I think it’s true for most runners that fan support can go a long way in getting you through those tough stretches of a race. Whenever I hear someone shout my name, I get an a instant mental and physical boost that makes me want to run harder and faster. What’s funny is that during this year’s Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon, I wrote my name on some tape and stuck it to my shirt, and throughout the race, I heard people calling out my name. It caught me off guard every single time, but the effect was still there. This crazy stranger thinks I can do something, so I better do it.
So suffice it to say I was happily surprised when my sisters announced that they will be traveling to DC to cheer me on in the Marine Corps Marathon! My middle sister (and niece and nephew) watched me finish the Little Miami Half Marathon this year, and even though they were at the very end (since essentially the race was run on a trail), it really meant a lot to see their faces after two hours of running through the woods.
This whole scenario could prove to be a great little adventure in the making because my oldest sister has never flown. She’s a nurse, so maybe a doctor friend will give her something to calm her nerves before she boards the plane. Or if she doesn’t, we should get some funny stories out of her experience.
We”ll have Saturday to spend together before the race on Sunday, se’re going to find something to do that doesn’t require walking all over the city before dinner and an early bedtime. We’re also finalizing plans to find a spot for them to watch me during the race. I’m thinking the area around the John Ericsson National Memorial (close to miles 11 and 16) will be best, but if there’s a better spot or if anyone has spectator viewing tips, please leave a comment and let me know.
For awhile, my parents contemplated driving through DC on a mini road trip through New England, but it didn’t work out. So instead, they surprised me with a gift certificate to Ken Combs’ Running Store that will cover the shoes I’ll wear in the race!
It really means a lot to me that my family is being so supportive, and I’m sure all their support will come in handy when I’m tired and don’t feel like pushing through.
What about you? Have you ever had a particularly tough run where a supporter helped you finish?