The Marathon is more than just a day for runners. If you've ever walked or run a marathon, you know how motivating crowd support is. Here are some things to help spectators plan their race day:
- Have fun and get in the Marathon spirit
- Weather in September in the Midwest is unpredictable. Be prepared to dress for conditions and be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
- Pack some drinks and snacks for yourself. Also make sure you have a course map, a cell phone and a camera
- There will be Race Day Festival vendors at the start/finish line. Take advantage of their presence while you wait
- If you are feeling creative, make signs. Runners love to read them to break the monotony plus it helps your friend or family member be able to spot you. Believe it or not, if you move from spot to spot, the runners will remember you.
- Make noise to encourage the runners: Clap and cheer. The runners will have their names on their bibs this year, so don't hesitate to cheer them on by name.
- Remember that the runners at the back of the pack will need the most encouragement as they will be on the course the longest. Be sure to cheer for them as well!
- Have a party with friends and neighbors if the course travels past your area.
- If you're looking for a friend or family member, find out their projected pace per mile ahead of time and use a pace chart to figure out where and when they should reach certain points on the map. It also helps to know what they will be wearing
- Have a finish line plan. The finish area can be crowded and chaotic, so make sure you and your runner have a predetermined place to meet up.
- If you don't know anyone running the Marathon, come be a spectator anyway! Enjoy the sights and sounds and catch some great live music. There is also something very gratifying about coming out to cheer for and support the runners.
- Please remember to stay off of the course. Show athletes the respect they've worked for by resisting the urge to cross in front of them.