On Saturday I will be lining up next to a record field of runners for the 2013 Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. I am taking part in the half marathon with just over 16 000 participants, more than half of them women. Oh, and it’s the biggest half marathon in the country.
The ultra-marathon has attracted a field of over 10000 entrants, making it the biggest-ever entry field for the 56km race in the event’s 44 year history, which is a testament to its global reputation as the world’s most beautiful marathon.
Every runner knows how important crowd support is and this race is the perfect day out for spectators, but being a good supporter takes preparation and planning.
Therefore we’ve compiled a list of tips for spectators on race day:
• Respect the Course – Don’t stand or walk on any part of the course and don’t cross the course.
• Make Signs – Runners love to read signs along the race course to help break the monotony. If you’re supporting a family member or friend, make a sign with his name that will encourage your runner, but also help them to easily identify you.
• Be Prepared – The water stops and food stations on the course are only for runners so be prepared with your own supplies. Remember to pack snacks, water, a cap, sunscreen and a warm jacket.
• Prearrange where you’ll be – Pull out the course map, plan the intersection and on which side of the street. It’ll be much easier for the runner to find you than vice versa.
• Use technology to track your runner – The Adidas running app is free and allows runners and spectators alike to stay connected with their friends and family on race day by providing notifications on when runners start, hit the half way mark and then once they cross the finish line.
• Have a Finish-Line Plan – Have a plan to link up with your runner post-race.
The following spots have been identified as spectator “hot spots” and are great for watching the race: Main Road – Lakeside; Fish Hoek – Kommetjie Road; Silvermine Road intersection; Noordhoek Village – start of Chapman’s Peak; Constantia Nek ; Cecelia Forest – along Rhodes Drive; Kirstenbosch Gardens and Union Avenue towards UCT.
Good Luck to everyone running and supporting The Old Mutual Two Oceans Marathon. I’ll see you on the road.
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