Spectating the Marine Corp Marathon

Who knew spectating a race could be so exhausting?

Finish line
At the finish line

Sunday night after cheering for five hours at the Marine Corp Marathon, I collapsed into bed more exhausted than I’ve been after running some of my races.

As a runner, I know how much it sucks running past spectators who aren’t cheering. I did my best to cheer, scream, yell, jump up and down, the entire time I was there. I nearly lost my voice in the process, but it was so worth it.

The week before the race I created a plan that let us cheer from four different locations, but hands down my favorite spot was just before the 25K on the Tidal Basin bridge.

Runners on the bridge
Jason on the Tidal Basin bridge

There were only a handful of spectators there, so I think our group’s rowdiness was very much appreciated by the runners. We got lots of smiles, waves, fist pumps and other general acknowledgment.

One guy even stopped running to take a picture of me with my sign.

MCM Bridge
Thanks to Jason’s sister for snapping this picture of Emily, Ben and I cheering on the bridge.

It was a pretty popular sign. A lot of people on the bridge smiled and laughed. One guy joked that he was starting to feel warmed up.

I kept an eye out for all the bloggers running, but never managed to spot anyone in the crowd. I was so bummed! I had really wanted to cheer for you all!

Marine Corp Marathon group shot
Post-race group shot

Being on the sidelines instead of running the race was a weird experience for me. Part of me kept wishing I was running, but part of me was content to be an energetic supporter. Seeing how much the runners appreciated our cheering was really rewarding. If I hadn’t been busy chasing my friend all over town, I would have camped out on that bridge until the last runners came through.

If I end up spectating this race again next year, I know exactly where I’ll be setting up camp!

All in all it was a fun, if not exhausting, day. Our group wrapped things up with a post-marathon party, complete with BBQ and cake.

Post-marathon party
Another great shot from Jason’s sister of the post-race party.

What better way to celebrate and bask in the glory of a marathon finish?

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  1. [...] scoping out a lot of different cheering locations last year, I felt like a spectating pro this year and picked out a great spot where we could easily see our [...]

  2. [...] a HUGE understatement. It seemed like the least enjoyable activity imaginable. My friends Jess and Jason both ran marathons, and I loved going to watch their races. I just had no desire to participate in [...]