Okay, let’s start with the very, very obvious: I don’t run. Sports were a very big part of my life growing up, and despite all of the things I did love about them, I also had nightmares about pre-season soccer and lacrosse, mostly centered around the impending doom of our timed long-distance runs.
That being said, Philadelphia is a running city. My friends are a nice little active bunch, and those non-runners in our group (it is getting smaller and smaller each race!) typically get out the door nice and early to cheer our crew on along the course. So after many races viewed and one big one on the horizon (aka tomorrow), I thought I would offer some of my top tips for navigating the race watching scene. 🙂
Tip #1: Check the course ahead of time. This will help you estimate what time your friend will be hitting a certain point, and, in the case of runs with a course that loops back around, help you find the place where you may be able to see them multiple times from the same spot.
Tip #2: Pick your viewing spot ahead of time. Once you determine the course, pick your spot. Text your running friends, and tell them exactly where you will be. Do not move from that spot (unless a cop asks you to, of course!) and definitely never change sides of the street. There are so. many. runners, and in my experience, they end up finding you before you find them, so just keep it parked!
Tip #3: Find out exactly what your friend is wearing. In the case that you have a big crew scanning the crowd for your buddies, you’ll want to know what they’re wearing. Hats, t-shirt or tank, shorts or leggings – the whole thing, color coordinated. Don’t forget about layers! Believe me, looking for a brunette in a yellow short sleeve shirt, blue shorts, and green hat is a whole lot easier than looking for just a brunette in a crowd of 40,000.
Tip #4: Do not depend on the text alert run trackers. These alerts should potentially be helpful with keeping you posted on the progress of your pals so you know when they’re coming. And sure, they have definitely been pretty accurate in some of our city’s races, but Broad Street never seems to work for me. Perhaps it’s due to all of the cell phones in one place, but I usually get updates waaaay after my friends have already run by.
Tip #5: Prepare to be dizzy! Especially in the case of the BSR, there are thousands and thousands of people running by you, and watching that steady stream can do things to your head I did not know were possible. So make sure to take a few breaks, step back, and reset your eyes. It will help, and then you can go back to watching people actually running 10 miles before 10am. 🙂
I’d like to wish the best of luck to all of my Her Philly readers and friends who will be running tomorrow – I’ll be there cheering you on! xx