Tomorrow I’m headed into the city to cheer my little head off at the New York City Marathon!
While this is actually my first time going to spectate at a race (gasp!), but I’ve done my research, asked my family who have come to watch me run and well, I’ve run a few races myself so I have an idea of what makes a good spectator!
Here are my keys to Being the Best Spectator You Can Be!
Know Your Available Resources
Some of the basic race day spectator resources include a course map, runner tracking, knowing your runner’s pace and knowledge of area public transportation. If you’re really lucky the race you’re spectating will have an app available so you’ll have all of these resources right at your fingertips!
Wear Comfortable Shoes
You may not be running the race, but you’re sure going to be on your feet all day! And, if you’re hoping to see your runner in more than one place on the course you may even get in a bit of a workout yourself getting from one point to another!
Dress in Layers
Race mornings can start off cold and quickly warm up, so dress appropriately, bring layers and don’t forget things like sunglasses, sunblock, a hat and gloves!
Wear Something Bright
Make it easier for your runner to spot you by wearing something BRIGHT so you stand out in the crowd!
I never have a problem spotting my family in their bright orange race spectating shirts!
Stay Hydrated & Fuel Properly
We all know that the runners need to stay hydrated and take in fuel during the race, but as a spectator you have a long day ahead of you as well!
Be sure to bring a bottle of water and pack snacks so that you don’t “hit the wall” before your runner crosses the finish line!
Make Signs and Be Loud!
If you’ve done it right, there absolutely no reason you should still have a voice by the end of a day of marathon spectating. These people have been training for months. They’ve gotten blisters, lost toenails, taken ice baths and spent way too much money on running related clothing and accessories, the least you can do is scream some encouraging words as they pass by!
Oh, and if someone has taken the time to put their name on the front of their shirt, that is because they want you to cheer for them! BY NAME!
**Note: this is my friend Alex’s shirt for this weekend. We have been friends since first grade and as a reader of this blog you are obligated to scream, yell and cheer as loud as you possibly can if you see this shirt on Sunday!**
There’s nothing like a good race poster to bring a smile to your face while you’re gutting it through 26.2 miles.
So, there you have it, my tips to Be the Best Spectator You Can Be!
What are your best race day spectating tips?
What’s the best race sign you’ve seen?
**UPDATE: Thanks to my dad who pointed out I forgot to mention one of the most important things about marathon spectating – HAVE A CAMERA READY! I can’t tell you how much I love all the pictures my dad’s gotten at my races! Thanks Dad!**