Somewhat idle question here, folks, but I’m truly curious. Between working at finish lines and being sidelined from races by injury, I spend a lot of time cheering for runners. At least when I’m racing, any cheering is better than none, but it’s hard to come up with short, supportive things to say, particularly for people you don’t know well (or at all). I tend to fall back on these chestnuts, adding the person’s name when I know it.
- Way to go!
- Looking strong/good/smooth!
- All the way in!
- You got this!
So what cheers have you most—or least—appreciated when you’re racing?
I’ll try out the best suggestions at Saturday’s Easy as Pie 5K and Sunday’s PGXC race.
Least favorite, you’re almost there.
It’s never true!
I figure that it’s better to give a distance rather than “almost there.” But it has to be a useful distance, like 200 meters, or it’s just depressing. Who wants to hear that they have a mile to go?
Someone at the end of an ultra, especially 100 or longer. (As to who wants to hear “a mile to go”.)
I’ve heard the sadistic lie “It’s all downhill from here” a few times
Next time I’m cheering for you in an ultra, Gerrit, I promise to give all distance-to-go amounts in percentages to two significant digits.
And I’m looking forward to the day when I can hear “only a mile to go!” at the starting line of my favorite distance.
I find crowd support awesome and uplifting. I don’t really care what people are saying - it’s more about the excitement in their voice. Definitely love when people cheer for me specifically - that’s always so motivating!
Good: anything supportive or encouraging.
Bad: “Run, Forrest, Run!”
Currently at an ultra and seeing what naturally comes out of my mouth. Usually: “Great job, runner!”
Most motivating to kick it nearing finish; “They’re right on your heels!”
Something accurate that is positive about my effort, like “looking smooth” or “looking strong.” (Don’t say it if I don’t look it.) In XC team races, telling me who is behind me (team member or someone else) is actually helpful. In XC races, if it is true, telling me to kick it in because someone is right on my back is always helpful. I love it when people play music on the course.