Last Sunday, I spectated the Baystate Marathon.
The marathon I was supposed to be running.
I have never spectated a marathon before. Or any long distance race for that matter. I’ve watched a couple of 5k’s. That’s it.
I’ve always been the runner.
Being on the other side of the road, I got to see a lot more. When I’m running, I usually have blinders on. I’m in my own space. I don’t notice the faces of the other runners as they push their aching bodies towards the finish line.
I’m in my pain cave.
As a spectator, I saw pain, grimaces with each step and tears. But I also saw smiles, joy and relief of knowing they did it!
5 Lessons Learned from Spectating a Marathon
1. Race day outfit matters! Don’t wear an old ratty, stained shirt. There will be pictures after all. You worked your ass off to make it to the finish line and most likely you’re going to look like hell. You owe yourself to at least look like a little effort went into your attire.
2. Cold weather + singlets = bloody nipples. I have never seen more bloody nipples in my life. And it wasn’t just a little bit of blood soaked shirts. It was a lot. And they were all on males. I was in agony just looking at those poor guys. I’m sure they learned their lesson – band aid up boys!
3. Runner’s won’t stop, can’t stop for anything. Kailey and I almost missed seeing Mariette running into the finisher’s chute because of a woman that had blood running down her leg. We couldn’t help but stare as she trudged by us. I’m not sure exactly what it was from but I’m guessing her shorts were rubbing on her inner thigh the whole 26.2 miles. There was a large chunk of raw skin in that area. At least it was cold enough that maybe she was numb?
4. Some people make it look so easy. You gotta love the guy or girl who comes trucking into the finisher’s chute at a blazing speed with what looks like little effort and absolutely no sweat on them at all. Seriously, how do you do it?
5. Marathons are freakin’ hard! It’s easy to forget that running 26.2 miles is not something that can be done by everyone when you see the smiling race reports coming through your social media feeds. It takes endurance. It takes heart. It takes guts. No matter how well your training went, it still is going to be hard work to make it through those miles. It’s kind of like childbirth – you swear you are never going to do it again but then you forget about all the pain and agony in a month or so. And then you sign up for another.
Have you spectated a marathon? What did you learn?