With the Marine Core Marathon festivities coming to the Washington, DC this weekend, it seemed apropos to write something about spectating at a big race. My friend, Coco, offered to do a guest post for me today on 5 Reasons to Cheer on a Marathon. It is fun to be on the other side of the pavement sometimes to get a whole other perspective. Take it away Coco.
5 Reasons to Cheer on A Marathon
1. Guilt. The main reason I committed to joining my Moms Run This Town group’s Marine Corps Marathon cheer station was guilt. When I am racing, crowd support means a lot to me. Bring on the cowbells! I knew it was past time for me to give back to the running community and support other runners.
2. Inspiration. The moment I saw the first runners, my heart swelled and tears came to my eyes. We were between miles 22 and 23, so every runner was pushing their limits at that point. I was inspired by runners holding a steady pace and pushing through pain. I was doubly inspired by runners able to return our cheers with a smile.
Talk about inspiring! Ainsley’s Angels pairs runners with athlete-riders “to ensure that everyone can experience endurance events, and build awareness about America’s special needs community through inclusion in all aspects of life.”
3. Friends. I had (have) so many friends running this race and it was so exciting to track their progress, watch for them, and cheer them on! The MCM App had a great tracking feature that gave live tracking information on multiple runners at the same time. It really helps to be on the lookout for your friends.
4. Altruism. The women who spearheaded the cheer station had asked runners what they might want/need for the last leg of the marathon, and stocked up on water, Gatorade, pretzels, gummy bears, and other snacks. It felt good to make someone smile, and felt even better to be able to offer a much-needed snack or drink.
5. Community. I knew there was no question that we would stay until the last member of our Moms Run This Town group came by. However, we hesitated to leave while others were still on the course. I understand how hard it can be to be a “back of the pack” runner, and we didn’t want to turn our backs on anyone. We ended up staying for the very last runner, and were impressed by her positive attitude and determination to finish on her feet.
[You may also enjoy reading “14 Things you’ll see when spectating a marathon“]
Track your Marine Corps Marathon running friends here this year.
If you haven’t already spectated at a race–or if it’s been a while–I hope I’ve convinced you to do it. I suggest recruiting a few friends to join you, let any friends running know where you’ll be so they can watch for you, and bring snacks/drinks to hand out. Oh, and don’t forget the cowbells!