Thursday, October 9, 2008

Marathon Signages

This is my very late contribution to this week’s Take It and Run Thursdays, which asks the question “What signs would you love to see while running your race, which in my case, would be the marathon, the New York City Marathon to be exact?”

Yesterday night, over dinner with an old friend who I haven’t caught up with in over a year, the subject of spectating and cheerleading for the upcoming New York City Marathon somehow became the main topic of conversation. It turns out that my friend, unbeknownst to me, metamorphosizes into a big sideline cheerleader during the marathon. Not only does she make it a point every year to attend the festivities from a certain favorite spot on the Upper East Side, but she does her best to holler and scream and make funny signs to inspire all the runners slogging their way up First Avenue. She’s so adept at her role that even though she’s not a runner herself, she has learned all the tricks of the trade, and understands too well what NOT to holler out during the race. “For example”, she told me, “never say ‘Almost there’ or ‘You’ve got only 8 miles to go!’ Runners hate that. Avoid negative comments all cost. Always say something positive. And you’ll get more of a response if you shout out their names.” Needless to say, I was very intrigued by the depth of her spectating expertise. She then asked me what some of my favorite marathon signs were from previous years, but because I was so taken back by the sudden discovery of my friend’s newfound talent, I wasn’t able to come up with anything for her on the spot. How pathetic, yeah I know. The conversation ended with her promising to make a unique and spectacular sign just for me at this year’s marathon. This should be interesting.

Twenty something more hours later, after spending half of my workday and the entirety of my twelve mile run this afternoon thinking about it, I can finally provide some answers to her question. I think if I had my way, I’d want to see these particular signages during my race. (There you go, SM, make it happen!)

1. In our minds, you’re all Kenyans. Go Kenyan! (Actually saw this one before…)

2. They’re almost running out of free beer at the finish. Better get a move on. (Would get me every time…)

3. Your feet are hurting only 'cause you're kicking SO MUCH ASS! (Don’t know where I saw this first, but it's still my favorite)

4. For this day, you are my hero. (Saw this one year at mile 21, and it almost made me cry!)

5. Anything with my name in it (even if it's not specifically for me!)

6. Keep the pace to win the race (can never get enough reminders)

7. Run like the rockstar that you are (positive affirmations are so inspirational!)

8. At mile 21…What wall? I don’t see a wall, do you? (mental deception…always a crowd pleaser!)

9. Only .1 of 1% can do what you’re doing right now. (In other words, keep telling me I'm special!)

10. Remember to breathe and to have fun. (Sounds so simple but so easy to forget mid-race)

Speaking of signs…here’s a funny flashback post from last year, titled “Top Ten Signs You Won’t Win The New York City Marathon”. I dare anyone not to smirk, snicker or chuckle at #10! Enjoy.


Xenia said...

I like #3 a lot too, but basically anything with my name on it is a winner. :)

Private said...

I've really got to run a marathon in the States. We really don't get the same type of support over here. Signs don't seem to exist at all. You may see the odd one saying "Go Daddy" but that's about it. Our streets are hardly lined with people the same way you see Boston and NY.

The only sign I can think of during a race was painted on the road in France before this big ass climb (think Tour de France style climb). It read (in French) "Welcome to hell"... nice!

Melanie said...

great list! I love #3, 4 is awesome, 8 and 9!

The Happy Runner said...

Love the rhyme of #6. I could just see myself repeating it over and over in my head. Or out loud, depending on how crazy I was feeling :)

I can't wait to hear about your friend's sign. With all of her expertise, I bet it will be a good one!

joyRuN said...

I really like #8! Great list :)

Julianne said...

Oh, your friend is inspiring me to be a sideline cheerleader at a marathon one day!! We need more cheerleaders like her!

I just noticed on your sidebar that you ran the SFM this year! Um, and finished it almost exactly an hour ahead me. LOL. Are you doing the NYCM again this year? My friend Jason finally got in via lottery this year. He lives in the UWS!

runner26 said...

My fav during my first marathon:

"Your legs will forgive you.........eventually."

I tried to laugh but it hurt ;)

*aron* said...

great post!! i love all those signs.

i am looking forward to testing out my spectating ability next weekend at nike!! should be fun :)

audgepodge said...

I love these signs - great suggestions! You're right, it does help to tell us how awesome we are :) when we are struggling through a race.

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