In a workout rut? Or simply in need of some self-motivation? I suggest you attend and watch a marathon. Talk about inspiring.
On Sunday I went down to the 29th Twin Cities Marathon to cheer on and support friends running in the race. Somehow, this was my first time attending this beloved Minnesota event. I stood at the 6-mile mark by Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet with some family members on what was a gorgeous morning in Minneapolis.
I have to say that I was unprepared for how emotionally inspiring watching a marathon would be. First off, the fact that people actually volunteer to run 26.2 miles is beyond me and made me think how much encouragement from spectators must mean to them. Even though I was toward the beginning of the race, I could tell how much a simple sign, high five, or cheer meant to those running by.
What was even more touching was when a runner would spot someone they knew on the sidelines. Both parties would light up in a way that showed so much gratitude and support that you couldn’t help but get excited for them.
While watching on the side of the street, huge groups of runners would fly by as I would frantically scan faces to see if any of them were people I was there to support. I can’t explain how exciting it was to spot and flag down Julie, my first time marathoner friend, and a family friend who has run each and every Twin Cities Marathon to date. Very cool feeling. I wonder how they felt?
Another thing I loved watching was the extreme array of people running the race. Sure, there were definitely the typical runner types with the lean bodies decked head to toe in Under Armor moving at a brisk pace. But I was so pleasantly surprised to see a ton people running that didn’t fit that stereotype. I saw high schoolers, a man in the “80 plus” group, a girl in a tutu, a woman wearing a cherry and spoon costume, and people running for someone they recently lost, people who were clearly struggling but still pushing through. Those were the ones that were the most inspiring to watch.
I do not see any marathons in my near future. But I was still glad I went down to watch because marathons are one of those things that blatantly show how hard work pays off. Also, I’m a little less terrified to start my four-week personal training program next week (ugh).