This is quite obvious to people who want to support, but I can't even count the number of times I have encountered volunteers who are tasked to cheer and support get bored doing what they were told to do, have their eyes glued to smartphones and/or sleeping when we are suffering. We get it, you have been on site since the wee hours of the morning, even from the day before and you are just here to clock CIP hours and it gets really exhausting to be doing the same thing over again. But running is in all honesty, physically harder! When we are at our wits end at the end 30KM mark of a marathon, even a simple 'YOU GOT THIS!!!' perks us up!
Have creative cheers and signboards!
I remember vividly the occasions which I smiled and laughed in races I was exhausted to the point of dying. I have participated in countless races and these moments of cheer and support from spectators/volunteers are so memorable I forget that I am running.
I supported the Great Eastern Women's Run in 2014 and 2015 and had an enjoyable time screaming my lungs out for the ladies!
Signs like the image above are welcome distractions! Sometimes, a little bit of humour takes the pain of the physical strain of long distance races as we momentarily forget we are in a race :).
STAY OFF THE COURSE
For safety purposes! There is a reason why barriers are erected at places expected to be crowded with participants and spectators. Even though you found a section of road not barricaded or blocked off, runners appreciate your effort to stay off the route as many of them would be too focused to expect someone to suddenly pop out of nowhere wanting to give them a high five or food/drink handouts. Don't become a collision hazard!
Keep your hands off official drinks/food!
I think this should be the most obvious of the lot. If you didn't pay for something, don't take it, even though they may have excess. It says a lot about your integrity as a person. These stations have only enough to cater to the bulk of participants, and if you do help yourself to these entitlements, you are depriving a participant who has a more pressing need. (If the volunteers/race officials offer it to you, that's a different case!)
Supporters, spectators and volunteers are one of the best people in the world, and they deserve all the thanks they can get! Most races cannot happen without them - especially volunteers, and the extra help by spectators is greatly appreciated in enhancing the race experience. Keep these tips in mind, and go scream your lungs and heart out if you are not participating!
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