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Let's Hear it for the Spectators

October 24, 2013 by Coach Gail Kislevitz

The ING New York City Marathon is famous not only for its iconic five-borough course, but for the screams and cheers of its spectators. Whether they are your family, friends, or co-workers, they scream, they cheer, they clap, they hold up homemade posters for hours, and they keep you going.  Marathon spectators get us through the tough times. They are there – everywhere – when we need them most to shout words of encouragement. Imagine a marathon without any spectators and you kind of get what it would be like to run 26.2 miles without any cheering… boring! Let’s face it…we need them! Here are some tips for your spectators:

• Write your name on your TFK singlet:  Let everyone know your name so they can give you a personal shout-out.
• Have a designated spot: It’s easier for your family and friends to find you than it will be for you to search for them when you should be focused on the run. Have a designated area   where they will be but don’t get discouraged if they miss you. After all, they are scanning 50,000 runners to find that one special one – you!
• Acknowledge the cheers: Don’t take the crowds for granted. A simple smile, nod, or thumbs up is all they need. According to marathon lore, every time you thank a volunteer or smile at a spectator, one second is taken off your time.
• This is your time to give back to your family for the months of absenteeism. Make them part of your journey by acknowledging them on the course. Stop for a kiss, a hug. High-five the kid.

So give some extra lovin’ to your personal support crew. They will be there when you cross the finish line with dry clothing, your favorite snack, a big smooch, and be a soothing presence after digging deep to accomplish your dream. And who best to share that moment with than your family and friends.

The TFK Cheer Zone
As a special thanks to our TFK members, we have a designated TFK cheer zone at just the right spot:  the SE corner of 90th and 5th avenue just as you enter Central Park for the last few miles. Our cheer zone captain, Mary Haskins, will provide cheer swag: clappers, cowbells, bam bams and even some TFK gear. We’ll also have kids from our youth programs there who will give you a special cheer and thanks for all your fundraising. That should add a little zip to your stride! This is the perfect spot to take photos of your marathoner. See you there!

Categories: Human Interest