Bluenose Marathon – As a Spectator

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:

IMG_20150517_090552 IMG_20150517_091148

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.

"Keep Calm & Press Button for Speed" {high five}

“Keep Calm & Press Button for Speed” {high five}

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.

Krystol looking strong!

Krystol looking strong!

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)!!!!

Tracey running strong!


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.

A little elliptical movement

A little elliptical movement

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!Β 

Have you ever been a spectator at a run/event?

What’s the funniest sign you’ve seen at a race?

23 thoughts on “Bluenose Marathon – As a Spectator

  1. Last year I spectated the Ottawa Race Weekend 10K which is on the Saturday because I was running the half marathon on Sunday morning. For four years, I had run either the 5 or 10K on the Saturday and didn’t want to miss out – so I went with a sign and spectated. It was fun! This year I am running both the 5 and 10K (they are hours apart) but kind of wish I was spectating the 10K again because all my fave elite runners are in the race!

    • It was so much fun Michelle! I also think I enjoyed the location I chose because there was only a handful of other people cheering the runners on – not to mention it was after a hard (hilly) part of the course.
      I know I always love seeing people I know along the course when running so it was fun to do!

  2. Sorry you’re sidelined but I think it will turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Maybe your body needs rest to truly and completely heal once and for all. It’s so great that you continue to be a positive and an enthusiastic cheerleader! I’ve never gone to the Bluenose, despite living in Cole Harbour during my teenage years. Someday!

  3. I’ve only cheered at races a handful of times, but I love it! I can’t help but yell something to each runner. Funny signs! My friends hold one at races that says “you’re not almost there” kind of mean, but funny. Enjoy this “break” from running – let your body get the rest it’s asking for!

  4. It’s awesome that you went out to support the runners! I love watching races and always get choked up. Sappy? Probably. But I know how great it feels to accomplish personal goals and I can almost feel the emotions of the runners as they pass. I can’t wait to hit the pavement again next year πŸ™‚ I hope you recover quickly so you can get back out there too!

  5. It was SO awesome to have you there, I was so looking forward to finding you along the way! Thanks for being a great friend, great running buddy, and great spectator too! Fun that you helped so many people you didn’t even know!

    • Krystol – it was so fun to be there and wait for you to run past! Even though I couldn’t train and run with you I was super excited to cheer you on! I’m hoping I don’t get to cheer you on at your next race but run WITH you…or well behind you πŸ˜‰

  6. My heart hurts for you that you are still unable to run! But spectating is the next best thing to being there. I haven’t had an opportunity to spectate a race yet, but I definitely want to pay the support forward. The funniest race sign? “If Britney can survive 2007 you can survive this race”

  7. Pingback: Running: What I Loved about Volunteering. | Piper's Run

  8. Pingback: Rounding off 2015 ~ A Year in Review | Piper's Run

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