I’ve been rehashing the marathon in my mind over and over, remembering things I saw and things I heard. I’d love to wear a Go-Pro while running a race one day just to document what running a race is like.
I’m constantly awed by spectators. Spectators have got to be some of the most creative and patient people on the planet. Creativity shows up in lots of different ways. One obvious way is the signs they hold. Some signs during the race on Sunday just made me laugh:
“Go Random Stranger”
“If Trump can run, so can you”
“You’re running better than the government”
“Run like you have to poop”
“Run fast or I’ll flash my boobs” (held by an elderly sagging lady)
“Forrest Gump has nothing on you”
“This is the worst parade ever”
I love the signs. Reading them just makes the race fun. Enter patience. Spectators stand for who knows how long holding those signs, cheering on the thousands of runners, seemingly to never tire of yelling for us. Even if they tell us, “You’re almost there!” at mile 5 (when there is still 21 to go!), I appreciate their encouragement. So to all the spectators out there, thank you for taking time to entertain and support us!
Spectators are creative in other ways too, though. I saw one elderly gentleman in a smoking jacket straight out of the movies, comfortably lounging in his lawn chair drinking martinis from real glass (maybe crystal?) martini glasses as he watched us run by. One family had a tray of bacon they served to runners. Another family offered us bites of fried chicken and vodka shots (Ummm, no thanks to both!). And to all the adults and kids who donned banana suits and handed out bananas on Gorilla Hill, I loved it! Spectators are awesome. I love them!
Some spectators showed their creativity in music. We passed a line of young boys, probably early teen years, in a drum line. They were stinking awesome. That beat really got you going. Then, there was another group providing live music at one of the churches we passed. I appreciate that they took time out of their day and used their gifts to help us on our 26.2 mile trek.
Then there were the firefighters. A group of firefighters, in full gear, walked the entire half-marathon in memory of those brave heroes of the bombing. I can’t imagine how hot and uncomfortable they must have been. Here I am in a racerback tank top and short shorts, dripping sweat, and they’re in full gear. Seeing them trudge along as a group was something else.
There was a runner, a girl running the marathon, who carried the American flag the entire way. I can’t imagine. My hand cramped up just holding my water bottle.
And just seeing the crowd of runners…As we started, the course took us up a hill, and for as far as I could see, there were people, a colorful crowd of runners blazing the way for us slower runners behind them. There’s really nothing like seeing that crowd of runners from the middle of the pack.
Probably the best sound of the entire race, though, was the crowd at the finish line. I could hear the cheering even before I could see the people. Knowing that they’re cheering for you to finish the race, are rooting for you to accomplish your goal–yes, hands down the best sound of the entire marathon.