At Least Once in Your Lifetime....

...you should cheer on runners in a marathon
even if you don't know anyone running it!

This weekend was the Napa Valley Marathon.
Kaia and a group of choir friends were asked to sing
 about 1/2 mile from the finish line.

She had committed to just the hour and half before church
but when both the babies woke up with gross green running noses
I knew I would be home for the day.
So off to the marathon we went to cheer and support.
{No kids there to get sick in the church nursery!}

I knew of one sweet friend running the race
but cheering for everyone so close to the end was a really neat experience.
Something, I think, everyone should do at least once in their lifetime.
We would let them know they were in the home stretch, that they were doing a great job
and that their goal was just around that corner!
You could see on their faces their appreciation for the support.

The first 100 or so athletes, maybe more, were experienced marathon runners.
I mean...at the 25.5 mile marker they looked like they could go forever.
And we cheered. Loudly as the first few runners came whizzing by.

When the first female came running by...the cheers got even louder.
The Choir sang...fun songs like Pumped Up Kicks, Ho Hey and some classic rock and roll.
The runners' favorite though was 'Eye of the Tiger!'

At about the 3 - 4.5 hour range the pack started coming in crowds
and the cheers, music and cowbell were steady.

My favorite part of the event....
when tired, hurting, cramping athletes would run in front of the choir group singing
they would continue their run at their pace but give a thumbs up
that look like it took so much effort but was their offering of thanks. 

It reminded me, each time, of the last few weeks with my brother before he passed away.
He was tired of fighting cancer. His body shutting down.
But his Spirit wanting us to know he was still happy and thankful.
A thumbs up he would answer...most times to our questions and conversations.
One of my most favorite memories. A memory that I was reminded of often today
watching those runners give their all to finish the race. 
To endure to the end.

When the crowds were light, we let Little Miss take her turn running the marathon.
The runners loved when she would run beside them.

I ended up knowing a few other people running the race.
It was fun to cheer them on by name.
Christy. Rachel. Michelle.
Yelling it. Screaming it. 
Telling them they were so close to the finish.

And then my one sweet friend, Rosa, came into view.
And we all cheered for Rosa.
I had Little Mister strapped to me in the Ergo Carrier
but I was determined to run with her for a bit.

I ran with her for a short ways with Little Mister in the front pack.
And my converse tennis shoes on.

As we rounded the corner she saw her husband and son and her step picked up just a bit.
I told them to run to the end with her. 
She was just minutes away!!

She made it. 
I was so proud of her. So excited for her.
She has supported me so much this past year and I really wanted to be there for her.
She was the woman who taught us to be foster parents.
She was the one who issued us our foster license!


  1. Aww this made me so teary! Thanks for sharing it. I have run some 1/2 marathons but never a marathon and I know how much this kind of support meant to me on the 1/2's . I have always loved watching marathons or running races of any kind,ever since I was a little girl, I found them so emotional and inspiring. I get teary eyed at the end of even a cross country race now. Something about watching people giving it their absolute all, despite being so tired and in pain just touches me so much. I know just how it feels and I feel like running is such a metaphor for life. So glad you got to support your friend like that at the end. Did you get teary eyed?

  2. This gave me goose bumps! My husband has participated in a local marathon for the past few years and the energy as you cheer on the runner is amazing! I love the idea of singing towards the end. So cool! And running with your friend. That's beautiful.

  3. I'm not a runner but I go to the Boston Marathon every year to cheer for the runners. I go early and save space for friends and we are right before Mile 19. I usually have a friend or two running and it's always very exciting to cheer for them. Plus, the Boston Marathon...it's the best!!!

  4. What an awesome experience. Loved reading this post, April.


  5. That is awesome! So glad you got to cheer for her!!!

    My husband and good friends do the same marathon every year, so I dutifully run to several points on the course so I can cheer them on. I love high fiving all the runners :) But the best experience was watching a friend complete her first Iron Man. I was there from dawn till dusk, cheering everyone on by their names, ringing my cowbell. She said it was so uplifting to see people along the course and to hear music playing or people doing cheers. Words can't describe it.


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