5K Race Spectator


On Saturday, there was a small 5K race at the park where I like to run. Instead of running in the race, I had a great time spectating. I didn't only watch, though, I also ran 6 miles. I didn't want to be in the way so I stayed off of the course unless it was empty. Still, I was close enough to see the runners so that I could stop and cheer for them when they ran by.

Before I started yelling, I thought about what I'd like to hear. I knew that I didn't want to tell anyone that they were almost to the finish. 'Almost' is relative. I thought about where they were on the course and hoped to say something that gave them the confidence that they needed to keep running strong. When I knew they were towards the end, I yelled something about kicking it in to the finish.

Race Spectating Can Be Hard Work

I had my Weimaraner, Zoe, with me. I think that she was a good distraction for the runners as we stood on the side of the course and cheered. Zoe and I also stopped to chat with the race medics and the women's overall winner. Some runners even said something nice about Zoe as they raced by, which she appreciated almost as much as a bacon-flavored doggy treat! 

I can't count the number of times that spectators have given me the push that I needed to keep going. It felt great to be on the other side this time - my 6 mile run was over before I knew it!

What do you like to hear that helps you cross the finish line? "You've got this!" always helps me to feel confident about knowing that I can finish the race.

Comments

  1. I'm glad you chose to skip the two that most likely make me think LIAR: almost there, and looking good. I do like finish strong or you've got this!

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    1. "Finish strong!" reminds me not to slow down and to finish well. It's a good one!

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  2. Ahh, love that Zoe got to be a spectator! I have a feeling my weimaraner would be barking the entire time! Spectators can be so motivating. I love when they yell things that make me think they are cheering specifically for me ( even though I know they aren't..haha). I'm sure the runners appreciated yo being there to cheer them on!

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    1. You have a Weimaraner, too? How fun!

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  3. I think it's so much fun being a spectator! Nice being on that side once in a while.

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    1. It was fun to be in the spectators shoes for a change and it was convenient for me since I was there anyway.

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  4. I agree, almost there is relative. I rather hear positive things like finish strong or you've got this.

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    1. You're right, positive words build you up when you're feeling uncertain about crossing that finish line.

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  5. I adore when dogs are out cheering! Something like "looking strong, you've got this" is always great. I'll always remember one woman who shouted "You've got this, more than enough" when I ran my half PR. The more than enough thing really stuck with me.

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    1. More than enough? That would build you up!

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  6. "Well done, not far now, you're looking good" is the sort of thing I shout at runners - and like to have shouted at me....

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    1. I love the fact that complete strangers will take the time to help us when we're out there!

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  7. I like when people say that I'm looking strong. Sounds like a fun day, and motivating for your run too!

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    1. Oh, it made my run go by almost too quickly! I could have easily run more miles that day.

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  8. Spectators really make or break the race! Good for you for being on the other side to support them. :-)

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    1. It's kind of amazing that hearing encouraging words from complete strangers can make such a big difference in the way we're feeling!

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  9. I love it when I see a lot of spectators. If there is just one lone person standing there, it's kind of awkward, but lined streets of cheering fans are so much fun! The best ever was a 9 p.m. moonlight race w/ people in their yards rocking out to music.

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    1. When there are crowds of cheering fans in a big race, I want to run faster!

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  10. I love hearing you've got this!! I need to make a point to do more spectating!

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    1. "You've got this!" reminds me that I trained hard for the race and that I can meet my goals. Great line!

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  11. I don't like "you're almost to the finish" when you're not but almost any kind comment helps.

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    1. I agree! I can look back on races and remember special race spectators who said just the right thing, but it's all good since you know they're all pushing for you.

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  12. So cute, and lovely of you to go out and give back. I always find that I feel just about as full of endorphins and contentedly happy after a great cheer session, as I do if I actually ran the race! [With approximately similar hydration and nutrition requirements, too!]

    I like cheers without negatives (not "don't stop!", but instead "keep going!"). "Push hard", "stay strong", "finish strong" are some of my favorites! :)

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    1. The last words I hear when I'm racing often stick in my mind, repeated over and over again, so it's great to have something positive stuck there!

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  13. Zoe is adorable! I love seeing dogs on the side of the course! I hate hearing "almost there" especially since, like you said, it's relative. Love hearing you got this, finish strong, keep pushing, things like that that move me forward. I always try to think of those things when I'm spectating too.

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    1. Thanks! She's a good running buddy!

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  14. Your pup is so cute!! I'm always so appreciative of spectators, they really don't know how much of a help it is having them cheering and yelling! My husband comes to my races with me and having him yell my name and cheer for me at the last 1/10th mile is the best motivation!

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    1. I feel kind of bad about the way my husband often has to work around road closures to get out there, but I love to see my husband during races, too.

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  15. Or having a little kid give you a high 5 :)

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  16. I love that you were such a great cheerleader and ran 6 miles to boot! Awesome. I really appreciate the spectators at every race. They usually give me just the boost I need to keep on going!

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    1. It's great when they're at especially tough places in a race. I remember one group of teenage girls at the Maine Marathon who cheered for me as I ran up a long hill. That was great!

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  17. Congrats, you won my Beats by Dr. Dre headphone giveaway!! Will you email me? Thanks!

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  18. That is so nice of you to have cheered them on ... I think it is really helpful for most runners to hear the words of encouragement. What a great way to pay it forward and return the good mojo :)

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  19. I enjoy being a spectator. Just love cheering for all the athletes.
    I like to hear "You look strong. Keep it up. You're almost there."

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  20. That sounds like fun! I've spectated a few races and I love being on the other side of things, and thinking about what I would want to hear at the part of the race I'm cheering at. I like hearing "good work!", but any funny sign will give me a boost.

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