Today I had the opportunity to go to a race not as the racer but as the supporter, something I haven’t done for a number of years.
My wife has recently returned to running and had decided to enter a 5K race at Dorney Lake, part of the Hot Chocolate running series, and so this meant I got to play cheerleader, bag carrier and general consumer of junk food whilst she was racing.
I have to admit to start with I found it a little strange, I found myself wanting to go off and do a warm up prior to the race briefing! Instead I settled for a coffee and sausage sandwich.
After offering some final words of encouragement, think of an inspirational Churchill speech and you will get the idea, I was off to find myself a place to watch the start and enjoy the unfolding event.
The runners went past at a variety of paces from the leaders who appeared flat at sprinting to those further back who were more circumspect. As this was an event with a few different distances the course was a loop and the drink station was approx 250m from the start, and even on the first lap I saw several people taking a drink or a gel, which seemed a little odd to me, but each to their own I guess.
After the majority of runners had gone out to the back of the course I headed off to find my net vantage point, I settled upon a place in-between the two lakes and I noticed there was nobody else near me, I don’t think I smell but I will re-check on that later!
I found myself applauding each and every runner as they came past me, I guess I looked a bit odd a lone figure stood there clapping and offering words of encouragement, many runners said “thank you” others just acknowledged. Now I know that a little bit of support can help during a race and especially if it is at a place on the course where there are no people.
Overall I really enjoyed watching the race this morning, it is interesting to watch people race as you know everyone is going through their own battles and when you are in a race you don’t generally take any notice of anyone else, at least I don’t, so seeing them pushing on is good.
Credit to my wife who smashed her own pb for 5k but about 2 minutes but also now seems to have rediscovered her enjoyment for running so perhaps I might become a more regular spectator in the future.