Culture

Reasons Why Runners Make The Absolute Best Spectators

Racing is awesome, but it turns out, spectating can be just as fun! Don't believe us? Eat Pray Run, DC shares three reasons why.

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.

Karma, y’all.
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!