Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Few More Marathon Thoughts

During my long day on Sunday, I noticed a few things about the marathon experience:

  • Some spectators are there to yell for their person and some spectators are there to yell for everyone.  The LB Marathon had pretty hit-and-miss spectator support, but the worst was the long stretches of people who weren’t really cheering for anyone.  Obviously, they were caught up in looking for their runner, but come on people!  You can clap or ring a cowbell even while you’re scanning the crowd for your husband/son/brother.  The students on the Cal State Long Beach campus were awesome, though - they were full of energy and cheered boisterously for everyone, even a bedraggled girl like me.
  • Lots of runners lose their timing chips.  LBM used D-Tag timing and I saw quite a few of them littering the road.  Can you imagine getting to the finish line only to realize you weren’t being timed?!?!  That would SUCK.  I suppose a few of them were from runners who DNF’d, but still.
  • Lots of runners lose their pace bands, too.  Every time I saw a pace band on the ground, I wondered if it was because they were running so fast it shredded and fell off, or if it was torn off in a fit when the runner realized they weren’t going to make that time goal after all.
  • Nobody cheers for the walkers.  Seriously.  I can’t count how many signs I saw that read, “Good Job Runners!” or how many people cheered, “Way to go, runners!” to the other people around me while I was walking past them.  The guy in front of me who was barely shuffling along at my exact pace elicited high-fives from the spectators, who then turned silent as I trudged past.  Dude, if anybody needed cheering, it was the barfing/stumbling/crying girl!
  • Only a few people got my joke.  The bibs for LBM were personalized, so I had them write “Go P!” on mine.  In the early miles - when I was still running and people were still cheering for me – I was surprised how many people called out my number to cheer for me, but didn’t call out my “name.”  The few who did were all laughing, which I liked.  And one funny fellow who saw me heading toward the port-o-potties called out, “Are you going to ‘Go P!’?”  Ha!  I laughed so hard I threw up.
  • People who volunteer at races are the very best people on earth.  It’s on my bucket list to be one of those people some day, because I can’t tell you how grateful I was for every cup of water and every kind word along the course.

16 comments:

The Green Girl said...

I didn't even realize what was written on your bib. I love it, girl. You rock.

elaine said...

That's a great bib logo (?) Go P. I wouldn't want to be behind you in a marathon though. Too suggestive. I'd be headed straight for the porta potty after looking at that for a few miles.

Aimee said...

I totally agree about the spectators. If you're going to be out on the course, clap and cheer...it makes a huge difference!

I didn't realize what you had on your bib either, but I love it! That is awesome!

My guess is the pacing bands get ripped off in a fit of rage and anger...:)

Average A said...

I toooootally need to volunteer too; I have the SAME thought at every single race I run! :)

Java Joggers said...

Great observations! I agree with you about the stretches of a race where there aren't spectators, or the ones there are almost silent - pretty tedious! And "Go P?" Brilliant!

ajh said...

I never realized people lost their timing chips! How awful! Love the name on the bib!

Anne said...

Love the "Go P" :)
I agree with you on all of these...and I totally want to volunteer one day too!

Johann said...

Go P...awesome! I hear you about the supporters but must say in South Africa supporters are incredible and generally clap, shout, help the real stragglers and walkers more. I think it’s because we run so many ultras here and people are used see runners walk in ultras. I’ve volunteered at many races and it is great to give something back to this wonderful sport.

Teamarcia said...

I totally noticed that in Grand Rapids as I was coming up an incline and turning a corner: there was a whole mess of peeps and dead silence...obviously looking for their runner but come on!
Go P!! Love it!

ann said...

totally agree! for my 1st triathlon I lost my timing chip, but found it and picked it up. Had no clue that if I carried it across the finish line it wouldn't work! I was devastated. I emailed the setup company, they reviewed pics and tape, and gave me a finishing time!

nikeathena said...

I'm one of those "There to cheer for everyone." That includes the walking people. I really think they deserve it more. I'm so in awe of anyone that would enter a marathon I don't distinguish.

Caratunk Girl said...

If I am not racing, I cheer for everyone, walkers, runners, whoever. LOVE the Go P!! That is awesome!

Volunteering is one of my favorite parts of racing, I try to volunteer at at least 3-4 races a year....I did 3 this year.

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Totally lame that no one cheered for the walkers. And your bib was awesome. That is hilarious!!!

Jogging with Fiction said...

found your blog through 5k Rae. I love it!

Laura said...

Go P...that's awesome.

Becka said...

I try to cheer for everyone. Go P... Hilarious. :)