We all know running a marathon isn’t easy, but neither is watching one. Whether you are cheering at the finish line or watching from your couch these tips will help you work the side lines like a pro.
1. Make a plan- Know what heat your runner is in. Work out what time you think they will finish and have a pre-selected meeting place so you don’t end up searching through all the sweat and spandex.
2. If you are there simply for the experience research some of the top runners competing that day so you feel more involved.
3. If you are watching from home find a good live stream either on tv or online. A simple search should take you to a good quality streaming site.
4. Bring supplies- The fastest marathon time is 2:02:57 but the average time is somewhere around 4 hours so get comfortable. Bring snacks, water, a course map, and shoes you can stand in for a while.
5. Make a sign- Come up with a funny or inspirational saying and make it big and colorful. What makes racing fun is the environment and you are a big part of that!
6. Don’t be afraid to get loud. This is no symphony! Break out your cow bell and get out there! People will sometimes write their names on their bibs, that means you can cheer them on by their name and make it more personalized.
7. Respect the course and those around you. Don’t cross the course unless you are sure there are no runners around. The last thing you want to be in is the way of someone who has been running for hours.
8. Scope out the route ahead of time. Can you drive around it or do you need to pick a spot and stay there.
9. Things not to say- Don’t say you’re almost there to a runner unless they are almost to the finish line. No one wants to hear that. Also don’t tell runners how many miles they have left unless you know the exact distance.
10. Take photos- Whether its your first marathon on your 50th, document the experience!
Now get out there and cheer on some runners!
Photo: CC By Pablo Manriquez via Flickr