I thought I’d be really sad I wasn’t running Sunday morning at the Bluenose Marathon but I was actually okay that I wasn’t.
I was contemplating volunteering but thought it would be fun to just cheer people on. For a Sunday morning, I got up too early and quickly drove to a store to buy markers, bristol board, clear garbage bags, tape and vaseline. The markers/bristol board were for a sign I was going to make. The clear garbage bag/tape was to keep the signs dry from the light rain that was falling down. And the vaseline…well, that wasn’t for me but my friends who were running the 1/2 course – you know just in case! I also had GU and body glide on hand….cause you just never know!!!
Anyway, I got down to Point Pleasant Park and quickly made two signs in the back of my car….JUST before the first running of the 1/2 marathon ZOOMED by me – he was SO fast! I got excited and quickly finished what I was doing. I then realised that my car was parked in a spot that wouldn’t allow me to leave for a few hours so I quickly moved it and headed back to clear on the runners. I was somewhere around the 17-18 km of the course and stood at the end of the road with this sign:
Oh my the smiles and laughter that I got was so awesome! I high-fived more people than one could possible high-five. And yes, my hand hurt by the end not to mention it was slightly frozen.
I saw some strong women runners I knew: Heather from Girl Goes Running, Sam and some co-workers! It was really fun cheering them on. It was nice to see some other runners I didn’t know laugh at my sign, when they needed a little boost along the course.
Then I saw my running buddy Krystol waving her hands in the air in the distance (we exchanged what we were going to wear so we could easily find each other). It was awesome to see her…she was looking great and happy! I cheered her on and thought crap “I should be in this pace group right now”….then didn’t think about me running it again for the rest of the day.
After that I saw my friend Tracey and she too was running strong. She didn’t know I was going to be on the course so it was fun to see her and high five her too. She PB’d by 15 minutes (2:01)!!!!
After seeing both Krystol and Tracey, I thought I’d leave but decided to stick around just a little longer. I’m really glad I stayed as I saw a few more people that I didn’t know were running the Half. As a runner, it’s so awesome to see a familiar face on the course and I, as a spectator was so excited to see a few more people and cheer them on.
After 1.5 hours of standing around and becoming an icicle, I decided to pack it in. I did see a good handful of FULL Marathoners cruise by me too – they are so fast! Once I got to my car and could feel my hands again, I drove off to the gym!
Oh yeah – I’ve been told I can’t run right now by my physiotherapist and surprisingly I’m okay with it. I can bike, swim and power walk outside on hills and that’s what I’ve been doing. Anyway, I when to one gym and it didn’t open until noon so I used a few back roads that I remembered to get to another location (same gym) and worked out. I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, 30 on the bike then ALL my PT exercises (just over an hour’s workout). It was great.
Though it was a huge bummer that I couldn’t run the half marathon and work towards this year’s running goals, I enjoyed cheering people on by myself. It was almost therapeutic. As a runner, I always try to thank volunteers and others along the course but as a spectator….when a runner says “thank you” or “I needed that” or just smile at you when you know they are just getting by – WOW, it’s motivating!
I’ll be honest, as I write this I have tears in my eyes. Running is such a big part of my life and it’s really hard not being able to run right now. BUT….to see all those 1/2 marathoners yesterday – in all shapes and sizes – it’s pretty awesome and motivating to be a spectator.
So, here’s my challenge to you – go be a spectator in the hard part of a course. Make a sign and stay as long as you can to cheer on all those runners. They need it and so do you!
Have you ever been a spectator at a run/event?
What’s the funniest sign you’ve seen at a race?