While I was running the Marine Corps Marathon last month, I thought of a lot of things. One train of thought that got me through a few miles was imagining how I would do things if I were a race director. I thought about how boring it is to limit awards to race or age group placement. Even Miss America doesn’t just give awards to the points for poise, bathing suit swagger and … um … what exactly do the judges evaluate during the interview portion?
Anyway, somewhere towards the end of the race, I made a mental note of the awards that I would give out if I were a race director.
1. The person with the brightest smile. You know – that person who may be barely crawling to the finish but is smiling as if she won first place. She is the one you want to hug even though you do not know her.
2. The person who has come the furthest. This is not necessarily the person who traveled the furthest distance. This is the person who has overcome major challenges just to enter the race, like the woman who ran the MCM after losing 200 pounds. I wanted to bow down to her. Instead, I told her that she was awesome as I ran past.
3. Anyone and everyone pushing someone in a carrier. I have mad respect for anyone who is racing this way. It takes an incredible spirit and physicality to be able to do this. Thank you, Team Hoyt, for making this more common place.
4. The spectator with the best sign. Why limit the awards to the runners? I have seen some great signs in my day. My favorites so far are: “Hey random stranger, I am so proud of you!” and “Punch here for warp speed.”
5. Those most in need of a good sports bra. I would discreetly hand out coupons for a free bra to women I saw bounce across the finish line or maybe bounce up to the start.
And the honorable mentions go to men in running skirts and women who run in pearls, for no particular reason other than that they are rare finds.
How about you? What awards would you give out if you were a race director?
This post was originally published on November 22, 2013.