This morning I spectated at a 5k/10k/half marathon, and watched - in disbelief - as hundreds of people stood silently by as the 5k winner... then the 10k winner... then the half marathon winner crossed the finish line.
I know it's the morning, people, but show a little enthusiasm!
|Cheering done properly!|
Source: Nationaal Archief
1 - Cheer for everyone.
There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of runners passing you. They all worked hard. You, on the other hand, are just standing there looking bored until the one person you know comes by. Then you wake up for 8 seconds and clap. So now we know your hands work.
Stop being lame and just cheer already!
2 - If you don't know what to say...
Yelling "looking good" or "looking strong" always works, even if (especially if) the person looks miserable. "Woo hoo!" is appropriate. "Good job" is appreciated. If you get tired of repeating those things, just clap.
3 - What you should never say...
Never, ever tell runners "You're almost there" unless you are within arm's reach of the finish line... and then that phrase makes you Captain Obvious anyway.
So better to just NEVER say it. If you aren't a runner, you have no idea what "almost there" means. For example, mile 18 of a marathon is not "almost" anything. And if you are a runner you probably already know better.
4 - Do not crowd the course.
We know you want that photo of your best friend / significant other / Great Aunt Millie. Find a way to get the photo without tripping other runners. OK?
5 - Ringing a cowbell is the social equivalent of bringing jello salad to a potluck.
Some people love it. A few people will eye you with open hostility.
I am squarely on the cowbell-loving side of this fence, but you should be aware that not everyone is fond of the clanking clamor.
In short... You look lame standing there with your hands in your pockets.
(You might even have fun.)
PS - If you want pointers, the Houston Olympic Marathon Trials crowd shows you how to do it right. :-)
What's your biggest spectator pet peeve?
What would you add to this list?