Tuesday, March 8, 2011

My First Half Marathon

The Cleveland Half Marathon was my first big race. This year, it will be the first time I've ever been there without entering the event. Again, the Cleveland Half Marathon will by my first big race--as a dedicated spectator.

Yes, it's true I watched the Akron Marathon while Martini ran it one year, but that was before I was much of a runner. And I simply watched from outside my apartment, down at a neighbor's watch party. This will be a whole new experience.

Today, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported the changes to the race course have been finalized, and I've assembled my preliminary "fan plan" to cheer on the Enthusiast as she runs her first half marathon. While she runs 13.1 miles, I'll be sprinting from location to location so I can give her little energy boosts throughout the race.

However, as a first-timer, I may need some advice. Where do you racers like to see your fans? I'm aiming to see the Enthusiast start, at the halfway mark, near the end and at the finish. For me, the crowd carries me through the early miles, but it starts to get really tough from the halfway point onward. Hence, my plan.

What say you? Is that enough to keep a half marathon virgin upbeat?

10 comments:

Jamoosh said...

Dedicated Spectator = Athletic Supporter. Good for you!

Morgan said...

You and Spike can team up to cheer us on! Oooo there's an idea, you guys can wear matching cheer suits! :)

Ok now seriously... decide ahead of time which side of the road you're going to be on and where so it's not so hard for her to find you. Despite your best intentions she will probably see you before you see her. Hold a balloon. Sounds random BUT it's so effective. Lots of people have posters and what not but hardly anyone thinks to use a balloon. Pick something incredibly obnoxious like a giant #1 or Spongebob or something. She'll see it from further away and it'll perk her right up to know you're just ahead. And although she'll want you to see her finish it might even be better to set up shop a mile or two from the finish and run it in with her til the chute starts, she'll draw from your freshness and you'll help her dig deep to finish strong!

Looking forward to meeting you both!!! Yay for athletic supporters!!!

Paul said...

Just one word:

Cowbell

Al's CL Reviews said...

During her training runs figure out where/if she gets a block at a certain point (I get mine at mile 10). I would have loved someone, anyone to be at mile 10 of the race when I got a block. Such as it was the one person I remember was a lady at a church who gave me a Snickers at Mile 10.5).

That's where you need to be.

Nitmos said...

Are you faster than her? You could just keep running up ahead every 1/2 mile, stop, wait, yell a few "Go, Enthusiast, Go" as she passes and then take off again, passing her to get to a spot another 1/2 mile further up. That'd be pretty motivational right? Right?!?

Spike said...

I was going to give you real advice, but Red did that. Then I thought I'd say something scarastic, but Nitmos did that perfectly...so my only other suggestion is to rent Segways.

Robin said...

I guess it's up to me to give the details! The course is reversed from last year, which is good because the concrete shoreway boring and it'salwaysgoid to get boring out of the way first while you're still excited about running. Happy Dog is a good spot with live music on Detroit. There is so much crowd support in Ohio City and Tremont. But where you would be the biggest help is on the Lorain bridge - it's a freaking mile long and comes at miles 10-11. You could run half of it then tell her you'll meet her on the other side at the finish.

Jess said...

When Matt comes to see me race he sees me at the start and finish and if I'm lucky once on the course. (Just depends on the course layout)

Once he tried to see me several places and missed getting back to the finish line by the time I got there. It's great seeing your fans on the course, but I can pull energy from random fans too, so I don't mind just the start and finish approach.

Jess said...

I think your spectating spots sound perfect!

Laura said...

I think your spots sound perfect as well. My tip would be to get a mini dry erase board (like the kind they put on college dorm doors) so you can easily have a different sign each time you see her. And being able to draw it on the fly will help you to compose really relevant/timely messages, like, "I see you holding your crotch and already scoped it out for you - the portapotty's that way ---->"

Though you would probably need a pretty big dry erase board for that message...

One tip from the many races where my mom has come to spectate and missed me: social though you may be, don't get so involved in talking to the other spectators that you miss your own runner or make her have to yell to you, "Hey Viper, here I am!"