’t do it with out you. To all those spectators that I don’t know, but stand out at races and clap for hours-Thank you. Keep supportin’

Run On-

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One response to “Athletic Supporters

  1. nancylpeterson says:

    How could we not support all your enthusiasm? We are so proud of your dedication and passion as a runner. From your dedicated supporters…RUN ON!

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