The runners of the Boston Marathon have long been grateful to the fantastic race fans/spectators and volunteers, and have appreciated their support before, during and after each race. We were grateful in 2012 when the spectators and people of Boston helped runners through the heat. Little did we know that it was in 2013 that their true character and support would shine. Many gave food, shelter, warmth, and understanding. We started thanking them on April 21, 2014 in Boston. Let’s spread this to other Marathons and any other race too.
How you can participate
All runners who are grateful to the race fans and volunteers can easily show appreciation:
- Each runner can prepare one or two simple “thank you” notes or cards addressing some race fan and some volunteer. Hand written is great. Any paper or card (folded or not) will do.
- The text could be as simple as “thank you for your support.” It could also be a full paragraph, customized from someone who was helped on the 2013 race course after the tragedy. (I included a reference to RunnerNotes.com)
- This could be pinned or otherwise prepared for easy “tear off” to hand out.
- To spread them throughout the course… 26 miles, 26 letters of the alphabet… Your last name initial (or that from your surname, or whatever name you wish) can be a rough distance within the race. My last name, Rice indicates later in the race.. around mile 18. (If I carry extras, they could go to the less common letters like X, Q… or anywhere… in other races, just pick a relative distance into the race.)
When: We started this in The 2014 Boston Marathon. Let’s continue in 2015. Hopefully, this will spread to other races.
Planning: All that would be needed is to spread the word. Point to this page. We would like your feedback too.
If many of the runners do this, it will have a huge impact on fans, even on those that did not receive a card… they’d understand the attempt. News may pick it up so more fans are aware of how much we appreciate them.
Some may go all out and prepare cards or much more, but a basic note will be all that is really needed, so it is very easy. This could end up being part of a tradition with some very different ideas, all to express thanks to the race fans we all appreciate so much.
This is bigger than any of us, but We CAN show the Boston Marathon fans how much they mean to us. Let’s all do this!
Learn more about Mark Rice and why he founded Runner Notes here.
THANKS SO MUCH to Ginger Cross who did so much of the work for this effort!