It’s no easy job running a marathon or an obstacle course race; it takes lots of training, hard work, and dedication. Whether it’s a full marathon, half marathon, or a mini 5K, you always need your best supporters pushing you to the finish line!
For as long as I’ve known my husband, he’s been a runner and extremely athletic. He loves obstacle course running and has his fair share of half marathons as well. He’s put in a lot of time and effort getting all the medals he owns and I couldn’t be any more proud.
As a professional spectator for the last four years and highly motivated cheerleader, comes great responsibility! Everyone praises the runner, rightfully so, but the spectators are just as important in any race. The spectators are the ones cheering you on in the sidelines and making sure you’re hydrated at every stop. We’re the people yelling “Keep Going! You’re Almost There!!” as you’re at the final stretch of your race. As much as I enjoy watching my husband run, it’s a tough job keeping up.
This is my guide to being an awesome spectator:
- Be Prepared. Bring a towel to wipe down, plastic bag to put your wet/dirty clothes in, extra clothes, flip-flops (they’re just easier to pack vs. another pair of sneakers), sunblock, a few frozen water bottles, mobile phone charger (you may be waiting for hours so having a mobile charge comes in handy), and your choice of caffeine.
- Don’t Forget your Paperwork. Yup, even as a spectator, you have paperwork! Print out your waivers at home and have them filled out prior to race day. Nothing is worse than arriving to the venue and having to wait in long lines to fill out a waiver. Also, print out the course map/spectator routes too! Some races don’t provide them so having them printed is huge help.
- Cheer on Other Runners. One of the coolest feelings is being able to see other runners on the course and cheering them on as they go! They’re working their butts off in the heat; running up and down hills and doing obstacles every few minutes. They love when people are cheering them on because there are times when there’s a long stretch and no one is there to tell them to keep going.
- Stay Hydrated and Bring Snacks. Depending on how long the race is, you could be outside for four to five hours. Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Lots of water & snacks!
- Bring a Folding Chair or Tripod Travel Chair. These things are so convenient! It beats standing for hours or sitting on dirt. I have a Tripod Travel Chair and it’s the best thing! It’s easy to carry and it’s light! Hooks right on to my backpack!
- Have Fun! I love making friends at races. If you’re alone, it could get boring waiting around so making friends is fun! You’re both there for the same reason, so why not talk about it right?