Before my 9k, the Run to Home Base (ugh… why doesn’t this rhyme!?) I read a really awesome blog post from one of my favorite bloggers, Running Sunflower. I recommend you read it as well, but let me give a quick summary: it’s about how she went to volunteer at a 10k she was not running. The event had plenty of volunteers, so she rang a cowbell and cheered on the runners. It’s really awesome.
I thought a lot about her post while I was running the 9k. There were so few spectators for that run. Ok, that’s not entirely true. There were a ton of spectators, but they were all inside Fenway Park, hanging out at the finish line. Along the actual course, there were very few. It was a bit of a bummer and I was in some major need of cheering along. This was the first race where I hadn’t figured out how to get my loved ones to show up at multiple parts of the course (I’m a big fan of finding ways for them to walk a couple of blocks and see me at around the 1 mile mark and at another mark around the end – I love having their support).
Although there were so few, there were still some really great spectators at this event (they were clearly volunteers because there were about 50 people wearing the same blue shirt…) scattered along the course with clappers. They were almost all old enough to be my grandmother or grandfather and I loved every single one of them!
Many of them yelled “thank you for what you’re doing!” (we had to raise money to run) and I yelled back to all of them, “thank you for what you’re doing!” They may not realize it, but their enthusiasm was really important and valuable. No one had a cowbell though!
It really got me thinking. I need to be a spectator more often. And I invite you to do the same. If it’s a 5k or a 10k, you and/or I would only be out there for around an hour. It’s so nice to have people cheering along during the more difficult (and lesser populated) parts of the race. I need to return the favor to people! If you have a race coming up in the Boston area, let me know and if I can, I’ll come out and cheer you on! I’ll even stop by Best Race Signs for some ideas!
Now… to buy a cowbell!