I’m not a marathon runner by any means, but my girlfriend runs quite a bit. Personally I stick to the sprints and I’m pretty confident that I can beat most people in a 40 yard dash, however once the distances start getting to be more than the bases in baseball/softball, you’ll lose me. So this weekend was the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon in Chicago and my girlfriend’s first 1/2, which she did great on.
I was pretty impressed with the overall layout of the course and the bands that were playing, since that was the whole point of the “Rock and Roll”, there were bands at every mile marker along the course. The whole event was put together very well, it was very organized and everything went very smooth. The only thing I found interesting was the enthusiasm some of these people have for running, and I’m not talking about the runners themselves, I’m talking about the people on the sidelines.
Don’t get me wrong, running a 1/2 marathon is definitely an accomplishment and something that I could never do (we’ll just blame it on my lung problems, and no I don’t smoke), but these people cheering can be insane. I was there to support my girlfriend and did see her as she passed the 5 mile mark, the 12 mile mark and then the finish line, but I was not yelling and screaming, holding signs, or running with her cheering.
At one point I was standing near the 12 mile marker waiting for her to pass by and some older man and his wife walked up and stood directly in front of me as if I wasn’t there looking for someone just like they were. Only they were just cheering in general and never once did it seem they were cheering for someone they knew personally. If you’re T-shirt had writing on it, these 2 people were screaming their heads off for whatever cause you were running for. Some people even wrote their names on the front of their shirts for what I’m assuming was to get personal cheers because they have no friends to come watch them run….
This gave me a little more motivation to actually run one of these races, definitely not the 1/2 marathon but maybe a 5k or something, just so I could write a name on my shirt and have people yell it out. And no that name would not be my own, I would probably write something like “douche” just so I could hear people yelling “Go Douche” as I run around town. I mean these guys were screaming the names of people, so to hear them screaming douche into a crowd of people would have to be pretty amusing. Then maybe I’d have a friend run a little behind me and whenever anyone yelled out “Come on Douche” he would promptly look at those people and ask them why they are calling people douche, making everyone completely uncomfortable. I was also a little confused by some of the “clever” custom printed t-shirts that people were wearing to promote running. There was one that said “My sport is your sports punishment”, ok I completely get the idea behind the shirt. If you mess up doing something in practice for another sport your coach usually makes you run, got it. But it’s usually only for the sports that also involve running as a big part of the game, therefore, while it may seem like a punishment it will actually help you in that sport overall. Baseball, football, soccer, you need to run in all of these, so while runners may consider it a punishment in our sports, it’s more like conditioning than anything.
So while running long distances isn’t my thing, after witnessing how long a 1/2 marathon actually is and what it takes to complete, I must say it is quite an accomplishment. I don’t think I’ve run a full mile since we were forced to do it in high school and even then I could barely do it without almost dying, so congrats to those that have completed a 1/2 Marathon.