Every day it takes me an hour to drive home from work because of the traffic in Minneapolis. I just wanted to complain about that really quick. Actually it all relates because I listen to the BibRave Podcast on my drive home from work. For those that do not know what BibRave is, it’s a review site for running races. You run a race, you review it, I am interested in running the same race, I can go and see your review before signing up. Super cool stuff! Anyway, I was listening to podcast number 11 where Julia and Tim were talking about the importance of spectators and supporters. I want to expand on that with two topics: during the run and all the time before and after.
When I run a race I do almost everything possible not to think about the actual race. Distraction is my best friend. Spectators play a huge roll in that. Random spectators are always cheering, they have amazingly hilarious signs, and some even hand out beer. More importantly, my own personal spectators can make even the worst race of your life feel a ton better. Like what Julia and Tim discussed, you get to take your mind of the race for a good 5 minutes because of your awesome spectators being there to cheer you on. You spend time looking for them near the mile marker that you agreed on, usually you are falsely getting into perfect form so that they don’t see how bad you are breaking down. Then you see them 50 yards (ish) out and those 10 seconds are the best. You are jacked that you found them. You are throwing your arms up yelling that you are feeling great, even though that is a complete lie. Then the couple minutes after you see them you have that extra energy boost. Also, it is so great when you see someone that you were not expecting to see. You are always like, “Alllllriiight!”. Seeing your family and friends on the course is a very powerful thing.
Preparation before the race and survival afterwards is the other part of running races where spectators are amazing. Getting help with drop-off and pick-up, having someone to give your stuff to, getting your picture taken, and having encouraging things said to you are everything a runner needs before a race. Also, it is always awesome having someone to complain about how sore your are. I love having the support of my girlfriend, family and friends before and after a race. It’s such a good feeling to get the “good luck” and “congrats” texts and encouraging messages such as, “Don’t screw it up!”.
On behalf of all runners, I would like to say THANK YOU to everyone that has ever supported us during training, helped out during race day, dealt with our horrid mood swings, cheered for us during runs, and constantly find ways to support and cheer us on! Thank you!
Keep the run on!