“Fingers crossed that I get to be a spectathlete at your marathon!”
Shelley lives in Denver, but is coming out the week after my marathon for a conference in San Francisco. We are trying to work it so she can come before the marathon and cheer me on and then also come the weekend after when I will be a lot more fun and ready to celebrate!
I have always thought that spectators and supporters have just as hard a job as the person running a race. Aaron has been a huge supporter at all of my events – he gets up just as early as I do, drops me off at the race, finds somewhere to park and set up shop and then WAITS.
Waiting is the worst. While I am busy running a half marathon, or riding my bike 100 miles, he just has to wait for me to show up for 2 seconds before I continue on my way. I remember my first century ride when Aaron and my mom drove all around Lake Tahoe looking for me. At one point they got to drive alongside me as I climbed a hill.They got some good pics, though!
And of course my second century ride, Aaron was right by my side the entire way, but the rest of my family drove from Sacramento to Napa and got to see us for just a minute before rushing to the finish line only to miss us!
Spectathletes really don’t get the credit they deserve. As Matt mentions in his post, spectathletes not only support you on race day, but also throughout your training. Training for endurance events is a team effort. For me it is wonderful knowing that Aaron will be home to take care of the animals, fill my ice bath and make me breakfast after my long runs. For others it might be child care. Knowing how much effort and coordination these things take is one of the main reasons I chose to do the marathon this year before I have more obligations piled on my plate like kids or wedding planning or anything like that!
Spectathletes make a huge difference on race day, too. It can be your friends and family cheering you on, or strangers calling out your name that you wrote on the front of your shirt. They often sit in the rain or cold waiting to catch a glimpse of you on your big day – like you are a celebrity! My marathon is on December 5th and I am hoping for dry weather so that my spectathletes don’t have to wait around in the cold for 4+ hours. It also would be nice if I didn’t have to run in the rain, too ;)
Cheers to all the Spectathletes around the world. You do not get enough credit and I love you all (especially mine!)