I did Nashville's Country Music Marathon again this year. By doing it, I mean watching the runners and cheering them on. It is not that I probably couldn't do the marathon myself; I have actually done three--the ones in Anchorage, Chicago, and San Diego--all as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training fundraising program. It is just that I haven't had time to train for another one and for now I am content to be part of the cheering section.
Since I have done three marathons, I know the importance of having people out there, yelling such encouragement as "You can do it! Loooooking good!" Of the three I did, Chicago was the best in that regard. Cheering fans three and four deep lined the route mile after mile. I did both Anchorage and San Diego during their inaugural marathon year, so the crowd support was minimal. Apparently it takes a while for a city to develop that kind of support. I think Nashville has started to catch on, as the cheering section here gets bigger and bigger every year.
Who would think that a marathon is fun to watch? I never would have thought so until I got involved. It is great people watching--everyone is in a good mood and it is quite an event. If you are going to do a marathon, think about coming to Nashville. It is always held the last weekend in April, and there are country music bands every mile. They even sneak a rock and roll tune in once in a while. Two of the bandstands are right by my house--they run past my house and then circle back a block away. Nothing like an outdoor concert at 7 a.m.! And I get two different bands--one on each of the corners near my home! But it is a lot of fun for those of us who live here. And for participants, it is a great way to see the city, and you get invited to a A-list concert the night of race. I know at this point I wouldn't miss the chance to cheer on the runners and walkers. Go walkers!