From Runner To Spectator: How I Plan To Support My Sister In Her First Marathon
My sister signed up to complete her first marathon, and even better than that, she is running for a cause. I am already so proud of her (even though the marathon isn’t until the fall), and I see this as the perfect opportunity to think about and share my ideas on how I can best support her in training, during the race, and post-race.
In Training: Encourage & Support
I completed my first marathon as part of a class, so I had running buddies already ingrained into my training. It was these training partners, plus the encouragement I received from my family and friends, that helped me successfully train for my marathon.
My sister’s first marathon training plan will look a little differently than mine, but I want to help her find the community and training buddies she needs, even if that means providing it myself when I can. I want to provide advice, support, and encouragement wherever I can to make sure she is able to be successful in her training.
During The Race: Be The Best Spectator Ever
I didn’t realize how much I would enjoy and appreciate having my family and friends cheering me on at my first marathon until I was actually running it, and there they were, cheering me on. I will always remember my friends at mile 23 holding up a sign they made special for me, and how the smile they put on my face helped push me to finish my race strong. I still remember and laugh about my dad at mile 11 running along for a bit and then congratulating us for being half-way done (close dad, but not quite).
Having spectators cheering me on made finishing my first marathon that much more special, and I want to do the same for my sister. My spectator tactic is still to be decided, but I assume it will include lots of loud cheering, signs, and other fun shenanigans (t-shirts maybe?).
Related: How to Be a Good Marathon Spectator
Post-Race: Food, Recovery & Congratulations
For me, I didn’t realize I actually just finished a marathon until a few hours later, when the hunger finally kicked in. My parents taking my friends and I out for a meal at that time was one of the best post-race gifts I could ask for.
When my sister finishes her first marathon, I plan to provide the best post-race gift that she could ask for, whether that is food, a massage, or a pillow. Also, all the congratulations and support I can give will follow during her post-race recovery.
Related: What You Need After the Big Race
IT IS JUST AS IMPORTANT TO BE THE SPECTATOR AS IT IS TO BE THE RUNNER:
As runners, we form a community. Most of the time we run for ourselves, but we are still all in this together. We can’t always be the one running the race, so why not get out there and support others. Our fellow runners need us, just like we needed them in our last race. We can achieve a lot on our own, but together, we can achieve more.
So, here’s my start to spectating more. Here’s my start to not only being a runner but a supporter of runners, those I know and don’t know. Will you join me?
I am still looking for ideas on how to support and be the best spectator I can be for my sister’s upcoming marathon. How have you supported your friends or family members in training for and running a race?