Ah, fall, that time of year when thousands of dedicated people put months of training to the test and toe a marathon starting line.
And, standing along those marathon courses are family members, friends, and folks who are just good enough to get out and cheer on those runners. But if you're headed for Saturday's Baltimore Marathon, please, cheer carefully.
The race website includes a section aptly titled "CHEER WORDS" that provides spectators with eight options to yell at people zipping by. They include heartwarmers like, "Way to run," "Awesome," "You're flying," and my personal favorite: "Enjoy Baltimore!"
The list does not include "Almost there," "Not far to go," or anything else that suggests a runner has basically completed the race. Why? "After running 26 miles, 'almost there' is a few hundred feet from the finish line,'" the section says.
As a runner, I do get this: Hearing some person shout, "Not far to go!" when I have two miles left and am wondering if rolling the rest of the way would be appropriate is not ideal. Still, if you're going to come up with a list of "good" words of encouragement, you might as well accept it's going to include signs based on this classic film moment. Accept it, runners. Accept it and run. --Sarah Eberspacher