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Last weekend I had the opportunity to spectate a great local race in Washington, D.C. I had the absolute BEST time doing so and realized that spectating races is seriously my jam. I LOVE it and it plays to all my strengths—I’m loud, I like strangers, I LOVE runners and I know NEVER to yell, “You’re almost there!” unless the finish line is literally almost there.
In fact, I declared to my friends that if I could just get paid to run (not fast, just run) and cheer at races, I’d be content. If you never take the time to spectate races, let me give you a few reasons to consider doing so.
You will naturally know what to say/do because you are a runner.
Runners make the best spectators in my opinion. You know what you hate to hear and so you don’t say those things. I do my best to make eye contact with as many people as possible to really help encourage them for the couple seconds they are flying by me. I always appreciate direct shout outs so I try to do the same. If there aren’t names on bibs, I’ll call out distinctive items of clothing and the like. Because I run and race regularly, I’m a better spectator.
It’s dang fun.
I honestly LOVE being out there cheering people on. It’s just such fun and I’m always so happy while I’m out there. I really feel like I could do it all day and be okay. Of course, after a marathon cheering session, my voice is hoarse and my body is tired from all the jumping and crazy stuff I do, but I’m so so happy.
I race a lot—you might as well. If so, then you (like me) take advantage of the energy given off by spectators a lot. Giving back when you aren’t racing and paying it forward is just the right thing to do. And did I mention it’s fun?!
Do you spectate races or volunteer at races? Tweet us @WomensRunning!