Today, I had the honor of being the spectator and supporter for my dear friend, Mark as he ran his 2nd marathon. At my side or rather, leading the way, was my favorite spectator/supporter — the enthusiastic and handsome man who ran by my side during the last 5 miles of my Boston qualifying marathon. Having always been the recipient of such acts of kindness, I had a thing or two to learn on the art of spectating.
Our 1st cheer spot was from the road above the race course. A hooting and a hollering were we — wildly ringing our cowbell and making a scene. We arrived on time to survey the parade of runners (many in costume) who came through just ahead of Mark. He arrived right on time. It was like clock work, if you use the faster of the predicted pace we had for him.
We snapped a few photos, then were back on our bikes just as quick as I could load up the camera — faster even. It was at that point when I came to fully appreciate the enthusiasm of my superhero supporter. You could almost see the cape waving behind him as he jetted down the road toward the local park. We arrived just minutes before Mark ran though. He’d made good time.
With that, we were off again — peddling down the road towards cheer spot #3. I fought back my uneasiness with cycling amongst the cars and followed behind a huffing and a puffing — yet exhilarated and wondering if I too would earn a superhero spectator cape by the end of the day. I mean, the only thing I’d promised Mark was that I’d be at mile 17 with a banana when he ran through.
Several miles up the road, we arrived on time to see a whole new set of runners go through. Then, after a bit, the usual suspects began appearing. Superman, the Rockin’ Robins, Caveman, and a girl Running-with-Scissors were just a few of the familiar faces.
Then came Mark — looking strong and obviously feeling good. He sure seemed happy to see us out there crazily cheering for him.
I was both proud of him and thrilled to have been the one to push him into his first marathon — even if it meant him accusing me of “breaking his foot” after he ramped up too quickly on the first marathon training attempt. Just look at him now!
Well Mark ended up finishing the race in 3:53:54. It was personal record (PR) for him. He later shared with me that he gave his medal to his mom, telling her that he ran the race for her because she was no longer able to run. Just so you know, Mark’s mom is nothing short of amazing — traveling the world (backpacking and the like).
In case you were wondering… I’ve yet to earn that superhero spectator cape but I was indeed at mile 17 with the coveted banana. Perhaps I’ll earn it the next time I’m out hooting & hollering, handing out high-fives and ringing that noisy cowbell. All I can say is, if you have people hanging out on the sidelines cheering for you, be sure to thank them. It’s not as easy as it looks. But it sure is rewarding.
Brit, Scott, Moo, Waa, Jeff, Lil Sis, Tilde, Cindy, YaYa… you all are awesome!