Reflections from the cheer squad

Last weekend, I was out on the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon course cheering for all the runners.  More than 30 runners from the We Run North York run crew were out there crushing it.  Not gonna lie, I had major FOMO the whole week leading up to race day but I ended up really enjoying cheering.  Here are some things that surprised me from the experience…

  1. I really enjoyed not having any pre-race anxiety before race day. I just went to bed and even had a pretty good sleep the night before, which is rare at the best of times.
  2. Unfortunately, I still had to get up at the crack of dawn because I went down with a friend who was doing the 5k, which started 45 minutes before the other races.
  3. I made funny signs for our cheer squad. “Smile if you are running commando” was my favourite.  So many people smiled, laughed, and even stopped to take a photo of me and the sign!  It made me so happy that I was able to help these runners in a small way.
  4. I built a wicked spreadsheet that estimated the times of when our runners would be at each cheer station based on a 4:30-6:30/km pace. It worked like a charm as we stationed ourselves at the 8, 17, 30, 37, and 41km marks.
  5. The STWM app rocks. I was tracking 30+ runners and it accurately predicted most people’s pace and let me know when they would cross my location +/- a couple of minutes.
  6. Even with the app though, it was still so hard to spot my friends, especially if they weren’t wearing our run crew shirt. I am so blind.
  7. At one point, I was holding a sign, tracking my crew on the app, looking out for them on the course, and trying to take a photo once I spotted them. This didn’t work so well!  Next time, we need more division of labour.
  8. After all our runners passed the 17k mark, I ran from 17k to 41k in 18 minutes…. Move over, Kipchoge! LOL
  9. After the race, we went to the afterparty at Craft Beer Market Toronto. Unfortunately, it seemed like all 25,000 runners also decided to go there so it was packed.  Luckily, I had made a reservation at the Duke of Richmond earlier but had canceled when we decided we were going to Craft.  I called them and they were still able to accommodate us.  Phew!
  10. The perfect antidote for race FOMO is to sign up for more races! So I signed up for the Mississauga Marathon and entered the lottery for Chicago.  My 2020 race schedule is starting to get filled up: Dopey Challenge, Chilly Half, Missisauga Marathon, Muskoka 70.3, and I’ve entered both the Berlin and Chicago lotteries.  May the odds be ever in my favour!  ?
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