At least, it is for me.
So, I cried when the race started. I cried when I finished. I cried when Chad finished. Big surprise-- but I'm getting reasonably good at running and crying at the same time.
There was a spectator dressed as a banana. There were LOTS of spectators wearing sombreros-- some of whom seemed a bit startled when a runner behind me answered them in Spanish. One spectator handed out gum. Another had a box of Kleenex (that guy was my favourite spectator). One guy apparently kept travelling along the course (Chad said he saw him more than once), high-fiving, hand-shaking, and shouting general encouragement.
And the signs... they were great. If I ever go to cheer at a marathon, I'm going to pick a bunch of names at random to put on a sign, just for fun. Besides many people having their own personal cheer sections, there was a wide selection of fun signs for everyone. Some of my favourites: "A marathon is just a 10K-- with a 20-mile warm up," "Run like you stole something," "Will you marry me?" (yeah, I forgot the girl's name), a guy with a sign that said "Stop!" until he unfolded it and it said "Don't Stop!" (complete with him shouting at us not to stop). I really liked the series addressed to "Riff Raff", posted on various telephone poles. I don't remember them all, but the last one was at mile 10 and said, "Drop the hammer now". So I said to myself, "Dang! I forgot my hammer." Yeah. There is no hammer-dropping possible when I can barely move.
As we came up on the final hill (after mile 12!! Geez!), we all had a really good look at it-- so much so that I said aloud, "Oh, holy crap!" The woman next to me said, "Yeah, I think so, too." Turns out it wasn't so bad-- at least, not as bad as the hills at the last half-marathon.
So, before I got to the finish, the marathon leaders came flying by. It was totally worth it to run slow to get to see that.
Anyway, the last km was marked off at 200 metre intervals, which was brilliant. So I poured on what was left of my energy (and muscles), and as a really nice reward, the nice announcers were reading off the names of the finishers. So, they said my name right before I crossed the line. Brilliant.