Thursday, May 23, 2013

An Open Letter in regards to road races

Dear Race Volunteers,
   Thank you, thank you, thank you, YOU are an integral aspect of any road race. You make the race, and I seriously couldn't run the races I run without you. I am thankful for your cheers, your water/poweraid that you hand out, I am thankful that you stand at street intersections controlling traffic so I don't have to watch for cars or worry about being hit. Thank your for your willingness to get out of bed ridiculously early so that I can run. Thank you for the ways in which you encourage and inspire me. Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for the ways in which you faithfully show up race after race. Thank you for sitting at medial tents for those who need it. Thank you for your enthusiasm. You make a race amazing.
   Love, an appreciative runner

Dear Race Spectators,
    Thank you for your willingness to come out and stand along the roadsides as we run along your streets. Thank you for sitting outside in the heat, the cold, and even the rain. Thank you for cheering me on, when most of the time you have no clue who I am. Thank you for your encouragement, it really matters and makes a difference. Thank you for your creative signs that make me giggle and chuckle as I run along the roads. Some of my favorites from this past race include:

  • I always appreciate the Grim Reaper standing at mile 11.5 with a sign that reads "the end is near"
  • "less than 5% of all Americans will ever run a half marathon and less than 1% of Americans will ever run a full - congrats on being among this small group"
    • I was surprised by these statistics
  • "Left. Right. Repeat."
  • "Go random stranger Go"
  • "There is a Zombie behind you"
  • "Pain is temporary, Pride is forever"
  • "every step you take is one closer to the finish"
I am thankful for race spectators.
     Love, an appreciative runner

Dear Race Organizers,
   Thank you for your attention to detail. Thank you for your dedication and time you put into every event. Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for picking out amazing t-shirts and fabulous race bling. Thank you for the up to date communication and clear directions on what to expect and how things will go. Thank you for your ability to raise money for countless wonderful causes. Thank you for the ways in which you inspire health and fitness.
   Love, an appreciative runner

Dear Cities across the nation,
   Thank you for opening your arms and being hospitable to millions of road races across the globe. Thank you for moving your cars off of the street and allowing us to have closed roads to run on. Thank you for changing the way in which you get places while we run through your streets. Thank you for allowing people to put port-a-potties on your lawn so if nature calls we have an option. Thank you for letting us fill up your hotels and take over your towns for a couple of days. Thank you for showing us the beautiful places around your city and allowing us to run all over. Thank you mayors for the ways in which you welcome us to your cities.
    Love, an appreciative runner

Dear family and friends,
    Thank you for the ways in which you click "like" on facebook and instagram to show your support. Thank you for driving and sometimes even flying to come and watch me run. Thank you for the ways in which you ask questions and care about my most recent race. Thank you for checking to see how my legs are doing for days after a race and pretending to care about the toenail I am about to lose. Thank you for listening to the countless stories I tell about actual races and the crazy things I have seen while out training. Thanks for not minding about my sweat and stink when you give me a hug post race. Thank you for looking through the pictures and stopping to admire my medals that adorn my living room wall. Thank you for being willing to walk through every shoe store and letting me drool over shoes. Thanks for planning travel around amazing races! Thanks for your love and support.
   Love, an appreciative runner


  1. The grim reaper comment made me giggle! Where would we be without race organizers, volunteers, cheerleaders, family support....Running outside alone. They are the integral part of making a race happen! Love this letter!

    1. I am ridiculously thankful for all the people who make races happen and care about the nitty gritty details of it all.

      I need to volunteer at more races.