sunday i had the privilege of supporting my boyfriend and his friends as they competed in a sprint triathlon relay. they signed up for the race to have fun, but to also raise money for the mott hospital save a heart fundraiser (this is their team donation page, if you're interested in contributing!). stepping back from racing mode, and into supportive athlete mode was a great refresher. its incredibly rewarding to cheer others on as they work their butts off to reach their goals. and it is really, really cool to do it for a sport that you know little about and for one you're super passionate about.
brandon ran the 5k portion of the race, so we got to watch the bicyclers before he ran as they raced around belle isle 2-4 times (depending on if they were doing the relay or the olympic distance triathlon). i know very little about cycling, but i caught the enthusiasm from other supporters who cheered from the sidelines. there were two special cyclers that will forever hold a place in my heart:
1) the guy who was riding a non-racing bike, who would chime his little bike bell when you cheered for him
2) the racer who yelled "that's obnoxious!" in aggravation to another racer who sounded like he was coughing up a lot of congestion
|brandon posing with his race shirt|
i had the most fun cheering for the runners, because i am a runner and i know how good it feels to have someone cheer for you, especially when its some random supporter you've never met before! that little dose of "you can do this!" can push you past a wall, a cramp, a "can't do" attitude, and it can make the world of a difference during a race. while i waited for brandon to reach the finish line chute, i marked my post about 1/10 of a mile outside the finish, and hooted and hollered every term of encouragement i could think of for the runners that passed by. once in awhile you'll get a runner who could smile or wave at you with appreciation, and that makes you feel good inside, too!
helping strangers is great, but i do get the most satisfaction from cheering my loved ones to the finish line. i couldn't wait to give brandon a homemade protein shake after he was done and congratulate him on everything he's worked on to make this event successful. he pulled together a team, a fundraiser and got his colleagues at work to rally around in support. i'm very proud of him!
standing at the finish line also allowed me to see the olympic triathlon athlete finish - he had a time of 1:48 (his goal was 1:50)! can you imagine? i am constantly inspired, and in awe of, athletes. they put in so much time and effort (mentally and physically) to push themselves to limits we don't normally dream about. to see someone reach their goal is such a great moment to witness. it inspires everyone else to go for the gusto as well! (especially me, i immediately caught the "i want to race right now bug" watching everyone go through the finish line)
brandon and team had a great race, and i'm proud of how hard they worked! they have raised $400 for their cause thus far, 400% above the goal they set for themselves. :) great job guys!