One of the highlights of my week was finding a collection of photos online from Sunday's half marathon. All taken by spectators, donating their time to be out on the course, offering up their photography skills, and then sharing their photos for free. This is a gift I treasure. If you're a regular racer at big events, you know that race photography is expensive. However, the perfect photos can keep those wonderful memories alive. And whenever you hit that slump, all you have to do is flip album pages to rediscover your #runjoy.
My favorite is this one at Sunday's finish line... I had no idea who the lady was, but was so happy to discover this picture on Facebook. It may be my profile picture forever...
I am not racing this weekend. Whew, it's been awhile since I've said that. Oddly enough, it took a lot of determination to keep it that way. There's a pretty cool event in our town this weekend... the Screaming Pumpkin Marathon & Relay. I was invited to be on three different teams in the past two weeks... and I was oh. so. tempted.
Unlike other races, anyone can win this race; running fast means nothing! It's a prediction race... participants begin running any time after 6pm and ideally finish right on the stroke of midnight. No watches or clocks are allowed. Costumes galore... and a ton of HILLS through a heavily wooded cemetery. All finishers who make it back before midnight receive a wand and a tiara; finish after midnight and you get a pumpkin.
I plan to
The topic of cowbells were brought up in one of my running group forums. Evidently, there are runners who despise cowbells at races. One man brought it up because there were some people (my kids) at this past Sunday's half ringing them. His exact words... "Nothing more than a cacophony of irritating noise!" (Now those could be words to describe my kids at times, but I'm pretty sure he was talking about the actual cowbell.) I couldn't help but think those are strong words against someone who came out to cheer for you. Geesh, how people love to critic...
|I am one talented spectator. |
I can ring 3 cowbells at once... in each hand.
If we're going to analyze spectators' cheers, I understand that the "best cheers" are when people use the perfect words at just the right time to make you feel re-energized. That is perfect world. But have you ever been a spectator? Man, it's a lot of work to vocally cheer non-stop for 2+ hours, especially when most runners just ignore you. I know because I've done it. Honestly, it can be more exhausting that actually running the miles myself. So sometimes you use a bell, clapper and yes, a cowbell, to fill the gap of quiet until you can produce more saliva to form words.
I absolutely love spectators and any noise/energy that they can bring to the race course. There's pretty much nothing that irritates me... well, except when they crowd/block the course. But my motto is BRING THE THUNDER! In fact, I've been known to yell out "Make Some Noise" or "More Cowbell!" when running past silent crowds. I truly appreciate their presence and enjoy the energetic distraction.
Obviously, I am in the dark on this subject, because I had no idea runners felt any different.
What do you think - YEA or NAY to the cowbell at races?
P.S. - If NAY is your vote, you're gonna want to avoid the Mo' Cowbell Marathon (self explanatory, I believe...) and other races like Hartford (where they actually deliver cowbells to the residents on the course in hopes that they'll come outside and cheer).