Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm an Iron Girl {spectator}

April 14th finally came around this past weekend. It was the half marathon that I started training for a week and a half after my marathon in January. But, as I've mentioned a time or two in the last couple of weeks, I've got a hurt ankle. The doctor told me I couldn't run, so I didn't. My main goal race would now become a DNS.

But, instead of sulking about it, I decided to go cheer on my friends and spectate! After mentioning so many times here about participating and also working with Iron Girl to help promote the event, I decided I at least wanted to see what it was all about. It's been around Tampa for a few years now, and I've never been able to go...

Spectating is definitely a whole lot different than running. I overslept. I would never oversleep for a race I was running. I needed to leave my house and 5:30, and I woke up at 5:31. Oops. Luckily I made it out the door by 5:40 and made up a little bit of time on the way.

I met up with a bunch of girls to walk over to the race, and while they were doing the normal pre-race things, I just walked around and eventually made my way up the first bridge to my cheer spot.
Once I got to the top, right before the first mile marker, I got out my cow bells and waited. I also took some pictures while I was up there. I did get a little sad a few times when I wasn't running and others were, but at the end of the day I knew it was the right decision...
And soon the runners started coming!
Beth
The half marathon started at 7:00 am and the 5k started at 7:30. I stayed on that bridge all morning cheering my heart out for everyone that I could running by. I cheered for every half marathoner on their way out and almost all of the 5kers before turning around to cheer on the 5kers making their way back.
Genna
Spectating definitely doesn't show how hard runners are working and how tired they are. If I hadn't known better, I'd say they hadn't even broken a sweat on the hills. Since I'd run those hills a few times I knew that wasn't true at all. I was so cold from the wind and had to throw on a jacket, and to see them sweating and talking of heat later was so confusing.

The half marathoners came back after a while. Their whole route had been on the barrier islands, so I caught the last half a mile or so when they got back to me. It was fun to cheer for friends and capture pictures. Everyone did so well on such a murky and humid day with 4 big bridges to cross.

I loved taking pictures of my friends (though I missed pictures or ended up with blurry ones of so many!), and I had fun ringing my cowbells and cheering everyone along. I still got to experience the race, albeit without running it.
Meghan
Diana
Beka
Christa
Whitney
Tori
Afterwards I headed to the finish line to meetup with friends and head to breakfast. Something about eating a full breakfast after spectating a race isn't the same as eating one after you run the race. 

I have to say, though, that watching and cheering was so much fun. People had different reactions. Some laughed, some waved, some ignored, but it was nice to see that a lot of people really loved the cheering. And it really seemed to encourage some people! I love spectators and get a big push when people cheer for me, so I wanted to do it too! I'll spectate more races in the future, though hopefully I'll be running most of them.

Have you spectated a race before?
What's your favorite race sign?
Do you get a boost from people cheering for you?

18 comments:

Beka said...

I am so happy you came out to cheer us all on! You were just the familiar face with double cowbells that pushed me that last half mile down the finish! :) I'd love to spectate a race and cheer runners on soon! Cowbell buddy?!

Krysten said...

So Awesome that you were still able to be a part of things! Spectators always help keep me going. LOVE IT!

Plus you will be back and rocking it again in no time!

Kat @ Sneakers and Fingerpaints said...

Thanks for being there for us, you're a trooper! It was great seeing you on that elusive bridge!

Laura @ Mommy run fast said...

I would LOVE to spectate an ironman someday... I've only done one sprint triathlon, and have never seen it from the other side. Sounds fun!

DisneyBride (DB) and DisneyGroom (DG) said...

Yes, thanks for cheering! I'm just running along with my mother... and am like "Hey, I read that girl's blog!" It is still fun but bittersweet when you aren't running, and your friends are. A totally different experience to spectate and cheer. I keep my cowbells in the Jeep, always at the ready.

Jenny Hodges said...

It was so nice to see a familiar face cheering us on! Thanks again for snapping a pic of me and my little girl :)

My favorite sign is "Honey Badger don't care." I always stop and get my photo taken with it, and my daughter did this day too!

I have spectated races, it's fun :)

Rebecca@Running.Food.Baby. said...

I have not spectated a race before - however I am manning a water station for the Ottawa Marathon next month with staff and students from my school- should be fun!

I usually run the bigger races without music on so I can listen to the crowd. Our big 5K races in Ottawa usually have the entire route lined with spectators.

Kelly Wade said...

I was actually a spectator at the Boston Marathon on Monday to cheer on my sister who worked so hard training for it. Luckily my family and I posted up to see her a mile from the finish line, and then she was stopped at about 25.5 miles because at that point they couldn't let people near the finish. She ended up getting her medal and everything but it was pretty crazy and horrible.I did however love seeing all the runners a mile from finishing a marathon.

Kelly Wade said...

I was actually a spectator at the Boston Marathon on Monday to cheer on my sister who worked so hard training for it. Luckily my family and I posted up to see her a mile from the finish line, and then she was stopped at about 25.5 miles because at that point they couldn't let people near the finish. She ended up getting her medal and everything but it was pretty crazy and horrible.I did however love seeing all the runners a mile from finishing a marathon.

Kelly Wade said...

I was actually a spectator at the Boston Marathon on Monday to cheer on my sister who worked so hard training for it. Luckily my family and I posted up to see her a mile from the finish line, and then she was stopped at about 25.5 miles because at that point they couldn't let people near the finish. She ended up getting her medal and everything but it was pretty crazy and horrible.I did however love seeing all the runners a mile from finishing a marathon.

Rick Stiles said...

I'm very sorry about your ankle, but you are so sweet to be out there for your friends. As a runner, you know how important those cheering on the sidelines are! I haven't had that pleasure yet, but I'm watching for opportunities to spectate or volunteer. Take car of that ankle and heal fast!

Amanda said...

I cheered on my brother at the Texas Cowtown half marathon last year. It was so fun! We chased him around downtown Fort Worth and caught him at 4 spots on the course! It was a blast, and we knew he appreciated it.

Caroline said...

I love having my very own fan club there cheering me on! It makes me push harder.

Jill Barnes said...

Definitely a different perspective! Glad you were able to make it to the race even if it wasn't to run. I have yet to be a spectator but think it would be lots of fun and would have to be extra creative with a funny sign.

Lauren said...

How fun! I loved seeing the spectators at my first race :-)

Emily said...

My dad is a retired marathon runner so I have spectated many races in the past. Loved that you were still able to go to the race and your pictures are great! I was in Tampa/Clearwater this fall and loved seeing the bridges! Getting stuck on them in Labor Day traffic is not so fun, but standing on them sure does. :)

Running Backwards in High Heels said...

That looks like so much fun!! I always want to spectate or volunteer at a race.

Amber said...

You;re such a sweet friend to go cheer them on for the race even though you couldn't run!!!