How You Can Support A Marathoner

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Sep. 9, 2011
  • Updated Sep. 9, 2011 at 4:09 PM UTC
Sometimes not telling people how far they have to go in the race is a good idea. Photo:

One reporter provides numerous tips to those on the sidelines.

Sometimes not telling people how far they have to go in the race is a good idea. Photo:

It should come as no surprise that anyone training for a marathon has to undergo an incredible amount of suffering and must put in countless hours of hard training. How can marathoners best be supported by those not crazy enough to run 26.2 miles at one time?

Reporter Danielle Braff of the Chicago Tribune has interviewed several harcore marathoners and lists several things those not out on the course can do to help out. At the top of the list is being supportive of the sacrifice.

“I give up alcohol so I don’t have to deal with morning hangovers — and being tired sucks the fun out of training,”  writes six-time marathon finisher Amanda Leigh Stoffey. “Please be supportive and understanding of my sacrifices, and don’t give me a guilt trip when I can’t go to your party or to your dinner because it interferes with my training.”

Another thing you can do during the race is not tell runners how many miles they have left to go. This especially bothers Megan Farley who has completed nine marathons. “Saying, ‘You’re halfway there,’ or ‘Only 10 more miles,’ can be nerve-racking,” she admits. “I’m acutely aware of where I am in the race, my pace and how I am feeling.”

For More: Chicago Tribune

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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