6 great reasons to cheer at a race today

Originally published on The Running Bug

Hey runners! You know those fabulous folk who line the streets on race day and cheer your name even though they don’t know you from Adam? It’s time to return the favour. Cheering at races is more beneficial than you could imagine, for you and for the world.

6 great reasons to cheer at a running race today!

1. Good karma

What goes around comes around and the more you cheer, the better it will be for your future races, and the world. We can’t guarantee this as karma is not an exact science, but it makes good sense to give back to the running community that has given so much to you. Grab a banner, pick up a foghorn and hit the streets; it’s time to cheer your fellow runner on for the good of the people.

2. Charity

While the first section of the running field is packed with elites followed by the club runners, the majority of the running field is usually made up of charity runners. These are everyday Joes, many of whom took up running a few months ago, all for the sake of charity.

These people have raised hundreds and sometimes thousands of pounds for good causes. They will be in pain, they may be lugging a giant fridge or a rhino costume or a scratchy pair of fairy wings, and they will definitely be needing your support. Marathons such as London raise millions of pounds for charity every year and play a vital role in looking out for all manner of causes. If that’s not worth an hour of your time, we don’t know what is.

3. Inspiration

If you’re new to the running circuit and you’re considering entering an event, we defy you to cheer during a race and not have entered one yourself by the end of the day.

The sheer passion, bravery and willpower displayed on the open road during the last few miles of a marathon (or any distance) will fill your heart with joy and leave you chomping at the bit to run a race yourself. It takes real guts to run a marathon and only the brave survive. It’s worth seeing it with your own eyes.

4. Grassroots support

While the bigger races often attract the crowds, smaller events can be somewhat lacking in cheerleaders. Support your local grassroots event and hit the streets (or field, hill, or paddock) and cheer for your neighbours. Admittedly this may involve hollering at your mate Dave in a field of cowpats on a wet Sunday morning, but supporting the little races will pay dividends, as you will be a part of the event’s growth.

By supporting smaller races you’re not only helping out independent local business, you’re encouraging your neighbours to get fit. If this doesn’t secure your ease of passage at the pearly gates, nothing will.

5. Altruism

You know how smiling and laughing makes you feel good? Imagine if you could quadruple that feeling? Well you can. Cheering strangers on in the streets is scientifically proven to boost your mood and provide an instant feel good factor.

Don’t believe us? Cheer for just 10 minutes at a race this weekend. We guarantee you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face all afternoon and will instantly feel good for spreading the love and cheer.

The little people

Look down at your feet. See those little people looking up at you? Otherwise known as children. They are the future and we need to look out for them. We are also in the midst of an obesity epidemic and urgently need to encourage future generations to embrace fitness.

Children are sponges and influenced by what they see around them. Kids need to see adults in the street running AND cheering, so they understand the value of exercise. It sounds idealistic, but every little helps. Hit the streets come race day and you could be saving the world.