1. Some people are crazy.
  2. And by crazy I mean that they enjoy running long distances.
  3. This is an admirable pastime.
  4. A hobby that is even more fun, though less ab-inducing, is cheering on the crazies while they punish their bodies for a dozen or so miles.
  5. Here are the bare necessities for successfully cheering during a race:
  6. Driver
    Must not be afraid to park illegally, cut u-turns at a moment's notice, man the radio while the co-pilot acts as the...
  7. Navigator
    Must be able to switch between a map on mapmyrun map, the race website map (which gives mile numbers) and apple maps which has your blue moving dot. Navigator must get you close enough to the race course without getting you stuck in race traffic and must find safe(ish) parking places.
  8. Signs
    One side of your sign should be specific to your running friend. The other side should be generic so you can encourage all the strangers you will also be seeing along the course.
  9. Static
    These tips also work well for cheering at a full marathon.
  10. Static
    Brightly-colored wigs are optional but definitely make a big impression.
  11. Cowbells
    These will ensure that your running friend will see and hear your love for them.
  12. Adequate amounts of beverages
    Coffee on the way to the race because damn, it's early. Water during and after the race because your voice will be hurting.
  13. Proper Attitude
    Your only job (after navigating or driving) is to cheer those amazing runners on. They are dying and your smile, shouts of encouragement and signs will brighten their day and give them a natural boost of oxytocin which will help them finish the race.
  14. Speaking of shouts of encouragement, here are some commonly used phrases that are sure to bring joy to the crowd of runners coming your way:
    "You are amazing!" "You are so good at this!" "You're making great time!" "This runner's on fire!" "I'm so proud of you!" "Happy downhill!" "Way to go, stranger!"
  15. If you have all of these pieces working for you, your race-cheering experience will be unforgettable.
  16. Today @justjills and I saw our friend four times along her 13.1 mile race. It made her day but really, we were the ones who walked away glowing.
  17. Bringing happiness to other people is my favorite thing.