Who knew spectating a race could be so exhausting?
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.
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.
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!
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.
What better way to celebrate and bask in the glory of a marathon finish?