What's good for the goose ain't always good for the gander.
I posted on Facebook about how everyone should go to a marathon at some point in their lives and cheer someone on. You don't have to know the participants, but it helps. I've been to five marathons now, because Alan ran his 5th yesterday in Waco, Texas. Alan discovered that Waco is quite hilly. Like REALLY friggin hilly he said, but he might not have said "friggin."
Here are a couple things I like about marathons. Every runner crossing that line has gone through strenuous, ridiculous, difficult training to get where they are. (I think they're all crazy, but it's a kind of crazy I can respect.) So as each person finishes, most spectators are cheering and clapping for perfect strangers. See the guy sitting down to the left?
But I also like to watch the spectators that are there cheering for someone in particular - they're so excited and probably relieved that their loved one made it, and sometimes they're emotional. They make signs, they take pictures, they video the event, and many times they run the last 100 yards or so with their runner. And fellow runners are great cheerleaders for each other. Look at these guys:
Look at those faces! Awesome.
I'm usually by myself at these events, so I have sat and watched a lot of this. It's cool. But nothing as cool as when you see YOUR runner coming. So go find you a marathon friend to experience this with! Yell loud and take pictures and brag about them relentlessly.
See that little speck about to come under the bridge? That's my runner. Seems like a lonely sport, doesn't it?
And here's the finish:
Medals are big in Texas:
Okay, so there are a couple things I don't like about running events. Some runners are uber showy about how great they are. I guess you have that in any sport though. I also don't like waiting and waiting and waiting. I know when Alan should be showing up, and when that time gets closer I tend to get antsy. And lastly, I don't like sitting there feeling envious. I want to be that healthy and fit and achieve an amazing goal like that, but I just can't. My body has let me know repeatedly that I'm not cut out for being an athlete. I ran my little 5K on Saturday with what appears to be a strained calf muscle. If it's not that, it's tendonitis or shin splints, or whatever.
So I think this is an area where I need to remain the spectator, although I might attempt a 10K when I'm all healed up. I'll never make it as far as Alan and some of our friends, but I can be a great cheerleader on the sidelines. :-)