Speaking as a Spectator

Standing near the finish line of a marathon is awesome! I was standing at the barrier, half a kilometre away from the finish.  I went for an hour (3rd hour in) to cheer people on, and hopefully see two of my workmates who were running.  Oh my gosh, it was awesome!

I’ve never gone to watch a marathon before, so I’m not sure what I was expecting. What I saw, had me amazed.

I saw runners interacting with the crowd, getting cheers and applause as they waved for more noise.

I saw a blind runner, running with a guide.

I saw runners in wheelchairs.

I saw some runners dressed in costumes that had to have been uncomfortable.

I saw one runner pushing a stroller with a toddler asleep inside it.

I saw runners joined by a child for the last stretch towards the finish line.

I saw runners with their names printed on their shirts getting personalised cheers from a race steward, and the crowds.

I saw runners grinning at the crowd when they cheered, and runners wearing earphones ignoring the crowd.

I saw runners who looked as fresh as if they had just started running, bounding down the road with energy to spare.

I saw runners at the end of the stamina, grimacing as they just kept going, one foot in front of the other.

I saw two runners collapse, their legs just gave way and they hit the ground.  I saw the same two runners helped up by race stewards and then…I saw them keep on running.

In the space of an hour I saw so much determination and motivation and bravery, honestly I can’t really think of the word that fully describes what I saw.  But I stood there in awe of these marathoners.   I was so proud of them, and so much in awe, that sometimes I had tears in my eyes.

Sure I got a bit emotional, I chalk that up to my being a newbie runner and feeling something of a kinship with the people running that marathon.  There’s no way I can say I know how they were feeling, but…I can at least imagine it right?

Next time I watch a marathon, I’m going to arrive earlier and stay longer.

Because standing near the finish line of a marathon is awesome!

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7 responses to “Speaking as a Spectator

  1. It’s not just marathons! Even the shorter races can inspire such emotions too you know. As a self-confessed ‘newbie’, you’ll be pushing yourself to the limits in your 5k event, and I’m sure the spectators will be cheering you on, recognising the amazing effort you’ll have put in. They’ll be looking at you and you know what they’ll be thinking? They’ll be thinking you’re awesome.

    • Ian, thanks for that! I’m having difficulty imagining spectators at a 5k, but only because I’ve never experienced it before so don’t know what to expect (maybe I shouldn’t expect the worse huh?!). Here’s hoping there’s as great an atmosphere at my 5k as there was at the marathon!

  2. Judith Clarke CEAV President

    It doesn’t matter if it is a 5k or a 42.2k it is about the work you have put in and making your dream come true

  3. Awesome post! My parents said the same thing when they came to watch me run my first marathon last year. My mom said it was very emotional!

    • Thanks, Jon! It was such a great atmosphere and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one feeling emotional that close to the finish line. It was a brilliant day! Congrats to yourself for running a marathon! I’m looking forward to following your blog!

  4. Pingback: The road so far (or; deciding to run a marathon) | This Fat Girl Runs

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