How To Watch the Perfect Marathon…or How To Watch A Marathon Perfectly

Posing for a picture with Amanda Zaleski, the principal investigator of the study.

Posing for a picture with Amanda Zaleski, the principal investigator of the study.

My colleague Amanda Zaleski, herself a seasoned marathoner, recently wrote a very humorous column for the Middletown Patch entitled “26.2 Tips for Marathon Spectators.” Amanda’s insight comes from her own racing days– where she experienced firsthand the annoyance that the tapering or racing marathoner must internalize when interacting with non-running family and friends– in comparison to her recent role at the Hartford Marathon as an investigator conducting a research study and spectating the race.  Consequently, she decided to put together a cheat sheet for all of the loved ones in our lives who do not run.  I urge you to read the entire post, but some of my favorites are as follows:

  • DO NOT moan when the alarm goes off and we turn on the lights come race day. We don’t want to get up either.
  • DO NOT make a sign that says, “Go FIRST NAME.” We deserve more than that.
  • DO NOT complain when you see our iTunes bill. At Mile 20, music is our only friend.
  • DO NOT send us pictures of delicious margaritas. That doesn’t help.
  • DO confirm a post-race reunion plan before the race begins and DO NOT ask “what happened” when I arrive 10 minutes off my projected time. 
  • DO NOT eat our honey stingers, sports beans or GU’s. 
  • DO be supportive of our sacrifices. If we want to give up coffee/chocolate/alcohol/House Hunter binge sessions then support that. We will be back. Oh we will be back.
  • DO send us cards in the mail after the race. We are probably very depressed, let down and upset with ourselves. We are never happy with our race.
  • DO NOT tell us about your cousin’s, teacher’s, boyfriend’s neighbor who ran the Boston, London and Chicago Marathons all under 3 hours and all in the same year.
  • DO NOT make fun of how we walk to the beer tent. We don’t care how we get there, just get us there.

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