family husband has had to trek to 5 different states so far for me to run marathons. To say we’ve learned a few things along the way is an understatement.
J is the ultimate spectator now – he still can’t find his way around Cleveland, but give him a marathon course and he’ll figure out the best spectator spots and how to get to them in no time!
So I thought it might be fun to share some of what we’ve learned!
If you have a group of people coming to support you, give them headbands:
I can’t stress this enough. They cost $1.00 at Pat Catans and it’s so easy to spot them in the crowd!
If the weather calls for rain, like real rain, not just a sprinkle, give your “sherpas” an extra pair of socks and shoes “just in case”. It DOWNPOURED at mile 2 when I ran the Pittsburgh marathon in 2010 and my shoes felt like they were 10 pounds each for the rest of the race. It was seriously miserable.
And when my sis told me she saw someone jump out and change his shoes that his family had for him, I remember thinking to myself “how brilliant!”.
Ask to be dropped off at the starting line. There are too many people for your family to really see you:
So have them drop you off and head to their first spectating spot. Hopefully they’ll get a prime spot this way!
You are probably going to be COLD when you’re done running. Unless it’s 80 degrees, you are going to be shivering from the sweat and your body trying to figure out what the hell you just did to it. Ha.
So ask someone to carry a sweatshirt or coat for you so you don’t have to steal your mom’s like I did after Cleveland in 2010.
If possible, recruit one (or 2 or 3) of them to run a few miles with you. You may not be in the mood to talk, but sometimes it’s just nice to have the company after you’ve been running by yourself for 2 hours.
Miserable around mile 24 of the Columbus marathon last year. Not sure I would have finished without J!
And if you like a specific sports drink, fill an extra and have a plan for when you’re going to make the “switch”.
You can’t tell, but we were headed over to make the switch here during Chicago in 2012. Easy peasy!
And then be sure to thank them a million times over afterwards. It’s not easy being a spectator – they’ve spent all day chasing you around the city!!
Maybe even buy them a drink. Or two.
They deserve it!
Do you use “sherpas” during a race? What’s your best sherpa tip??