Crowd support for someone running in a road race is very important. It can definitely help a runner through any rough sports that they may be having. The cheers from the crowd can also help move a runner along faster and possibly to a personal record for the distance. Here are some tips to help you to be a super supporter. Trust me, the runner that you are there for - and other runners - will greatly appreciate it!
Make a sign for the runners. When I'm participating in a road race, I absolutely love to read all the signs. You can do something funny or supportive. Also, if you are there with a runner, make sure that you do a sign with their name on it. It will definitely give them some encouragement.
Don't get in the way of the runners. Nothing is more aggravating than to be running along in a race and have to move the crowd out of your way - or to use extra energy to run around them. Respect the runners and stay out of the way.
Shout encouragement to the runners. Good things to say - "way to go", "looking good", "you can do it", etc. These are phrases that encourage runners. Another thing that really helps runners is to include their names. Many runners write their first names on their shirts and many races include the runner's first name on their racing bib. If you see their name - use it. It's great to hear people yelling your name in a race.
However, don't yell things like - "you're almost there", "just a little farther", etc. I've been in marathons where someone in the crowd always shouts "you're almost there" when we are 2 miles away from the finish line. It's OK to yell that if you are standing just down from the finish line - just don't do it if you're not. It can confuse the runners - but most of the time, just makes them mad.
Have an after race plan with your runner. Discuss before the starts exactly where you will meet up with each other. The finish line area can be a little crazy, so you need to have a certain place designated. Many races have "family areas" where you can meet up. You can also pick a certain landmark if you have checked out the course in the day before.
Runners love to have their support at their road races; I know it's important to me. You'll be surprised how good it makes you feel, also!
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