I had to work really hard not to be incredibly jealous in the days leading up to the Chicago Marathon. The forecast for Sunday called for perfect running weather, and I was kicking myself for putting the kabash on training this year. But I had plans to spend all day around Mile 23 — vowing to hang around for the End of Race Vehicle and even the runners behind it.
Come Sunday, I did just that. I was actually surprised by the number of spectators by my side during the morning hours. It was nothing like the Mile 23 that I remembered from the years I’d run the Chicago Marathon. But as time went on, the crowds faded away. And that’s when my cheers got louder. I yelled like crazy, especially for the back of the pack, and was inspired by watching people of all shapes and sizes run past at all speeds. I ran with a few friends for a while, and just enjoyed my day.
This picture sums my experience up pretty well.
I had a blast making eye contact with struggling runners and yelling things like, “You’ve got this!” or “You are so strong!” A few women even blew kisses at me in gratitude. And you know what? I wasn’t even sad I wasn’t running. This is how I was meant to spend the marathon this year. It was perfect.
Do you like to cheer at races? What’s the best sign you’ve ever made or seen?