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635 Ten Ways to Improve Marathon Cheering 2012-05-03

Marathon cheering

At the recent Country Music Marathon we watched the marathon cheerers and the runners. Many of the runners had needs that were not being met by the racing event. A few of the runners said 'thanks' just for us standing on the sidelines and clapping. The runners' gratitude was appreciated but we could do much more.

So for fun, we came up with the ten ways to improve the Marathon cheering. Remember cheering is not about the cheerers, it is all about the participants.

10. Appearance - make sure the area is suitable for runners to run close to the curb. Trim the trees, bushes, and hedges. Sweep the street if necessary. Put out trash receptacles - the runners don't want to carry their trash for an extra step. A trash bin near the street allows the runners to toss, anything they are tired of carrying. Chairs are needed for the team of cheerers to take a rest break.

09. Food and Drink - the event gives the runners ample food and drink, but a runner might still need a bit of water to wash a frog out of their throat or just a bite of food. Ice should also be available.

08. Water Hose - have a hose nearby to wash away any mishaps and to also provide a cool mist to the runners on hot days like last Saturday.

07. Signs and Banners - these simple messages could be used to identify the cheering station, pose questions, advertise services, and wish cheer. There's nothing better than a good, "Rah!"

06. Masseurs - provide a massage table and masseur for the runners who unexpectedly develop leg cramps. Of course a massage would also be available for the cheerers who might suddenly get a neck cramp or some other malady.

05. Relief Station - a special tent set up as a latrine. Yes, they have privies on the course, but this one would be special. It would need to be a two-door model. Enter the facility though one curtain door, use the portable loo, and exit through the other curtain door. The facility would also need music, a fan, and hand sanitizer of course.

04. Cheering Aids - nothing rings out a cheer like a good old cow bell. They are easy to use and loud. Ear plugs might be needed by the end of the event. A large foam hand also brings cheer. If the hand was mounted on a long pole it could be used to high five runners some distance away from the curb.

03. Running Supply Store - a small curb side store to supply runners with important items such as Sportslick, a visor hat, cooling cloths, socks, running shoes (especially for those trying to run barefoot or in barefoot shoes)

02. Cheering Leader - someone assigned to monitor the cheering. They would have authority to reposition cheerers along the curb, recruit passer-bys to become cheerers, and to require breaks of the cheerers as they become weak from over-cheering. The cheering leader would be responsible for the cheers and the well being of the cheerers.

01. Karaoke - yes, a loud karaoke machine would add music and help with the cheers. Runners could even come up and sing a verse or two. The Marathon stations bands throughout the course, but they don't have live karaoke. The one problem that might occur is the runners might stop to hear more.

Regardless if you take our advice on how to improve marathon cheering or not, make sure you at least go to the course and root for the thousands of participants. They appreciate your efforts and you will have a good time.

Happy cheering trails


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