Dear volunteers, spectators, fellow runners and race organizers: You “Rocked” it.
This is a big thank you letter to everyone who supported the ING Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half-Marathon on September 19th; Thank you for all you did to make this event a success and energize the city.
A huge thank you to the supporters along the course! With crowds lined throughout Center City cheering, clapping and giving out high-fives, it was hard not to feel the tangible energy.
The excitement brewed from the start as runners curved around City Hall to the beat of the band rocking out.
“Heck of a day to quit smoking!” One guy yelled as runners swarmed past him around mile three. He wasn’t the only comedian along the trail. Mile after mile, onlookers yelled their support as they snapped photos, cheered and yelled, “You can do it!” Or, “Lookin’ good!” or fill-in-the-blank-motivational-phrase here.
“You were a winner with your 1st step,” Read one poster. It made me smile. A lot. Props to that supporter, whoever he is!
Thank you to the hundreds of spectators lining Benjamin Franklin Parkway shaking cow bells. Thank you to the bands playing throughout the race, keeping everyone pumped up. The “Rock ‘n Roll” idea of passing multiple bands throughout the course is something well-planned that mixed up what – during training – can be a monotonous experience. It gives the race some personality!
Before race day, I thought I’d run the whole thing asking myself, “Am I crazy? Why am I doing this?” but that wasn’t the case at all. Each step was exciting. The spectators made it that way. The bands definitely charged everyone up and even runners yelled motivations at each other along the way.
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen? Passed it blaring on several different speakers along the course. It wouldn’t be a race without it! I don’t care that every 5K and 5 Mile race I’ve been in prior to my half was sprinkled with the Boss’s Born to Run – it always serves as a corny inspiration. I did wonder though, if states outside of the New Jersey area have as strong of a love for Born to Run during races, and my conclusion was – they must.
These are the things that I thought about when on mile seven and already heard it too many times to count, in case you were wondering. Another thing I thought of around mile seven was how phenomenal the running community is overall. Everyone is out to encourage and support each other. Maybe I’m still new to the sport and naïve, but it always feels like runners want each other to beat themselves and hit their own “Personal Bests”, not beat each other.
During the race, I felt like I was on the same team with everyone running. We were all going through this experience together, all encouraging each other. The spectators were supporting everybody, not just the person they knew. It made you feel like you were part of something more universal, not your typical sports rivalry.
So again, thank you to everyone who contributed to that experience.
‘Cause tramps like us, baby, we were born to run.