Tuesday, October 16, 2018

8 of Best Things I've Seen at a Race

I've run a lot of races and they are all memorable, not just for my own experiences but for what I've seen during the race. I've been passed by lots of superheroes and costumed runners. I saw Dr Dribble, a guy known for dribbling a basketball for entire marathons. I always push the power button on those signs and I high five all the little kids. These spectacles and sightings help keep things light and take my mind off my own misery, especially during a marathon.

Since a marathon is 26.2 miles, runners have plenty of time to take in the sights. If you've never run a big city marathon, it's an experience unlike any other. Besides the running, the entire experience is entertaining. I've run all the distances, but for some reason, it's my marathon experiences that stay with me the most.

Today I'm sharing some of the best things I've seen while running races. Thanks to Tuesdays on the Run for this great writing prompt that gave me a fun ride down memory lane.



No White After Labor Day: In the corral my 2015 Chicago Marathon, I found myself standing next to a guy wearing a skintight white unitard. Nothing was left to the imagination. While putting some distance between Mr Clean and myself, I couldn't help but hope for his sake that he didn't have any GI distress during the race. For that and other reasons, white is never a good choice for a long distance race.

Not him but you get the picture.
Groove is in the Heart: Hands down, I've never seen anything better than the Frontrunners at mile 8 of the Chicago Marathon. It's hard to run by without stopping. Guaranteed to put a smile on the face of the most hardcore runner.


The Shower is Going to Hurt: How many times have you seen a costumed runner and thought about the chafing? During one Chicago Marathon, I saw a guy wearing a medieval style tunic and helmet.  Many miles later, I passed the guy. The tunic was off and his head, chest, and back were completely raw.

Source
Who would have thought wearing this for 26.2 miles was a good idea? 

We're Fancy: Two summers ago, Holly and I ran a small 5k in Mt Laurel, Alabama. Instead of the typical plastic portapotty that we all love to hate, there was a "Portalisa", a portable bathroom complete with hardwood floors, a flushable toilet, running water, and AC. I made a couple of trips, just to enjoy the luxury!


No One Left Behind:  I've run races with amputees running on blades. I've seen runners pushing a disabled person in a wheelchair. I've seen guides running with blind runners. At this years R'n'R Chicago Half Marathon, there was a deaf runner. Actually, since learning about Achilles International, I've been more conscious of disabled runners being led by able-bodied runners. When I see that, it reminds me that my struggles are minor. No excuses.

source
A Brush with Greatness: Bart Yasso calling out my name at mile 13 of my 2015 Chicago Marathon. I met him at the expo and was so flustered, I left my keys at the RW booth. I had to go back and retrieve them. Yes, he's that charming.


The Beat of the Drums: The Big Sur Marathon is famous for its views and its hills. The biggest climb, dubbed "Hurricane Hill", is a 500 foot 2 mile incline, complete with gusty winds off the Pacific Ocean. To help runners on their journey, at the base of the hill is a group of Japanese Taiko drummers. We even got to bang on the drums before we started up the hill.


So Many Miles: Ticking away the miles was never more fun than at the Big Sur Marathon. Yes, the views were incredible and the hills were killer, but the mile markers never failed to put a smile on my face. This may have been my favorite mile marker, but there is one that features Bart Yasso.



What are some of the best things you've ever seen at a race? 

I'm linking up with Tuesdays on the Run: Marcia, Erika, and Patti.






36 comments :

  1. Hands down the topless, fit firemen spraying water on warm runners during the Paris Marathon in 2016.

    my favorite costume was the guy in Muenster running as a giant beer bottle. if he had a few after the race, you know he earned those suckers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, those firemen had to be yummy!

      Delete
    2. Man, I’ve run Paris twice and never saw topless firemen! I did love runnng by the Eiffel Tower though!

      Delete
  2. Bart Yasso on the race course is definitely a top favorite for me. I tend to miss out on a lot of things as I get too into my own head.

    -MCM Mama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that's why I don't remember much from my half marathons. With the full, there's just so much time to observe!

      Delete
  3. Vegas is the only big city race I have done so far. Mostly I do very small races since Mr. Judy is not a fan of crowds & he's my sherpa.

    I have seen all the runners with disabilities (and I hate to say it that way!). In fact, at NJ, I was playing chicken with a couple pushing their adult son in a stroller. They'd forgotten the front wheel, so they popped a wheelie the entire race. I congratulated them at the end & high fived the kid (and yes, I always touch the power buttons, although they were little help in NJ).

    I did meet Bart, briefly, at Wineglass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always think how scary it would be to be blind and running a marathon. Especially in a city like Chicago--we run over steel bridges and streets littered with potholes. The guides really have to be on their game--and they're running the marathon too!

      Delete
  4. There was a guy in Honolulu that I’d see every year running in a grass skirt and those wooden sandals (I can’t remember what they’re called). No shirt and I certainly don’t know what was under the skirt! 😳 I’ve seen a guy carrying the US flag at several different races in SoCal.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've seen guys carrying flags at races here too. Heck, I think it would be hard to carry one of those pace sticks!

      Delete
  5. Big Sur is definitely on my bucket list. It looks like an amazing marathon. I saw a guy running the Broad Street 10 miler (in Philly) in Roman-style leather thong sandals. His feet had to be so sore after the race! I can't imagine that he didn't have blisters and chafing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine running a sandals! Ouch!

      Delete
  6. Ok now "crappy" Elvis at RnRChi is top of mind once again. Bart might very well be my "person most often seen on a race course" He's awesome. Dang! Look at that PortLisa! Nice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Didn't Unitard guy hug you along course?

      Delete
  7. Hah I've see those fancy portable bathrooms at other events but not at a race...I wish every race would have them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They did smell tho. Like a portapotty.

      Delete
  8. I thought those Big Sur mileage markers were awesome, too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're fun to see as you tick off the miles!

      Delete
  9. Some of those are hilarious!! I always wonder how people can run in costume without chafing when I struggle to not chafe during a race wearing things I've regularly trained in!

    The best thing I've ever seen at a race came at my first Marine Corps Marathon. There was a young military amputee in his wheelchair and he also happened to be blind (I believe it was an IED). He was surrounded by his "crew," also in wheelchairs. They flanked him and provided instructions so he could push that marathon. One ran interference in the front advising runners that he was coming and asking them to please move to whatever side so he could pass/push safely. I bawled my eyes out and I was so motivated by him. When things get dark for me on a run, I always think of him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The disabled runners always make me grateful for what I've got going for me!

      Delete
  10. Disney races are always fun since the costumes are pretty creative. Then San Francisco has nude runners. My poor eyes! Surprisingly, Vegas was one of the most tame I've run.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I ran the WDW half marathon, costumes weren't a big thing. I can't believe how much that has changed!

      Delete
  11. I cannot believe that guy ran in the medieval tunic! Yikes!

    ReplyDelete
  12. A favorite "sight" I look for in all of my Iowa races is a particular guy pushing a friend in a wheel chair. I have seen these two guys many times...at the Quad Cities, in Des Moines (at both the half and also the full), at Dam to Dam, etc. Every time I see them, I tell them what inspirations they are for everyone. Seriously, any ache or pain or "struggle bus" moment I may be experiencing is a non-issue when I see these guys barreling up a hill.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have seen some crazy costumes and funny signs. I love the guy in the white uitard!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did not love him--I moved as far away as possible. That was one distraction I didn't need!

      Delete
  14. You've seen a lot of fun things! I did get to high-five Bart Yasso at the end of a race. I'd love to experience one of those fancy portapotties!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems like everyone has a Bart story to share!

      Delete
  15. Cant say I've seen anything that unusual but I would love to see THOSE portalisas!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hahah these are great - I agree about the costumes and chafing! My friend ran the F3 Half Marathon in Chicago in a T-Rex Costume. The pictures are hilarious, but the race was hard

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At the Shamrock Shuffle, I passed a runner in a T-rex costume! I can't imagine running an 8k, much less a half in that thing!

      Delete
  17. Here in South Africa we have a charity for testicular cancer called 'Love your nuts'- their ambassadors run in Speedos. I cringed this year to see the amount of chafe those chaps had!
    We have our collection of differently abled runners, ageing runners and Elvis consumes, but hats off to the guy locally who runs marathons and ultra marathons backwards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I'd want to see guys running in Speedos--lol!!!

      That backwards runner has skills!

      Delete
  18. So fun!! I've only run one marathon but saw all sorts of fun stuff along the way. So much to keep you entertained! THat guys in the white must have been a sight!

    ReplyDelete