Cheering crowd inspires

By Fred Deckert


Have you ever come close to the finish line with your tongue licking your shoelaces? Most of us will confirm that. And, were you fortunate enough to have the crowd, or at least a few people cheer you on at that crucial point? That came to my mind yesterday at the Springtime 10K when I got to the DOT building a little before 6 miles. Several groups, mostly women, were standing there screaming their hearts out to spur us on to the finish. Some of them had already finished, others were there for friends and family. I don’t know how long they were there, but it was close to an hour by the time I made it to their “rejuvenation” point, and I’m sure they were there till the end. This might not sound like much to some of you, but it made my hair stand up at a point where it was tough to get my feet unglued from the pavement. No doubt I owe them a few seconds in that last desperate charge to the finish line.

All you football fans know about the “home field” advantage, which in large part is due to the partisan crowd making the right kind of noise at the right time. Race spectators are partisan too, but they are also quite positive to any and all finishers. Partly that’s due to the fact that everyone has a friend or relative that will finish at some point between first and last. Their cheers infect the others around them who will usually join in the chorus. One of the most famous examples are the Wellesley girls who line both sides of the Boston Marathon course at the halfway point. Anyone who runs that gauntlet of noise and high fives will never forget it. I don’t know what moved me faster, the ear splitting soprano screams or the simple fact that they bothered to come out and cheer for all of us sweating marathoners.

So, thanks to all you positive spectators that pushed us to our best when there was not much gas left in the tank.