Thursday, September 19, 2013

Race Day Essentials :: Spectator Style

A few years ago, when Nikkala and I lived close to each other, our husbands got into running. They were training buddies (with a lot of matching clothes, since their wives shopped sales and clearance racks together). That summer we stood on the sidelines, cheering for our runners during lots of races. We mastered the art of race spectating. Coming prepared makes it more fun, less stressful and an event the whole family can enjoy. (Because those training runs? No one enjoys those!) Here are our recommendations for great spectator race experiences.

  1. Muffins and chocolate milk. Races start early and can last a while. It's good to make breakfast a special treat, but make it something that will keep you going all morning long.
  2. Cowbells or other noisemakers.
  3. Awesome posters. Best Race Designs has even more designs, but we're averse to the vulgar ones.
  4. A race map and knowing what your runner is wearing. It's easier to spot a blue hat and orange shirt from far away than picking out a face.
  5. A camera. This is one case where phone cameras might not be up to speed. Put it on the sports setting so you can catch your speedy runner in frame.
  6. A variety of lines to cheer. Looking strong! Good Job! Keep it up! You can do it! You are doing it!
  7. A plan for meeting up after the finish line. It can be complete chaos at the finish line and runners usually aren't packing their phone, so it's a good idea to have a plan in place as to where to meet up.
  8. A good night's rest and a smile on your face. Make it a party and keep those runners going!

Distance races always leave me humbled at the strength of the human spirit to persevere. Hopefully cheering will be just as inspiring for you as it is for the people on the course.

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