|Basically what every race I've ever|
spectated for (or run in) looks like.
Source: Margan Zajdowicz on
It doesn't matter how objectively true you think this is. There are few things more irritating for a runner than for a spectator to say "almost there." As I said in church on Sunday while making the marathon announcement (the course goes directly by our building, so some planning ahead is required), if you say "almost there" during a race, you may be almost killed by an angry runner. Just don't.
2. Do say encouraging things, though.
"Lookin' good!" "Keep it up!" "You're awesome!" "You got this!" These are all great. Clapping and/or and noisemakers are also great if you get tired of shouting.
3. Signs are fun!
One of my favourites is "Worst Parade Ever," but don't stop there. Lots of creative and fun ideas are available on the internet. Find one, break out the markers, and have a good time!
4. It's cool to hand stuff out.
Things I've seen handed out at races: mints, Jolly Ranchers, tissues, water/gatorade/beer at impromptu aid stations, and (my all-time favourite) orange slices. This Sunday, I'll be in front of Red River Church, giant bowl of orange slices at the ready.
5. High-fives are awesome.
Just be prepared to have sore hands after fiving hundreds of runners.
6. Runners love you!
Seriously, spectators are awesome, and the best races are usually the ones with the best crowd support. Even if runners look tired/angry/half-dead and don't visibly respond to your encouragement, please know that we love you and appreciate you taking hours out of your day to cheer on strangers. Spectators are the best.