Before we dive into this article, let me say, that if you happen to be a supporter of a marathon runner: THANK YOU!!
Marathon training isn’t easy. For the runners or for the supporters of runners. Lots of early morning miles (or late evening miles), large chunks of time away, and lots of crazy emotions that go into marathon training. It’s not easy for the person putting in all the work or for the support crew of the runner.
So, thank you! Thank you for your dedication to helping your runner get what they need to get done!
If you are part of a runner’s support team and are traveling to the Boston Marathon with them, you know the marathon is the ‘party’ following all that training. Without a doubt, you’re going to want to make it special for them. Here are a few suggestions on how to do just that!
Make A Sign at the Expo (Or Before) to Provide Boston Marathon Support
Runners love signs. It’s a fact. At least this runner does!
When a sign is spotted on the course it can transport your mind, even if just for a second. You are no longer thinking about the race (or the pain!) and are focusing on the sign. It adds a lot of pep to the steps of runners when a meaningful sign is spotted. It can provide your runner Boston Marathon support that they didn’t even know they needed.
If you can, make a sign for your runner before you come to Boston. Or, if you can’t because of airplane travel (and not a ton of luggage space), look for opportunities to make a sign at the marathon expo.
Or as one more alternative, head to a local CVS or another drug store in Boston and grab a poster board and a pack of markers! Be sure to throw your runner’s name on the sign and a few other encouraging words.
Here are Ten Suggestions for A Sign to Make for the Marathon Course:
- You’re My Hero
- You’re NOT Almost There, But You’re Making Great Progress!!
- Tap to Power Up (Have a spot on the sign to ‘Power Up’)
- Keep Moving Forward
- Look How Far You’ve Come!!
- Enjoy Your Victory Lap
- Hey _____, You’re Running the Boston ‘FREAKIN’ Marathon!!
- Let’s Go Chase Some Unicorns
- Dang, You Make This Look Easy
- I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!
Tell Them Your Spectating Plans (And Backup Plans)
If you plan to try and spectate your runner along the marathon course, try to discuss and solidify your plans with him or her. Identify the miler marker you plan to try and spectate and coordinate when your runner thinks he/she will be there.
The Boston Marathon course is a little tricky to have more than one spectating spot on the course. If you can, find one spot that you know you can reach your runner in time and then aim to be at the finish area as well. Planning for too many spots means you might either just miss your runner at a spot or miss them at all of them.
Most runners know that traveling logistics on race day are a little nutso, so we extend a lot of grace to those coming to cheer for us. We understand that sometimes it just doesn’t work out.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
However, that being said, sometimes it’s a little bit of a drain to plan to have a spectator on the course and then not see them. It is totally possible that all your plans for spectating go south, even with just one spot. Yet, if you have just one spot you plan to see your runner and it doesn’t work out, it somehow is a little better than missing your runner at multiple spots. Again, we know sometimes this is just out of your control, we can just get a tad emotional when running. ‘Cause marathons drain all the energy and logic out of your body!
Play it safe and plan to spectate us at one spot! Oh, and when you are spectating, be sure to throw on some Boston Marathon gear, such as this Marathon Monday Hype Squad shirt. So they know you’re just as pumped about them running the Boston Marathon as they are!
Track Them on the App and On Their Phone to Provide Boston Marathon Support
To help coordinate exactly where your runner is along the marathon course, be sure to sign up for the official tracking program from the BAA. The tracking app should work fairly well, but like any type of technology, at times it can be a little off.
To help safeguard against missing your runner, see if you can track their location via their phone, in addition to the app. Obviously, this only works if they plan to carry their phone during their race, so check on that first. It is a great alternative to the tracking app and at times can be more accurate.
If worse come to worst you can take an average between the two apps, the official race tracking and phone tracking, to have a general idea of when your runner is going to be passing your spectating spot.
Send Them Messages During the Race
Did you determine that your runner does plan to carry their phone during the race? If so, there is another benefit you could take advantage of! Sending your runner text messages during their run! Possibly…keep reading…
Before you have a list of text messages you plan to send, double-check with your runner that they want messages during their race. Sometimes a runner could be listening to music, a podcast, or just enjoying the atmosphere of the racecourse and not want any interruptions. Just be sure to double-check and make sure they are okay with messages coming through.
If your runner doesn’t want to have messages come through, be sure to have your runner be sure to put their phone in Do Not Disturb Mode. That way there are no worries at all about disturbing your runner.
Have a Present and/or Flowers at the End of the Race
Who doesn’t love gifts?
To add a little extra-extra to the top of your runner’s amazing race accomplishments, it might be kinda cool to have a little surprise for them at the finish line. Flowers are always good, but if you have a hard time finding flowers, take a look below for some suggestions.
- Any Official Boston Marathon Race Gear: Perhaps your runner was eyeing something at the expo but decided against purchasing it (you have to draw the line somewhere!). Maybe snag that item for your runner and surprise them after they cross the finish line!
- A Super Cozy Sweatshirt from Magic for Miles: I obviously love the cozy sweatshirts featured in the Magic for Miles shop and I think your runner will too. Plus, they are probably going to be super eager to get out of their sweaty clothes and a hoodie is the coziest thing to slip on! Check out a few of my favorites from my marathon collection here!
- Fresh Socks: Okay, this one might seem a little odd, but having dry socks (and shoes) to put on after a race is like a breath of fresh air. Smart wool has some cozy ones that are good for helping keep feet nice and warm after your runner finishes the race.
Conclusion to Boston Marathon Support
There ya go! A few ways to make your runner feel extra special when he or she finishes the BOSTON MARATHON!!!!! Anything else you would do to support your runner on Marathon Monday?
If you’re looking for most Boston Marathon tips, be sure to check out this post here and here.