Endurance running is not a great sport for specators, as a matter of fact, it is downright lousy.
Spectators are normally close friends and relatives of race participants.or the occasional people living in the nearby neighborhoods that will stand on the corner with a Starbucks and watch us idiots run. While every runner relies on these people for motivation, most don't know a single one.
There have been plenty of races I have run with no spectators to support me, and I totally understand why. I can't say I would willingly get up before the sun on my day off to stand on a street corner for hours only to watch my 'loved one' run for a total of about 45 seconds. What most spectators don't realize, though, is that those 45 seconds can sometimes fuel runners for hours during the race.
It's no secret to me why my best running performances have come when I have had spectators cheering me on. It also comes as no surprise to me that my favorite running experience have been ones I have shared with the people I love. Having my dad there for my Half Marthon PR this weekend meant the world to me. He watched me run for about 30 seconds, but knowing he was at the finish line motivated me more than I could even describe.
If you are a runner, thank your supporters because what they are doing is not their idea of "fun", and yet they do it anyway. If you are a spectator, I want to thank you. Even if you didn't come out to support me, I probably silently adopted you as my supportive family as I struggled through late miles of a race.
If you have ever come out to support me at a race, I want to apologize. I'm sorry that you might not have had a great time and you may have even been miserable. But i'm happy to tell you, your misery was worth it.