14 reasons I might be a poor spectator

14 reasons i might be a poor spectator title graphic

I had the privilege of cheering for my favorite training crew this past Saturday at the Cap City Half Marathon in Columbus. I’ll admit, I was excited to be out on the course and a little nervous too. As you know, I have been out of the racing scene for the better part of a year now, and I wasn’t sure how I would feel being back on a race course – even if I wasn’t running –that hit close to home for me. Cap City was the goal race for the runners I coached every spring. I know the course like the back of my hand (unless, as you will see, I am spectating), and it is one of my favorites. It provides a great tour of the capital city and has great swag – plus, the M3S Sports motto of “Celebrate like a Champion” (because everyone who gets out there and gives it their all is) and post-race swag, including champagne at every finish line is something I would rather not miss.

I am incredibly proud of my friends who started and finished this race – it was a tough training season with setbacks and injuries and this was personally important to one of them in particular. I was grateful to be at the Finish Line and along the way; I learned some things about myself and spectating too. You see, spectating was always an event in and of itself to me. I always joined a group or my running club and we made a big deal out of it. Saturday was the first time I actually spectated on my own.

Mostly, I leaned 14 reasons why I just might be a poor spectator!

  1. While I know the race course, I have no idea where to go to spectate. This involves me bumbling around on city sidewalks wishing I had combed the corner trashcans for discarded course maps.
  2. I get annoyed with people who a) don’t understand a race, b) think they do and c) are overly vocal about it. “She needs to slow down” “Why would you wear that?” “I mean, come on, it’s Mile 7 and they look that tired” and “When I ran a marathon that was like 3.5 miles, I (most annoying fill-in inserted here)” don’t do well around me. I have to move, which brings me back to # 1.
  3. It makes me miss running. I would rather be running in fact, until I see said tired and injured people at Mile 7 and think, “I’m not ready yet.” Then, I’m just back to missing running.
  4. I analyze the fast people (in my head so as not to disturb others) and think, “Seriously, once I lose some weight, how hard can it be to run that fast?” I probably don’t need to try running as fast as I want to think I can.
  5. It’s like dodging the paparazzi. I forgot I haven’t been at a formal running event in several, several months. I even wore sunglasses and black (to blend in, right?), but I still found several adoring fans. I wasn’t exactly prepared to talk about how I was feeling the last ten months, which may have come across as…awkward?
  6. It’s always colder when you’re not running, which brings me back to # 3, and then all I can think about is “If I were running….”
  7. I always think the people I am looking for are faster than they are. By Mile 7 I start to freak out, “Where are they?!” moments after the frontrunners pass through. This creates an unnecessary panic in my brain.
  8. I never know whether to really cheer or not. Faster runners don’t look like they need me to cheer, sometimes slower runners look like they don’t want me to cheer. When I’m standing by myself on High Street (because I have moved away as a result of #2), I never know whether to cheer like a madwoman or clap and say, “Keep it up!” when duh, what else would they do?!
  9. When a person I know, but am not expecting to see, pops up in front of me on the course and waves hello (Congrats, Michael! Check out his blog too), there is a moment of surprise and again, panic when I don’t know what to say or do so I stand there looking dumb and then wave and clap wildly after he or she has already passed by.
  10. I want to tell the ladies to get properly fitted for a sports bra. I refrain.
  11. I am reminded “You’re almost there!!” is never okay to scream unless really, the runner can actually see the finish line. Mile 4, 7, 10 and even 12 are not almost there. You’re closer, but not “almost there,” especially if you are struggling. It is most certainly not even remotely funny at Mile 1 of a half marathon.
  12. Margaretville and other Jimmy Buffet songs do not make me excited or happy at 7:54 a.m. unless I am back on a beach on my Honeymoon at Cinnamon Bay. I do not take kindly to gaggles of girls singing it in full beachy costume, along with the band, at 7:55 a.m. I’m pretty sure I feel the same about this when I am running.
  13. I put my hand up for one high five (for a runner who requested it by raising his hand to me) and suddenly I am the high-five girl for the mile – with people easing over to take part, which brings me back to # 8, maybe they really DO want me to cheer?!
  14. I say things like “I’m standing in between the tequila and the chocolate milk….”
Duane and I were caught off guard by photographers, but tried to regroup...

Duane and I were caught off guard by photographers, but tried to regroup…

Needless to say, Congrats to all who ran on Saturday, especially Judi, Jay, Maryanne and Duane. You worked hard and I know you earned those medals (now if any of you who are injured/sick/etc. try to run until you are healed, I won’t be happy, just sayin’).

What about you? Do you ever spectate independently at races? Do you have any of the above things happen to you? How do you handle it? Or, am I completely off base and the only one who ever experienced these things?

Until the next mile marker,

Comments

  1. As far as I’m concerned, standing between the tequila and the chocolate milk is the perfect place to be!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      You know, Niki, you just might be right. We were talking about how a race is pretty much the only place you can say that and have it be completely acceptable too! 😉

  2. I can totally relate to everything you said. Especially #2! LOL!
    Ja @Athlete Within Ja recently posted..Shout-Out: Happy Flying Pig Weekend!My Profile

  3. You forgot one….NEXT TIME BRING A HAM SAMMICH because Jay was hungry!

    Thank you for coming out and cheering and braving the elements! Now stop making me laugh because it makes me cough up my other lung!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      OH YEAH! That was a good one too – I had to think, “Do I have a ha…NO! I didn’t bring a ham sammich and who can eat that at Mile 7?!” I certainly did not mean to make you hack up your other lung, but they DO say laughter is the best medicine!!

  4. Oh Sara you are so funny. I would love to spectate with you!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      LOL! Thanks, Elle! 😉 I would of course love to spectate with you as well.

  5. I love this!!!!! I’ve never been a spectator, but I do hate when I see spectators eating as I usually get hungry towards the last mile of a race!
    Steph recently posted..Happy Birthday Abuelo!My Profile

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says

      I actually don’t notice spectators eating – I notice them sitting down, though, and wish I was too! LOL! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Steph!

Speak Your Mind

*

*

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.