Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spectator Signs at Races...

Race day is just around the corner!  I cannot believe it.  I think I am ready.  Logistically, not quite (I haven't started packing) mentally, almost, and physically...well...I am as ready as I will ever be!

Picturing myself running the Boston marathon has been on my mind lots over the last few years days, and it got me to thinking about all of the fun ways to pass the time while out there soaking up the 26.2.

Here are some of the items that occupy my mind (in no particular order)...

- Math.  I always have some sort of technical failure on my wrist--usually my own fault.  This forces me to attempt to figure out split times, etc. in my head.  It really only helps me to pass the time, as my math skills are not my strong point (which might be why I still haven't figured out that "26.2" is actually very far)!

- Reading other runner's t-shirts.  I love it when people wear shirts that say interesting things.  Places they've been, slogans, etc.  If only more runners had shirts that resembled personalized licence plates--that could keep my mind occupied for a lot longer!

- Eavesdropping on other runner's conversations.  Just Kidding. (actually, not kidding--people talk about some funny things out there--but of course I try not to laugh or look in any way like I am following along with what they're saying.  That would be rude.)

- Taking in the scenery.  I love getting caught up in seeing the sights of a race.  Fancy houses, "window shopping" etc.  Passes the time very well.

- Singing the same few lines of the song I have stuck in my head that day.  (Inside voice only)

- Spectator signs!!  (more about this below).  Total highlight of any race.

- Regretting signing up for a race.  Usually this happens at some point.  "Why do I keep doing this?!" inevitably goes through my mind, and I never learn my lesson always go back for more!

- Sharing small talk with other runners around me.  I was in a race recently, however, where I passed a man dressed as Elvis.  Whenever spectators would say, "Go Elvis!" or something similarly encouraging, he would say, "Thank you, thank you very much".  After about a kilometre of this, I decided that I had to speed up to get away from him (even if it killed me) because I couldn't take any more of his Elvis impression!

- In races that I am not familiar with the route, as the last portion of the race is near, I think a continual loop of, "Is that the finish line?" and, "Where on earth is the finish line?"

- In races that I am familiar with the route, as the last portion of the race is near, I think a continual loop of, "I swear the finish line is just around the corner" and, "did they move the finish line?"

Upon crossing that finish line in Boston, I know I will get a teeny bit weepy, as one does when they win a race complete a race.  I am so excited for those butterflies at the starting line, for the scenery, the other runners, (soooo many other runners) and the triumph of crossing the finish.

This post is going to get quite a bit longer, as I am leaving you with some of my favourite slogans from spectator signs at races/marathons (some from my memory, some from my friend the internet):

“Look over your shoulder--you are beating all those people”
“Don’t worry, your WAY in front of my husband”
“26.2?  I thought it was 2.62!”
“Pain is temporary, but internet race results last FOREVER!”
“It’s not sweat, it’s liquid AWESOME!”
“I trained for 6 months to hold this sign”
“Because 26.3 miles would be CRAZY!”

“Waking up early and making this sign is hard too!”
“You all are really good at exercising”

“Hurry Up!  We’re tired of standing here.”

"Actually, you're NOT almost there!"

"Where are you all going?"
"You're not slow. You're just enjoying the course."
"Stop reading this and keep running!"
"It'll feel better when it stops hurting."
“No one made you do this”

Some of the signs I have seen can be a bit inappropriate, but funny nonetheless.  I excluded all of the "That's what she said" types of signs that seem to be popular these days...although one that I thought was quite funny was, "If it was easy, it would be called your MOM!" yeesh.

I would like to add that my FAVOURITE signs are the ones from kids to their parents.  I of course, get teary-eyed at those :)

Happy running!
5 more sleeps!!

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