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.
I’ve seen so many great race posters over the past few years so it was tough deciding what to put on my poster for this weekend, but I finally went with this:
And for something a little more “family friendly”, the back has this:
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!**
Oh I love these posters Danielle. Have fun cheering for your friend. Tom and I are supposed to be volunteering at the Battleship Half Marathon here in Wilmington tomorrow morning!
Thanks Pam, I had run making them and I’m almost as excited about this race as I would be if I were running! Have a great day volunteering tomorrow!
I love your posters…i’m running in an hour…i’m sure i’ll ear “keep on running..keep on running” in my head!!!
Haha, I’m glad you like them! Have a good run : )
Hey Dani…. love this blog! You forgot one thing….. THE CAMERA! dad
Ahhh, you’re so right! How could I forget that? (Probably because the camera is always your job!) Adding it now, thanks! : )
Great posters. Good luck to your friend. I’m recording the ESPN2 broadcast so I can watch the race despite having to be out in the morning.
Thanks Lesley, I’m so excited to see her run, she’s been waiting so long for this race since it was cancelled last year!
Oh yay! Hope to see you on the course!
Good luck and I’ll keep an eye out for you!
I read a spectator tip the other day – have a balloon. That way your runner can spot you easier. I thought that was a great tips, as are all the ones you posted. Love the signs..especially the one about the balls!!!
Oh, I forgot about the balloon tip! That’s a good one too! Maybe I’ll try to find one once I get to the city tomorrow : )
Great post. I’ve never seen one for spectators before. May have to re-blog this one.
Thanks! I thought it would be a fun one since it was my first race spectating!