Friday, October 15, 2010

Spectators [A Group Project]

Race spectators - Runners love them.

We love their encouraging words and noises. Even just their presence is nice. We appreciate their travels through the CTA's tangled web of transit to get to us.

While running through a city lined with thousands (maybe close to a million) spectators, you are bound to see examples of good and bad.

Here's an attempt (with feedback from some fellow running friends) at outlining -


1. You're handing out stuff.
We are not picky. If it's edible and sounds halfway appealing, we're on it.
Special mention to anyone who hands out alcohol like the group of guys handing out beer in Pilsen in 2008 or JHo's friends at mile 24 with jello shots in 2010.

2. You have a creative sign.
You don't have to even cheer if you have a great, original sign. We'll remember it and then play 'Where's Waldo' looking for your sign as the race continues.
Some great ones we recalled -
It's OK to crap your pants.
You are ALL crazy.
Beer Up Ahead.
I Bet a Hangover Feels Worse
You are all Kenyans.

3. You Cheer.
You may be waiting for your friend to cross in front of you, but in the meantime, you're cheering for everyone in front of him. We don't care of your clap or whistle or scream. We are fine with all of it (except what is considered bad cheering).

4. You Have Good Music
Anything motivational and upbeat. It doesn't even have to be in English.

5. You Dance
If you've got a routine to entertain us as we pass by, we love it. Costumes or props make it even better. Anything goes. Good examples: The Boystown Cheerleaders and the Dragon in Chinatown. I look forward to seeing them each year.


1. You have a bad choice of words for cheering.
You mean well, and we love you for that, but your choice of words is killing us!
Examples -
At Mile 17 - "The Hard Part is Over."
At Mile 12 - "You're finished with the first half!"
At mile 22 - "The rest of this is easy."
At mile 23 - "You're in the home stretch"

2. You have a bad sign
This may be the graphic designer in me coming out, but any blown up photo of a person's head doesn't look good on a sign. The rest of us don't get it.

3. You run across the race to get to the other side of the street
We've been running for awhile and have one speed which we are trying to maintain efficiently. Everyone is moving is a one-directional sea, then suddenly, someone appears in front of you in his effort to cross the street. This really gets on our last nerve, because in most cases, they aren't even trying to get out of our way. We have to dodge these people so that we don't run in to them. Just stay on one side of the road while the race is going on, please.

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