I’ve been doing a lot of this lately, spectating, and I have been having a blast!
Before I begin, last Saturday I was the official spectator for my blogging buddy, Hailey@StridingStrong at a local 5k. She’s pure awesomeness.
I hadn’t met Hailey “in real life” but we’ve chatted quite a few times in the past year trying our best to get together. We live in the same freaking city! But, we kept missing each other. Until last weekend.
She told me she’d signed for this 5k. This was big news as Hailey doesn’t race often–not like someone else I know (Oh Helly…). I
shockingly hadn’t signed up and figured this would be the perfect chance for me to meet her and see her run!!
I’ll be using her race to explain:
1.) A different point of view
This girl. Amazing.
She’s tiny, soft-spoken, (gorgeous), and just the sweetest person ever. BUT, holy wowzers can this girl run!!! Hailey is probably one of the nicest people I’ve ever met yet there is a fierce strength about her. The Hailey I spoke with pre-race and the Hailey that toed the start line were two different girls. I was able to snap pictures of her before and after that caught this transformation.
Seriously one of the reasons I love spectating…
Like I mentioned, not participating in the race let me see it and the runners in a different light. These weren’t people I was running against, these were people I was admiring, studying, revering.
I spoke with Hailey pre-race and she said she was nervous. I definitely get the pre-race jitters too but seeing her, someone who does what she does very, very well, nervous reminded me that fast people are human too. Just because they’re good at what they do doesn’t mean they don’t experience anxiety.
Since I wasn’t getting ready to start a race, I was really able to see the different emotions on the runners as they began the race. From the ones who were at the very front, fierce and determined, to the ones starting from the back, at ease and jovial–it was really cool to watch.
2.) Part of the crowd
I got to meet Hailey’s family–her brother drove an hour to see her run and her mom had been at the same race the year before. I liked that because I wasn’t participating, I was able to see the support group, the people who motivate Hailey.
Same thing with the rest of the crowd. I knew I didn’t have much time to mingle. Hailey would be back under 20 for sure. But I chatted with some of the race volunteers, other spectators who were watching their sisters, moms, co-workers. I would likely never see these people again, but for that morning, we had something in common.
3.) No pressure
There was no goal time for me except making sure I was at the finish to see Hailey cross. The thing about spectating that is probably the most enjoyable (for me anyway) is that there is no pressure looming. I’m simply there to support. Of course, if the race doesn’t go well for whomever it is your supporting, there’s slight pressure in making sure they’re okay, that you do the best you can to comfort. But there is no feeling of frustration in not having met a goal.
Hailey crossed the finish line in 17:55, meeting her goal of sub 18 and 5 seconds away from her 5k PR she’d set in college. First female overall.
She said it was progress. (Love that girl.)
4.) The Signs!!
I had to make Hailey a sign. I mean, I just had to. And the English teacher in me had to take advantage of Hailey’s name. Students, what is my sign an example of?
Every time I run a race, one of my favorite things to do is read the signs of the spectators. They’re so many good ones!! I don’t know about you, but I’m always thankful of those who take the time to make them. They help out more than I think spectators know.
Free fun. Free inspiration. Free motivation. Free learning. Free experience.
So much you take away–all for free.
I hope you all have a good weekend! ❤ , helly
–Do you enjoy spectating races? What’s your favorite thing?
–What do you notice/enjoy about spectators while you’re running?