CIM Spectating

Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4am.  I grabbed some coffee and toast with peanut butter and packed my bag full of warm clothes, water, moleskin, larabars and gu.  Sounds like any normal race day morning, but I wasn’t the least bit nervous.  I wasn’t running; I was spectating!

cheering at CIM

(thanks for the photo, Jana!)

Jana picked me up at 5am, and we headed up to Sacramento.  The drive went by so quickly!  We had a few adventures along the way in search of a gas station and Starbucks, but we finally found both after a brief, but luckily uneventful run in with Sacramento’s finest.  We picked up Karin right by the finish line and headed out to mile 7 on the course.

A ton of Bay Area bloggers were running CIM this year; Sesa, Kristine, Angela, Michelle, Naomi, Caitlin, Courtney, Alyssa, and Katie were just the ones we saw!  You’ll have to check out their blogs for each of their race recaps.  The looked strong every time we saw them, and there were a lot of PRs out there on the course today!

Some tips for spectating a race:

  1. Hire Jana as your driver.  She has both run and spectated at CIM before, and the girl is a traffic ninja, not to mention a parallel parking magician.  Both highly necessary skills for successful spectating.
  2. Get a picture of all your runners before the race if possible.  Karin had seen a bunch of people that morning and got a group shot which helped us match outfits to runners.  When hundreds of people are running by it helps to know that you’re looking for red shoes or a pink tank top.
  3. Have a list of everyone’s bib numbers.  You can look for their bib numbers as they go by, but it’s also super helpful to look up their split times on your phone so you can tell when to expect them.
  4. Make bright signs with silly sayings and hold them up high!  I’m pretty sure some of our runners spotted the “Jana <3 ‘s You!” sign before we spotted them.
  5. Cheer like it’s your job! Look for people with their names on their shirts so you can cheer them on by name.  Find out who the people around you are cheering for and cheer for their person when they come by.  These people are running a marathon, and if you can give them an extra push by being loud and crazy, then be loud and crazy!
  6. On that note, do NOT be the person yelling “you’re almost there!” at mile 20.  I actually never yell “you’re almost there!” Every time I’ve ever heard someone yell that to me in a race, I’ve found it defeating and not motivating.  “Almost” is definitely a relative term when you’re running a marathon.  At the finish we were screaming “Smile, you did it!” as people crossed the finish line, and we got tons of smiles for that one.

After the race, when we finally met up with some of our runners, I wished I’d thought to bring a thermos with cocoa or coffee or anything warm.  They all looked so cold, even after they’d changed into warm clothes! 

I had such a blast spectating today and found all of the performances so inspiring.  I knew I had to keep myself away from a computer for most of the day or I’d briefly black out only to find myself credit card in hand staring at a race registration confirmation for the San Francisco Marathon.  I have a half marathon/long run in January and then my goal half marathon in  March.  I promised myself I wouldn’t train for another full until I broke 2 hours in a half marathon, so I guess I’ll just have to start laying down some serious miles between now and March!

Congratulations to everyone who ran today, and thank you to all the CIM staff and volunteers for a wonderful event.


CIM Spectating — 13 Comments

  1. Great job spectating! You guys are so fun!!! Had I known you guys were driving up that day, I might have actually rallied to join you 🙂

    Your last paragraph was like reading my mind. I always tell people I’m retired from marathons now (with maybe an exception for Disney bc those are just fun) but I’ve been thinking lately that MAYBE I’d consider it again but only if my running pace is improved. So now I just want to focus on better half times which sounds exactly like what you’re doing!

  2. So glad you guys came out! The signs were awesome!

    When it comes to spectating, you were all shining examples of DOING IT RIGHT!! (And I totally agree — In my book, “You’re almost there!” is definitely DOING IT WRONG unless the finish is actually in sight.

  3. I actually heard someone call “Just a few more miles!” at Mile 25 … I was sort of out of it at that point, so hearing him sort of freaked me out.

    So lovely to see you three out there at the finish! Ha ha, I totally wasn’t expecting it. I’m sure I looked like a deer caught in headlights. Thank you so much for cheering! You really lifted my spirits. 🙂

  4. Awesome race tips. Your “You’re almost there” tip reminds me of running CIM two years ago, and some random guy yelled “This is the last hill! All downhill from here.” And he was WRONG. I still haven’t forgiven him for that. Great signs, BTW

  5. Pingback: Looking Back on 2011 | Boston to Berkeley

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