Today the Rock n Roll race series hit DC. Everyone I knew who runs was planning on running it but as far as I know it never actually sold out. I skipped paying $125 and instead opted to cheer for other people who had paid for the race, like some of my friends. (Side note: If you want me to be able to find you while you run by, maybe wearing green in a race the day before St. Patrick’s Day is not the best idea.) Really, I was fine doing it because it went past where I live so I just had to roll out of bed and walk a few minutes to be on the course, much like my Marine Corps marathon cheerleader debut back in October.
I’m weird, I show up before the first wheelchair goes by and I stay ’til I see the SAG wagon picking up people who are struggling. If I just stayed for my friends, I would’ve been there approximately 5 seconds and just ended up missing them. This way, I get to stay for awhile and work my corner. Because this was the exact same spot I was in for the MCM, I think of it as MY corner, (where Virginia and Rock Creek intersect just across from the Watergate towers on the road divider) and let me tell you, I WORK it. There’s an art, to cheering, people.
This time, to make ME easier for them to spot, I told ’em where I would be, that it was just after mile marker 4, and in the spirit of being in the nation’s capital I’d be sporting my 4th of July mouse ears. Turns out there was a band there also working my section of the race. During MCM, the crowd out to cheer was nonexistent when the elite runners and wheelchairs came by, grew huge when the 4:00-3:00 finishers passed, and was nonexistent again by the time the 5:00 hour pace group passed.
Rock and Roll… Let’s just say the crowd never really showed up.
There were about 5-6 other people who came, hung out and left over the course of the race. By the time the 3:00 1/2 marathon pace group came around there was no one left except me. I was working it. I even had witty banter with the band going for awhile there. I enjoy cheering for people, especially the slower the runners get the more fun it is cheering for them–they actually smile at you! Things you would’ve heard me say:
- “It’s only mile 4, YOU SHOULD STILL BE SMILING!”
- “This band sucks! PLAY JOURNEY!!”
- “You can spend the rest of the weekend drinking after this!”
- (At people with Disney race shirts) “The castle’s just a few hundred more miles!!!”
- “Aren’t you glad you didn’t sign up for the full?!?”
I worked it. My sign said, “I’d rather be doing the dishes,” which in the facebook running group I belong to is a euphemism for having sex. Whenever people stopped to tell me, I’d rather do that, too/I hate doing the dishes/can you do my dishes I started laughing. The band eventually asked me if I’d really rather be doing the dishes and I screamed back, “Oh hell yes!” A few male runners were told they could come over and do my dishes anytime! I even got a group of people to start singing “Don’t Stop Believin'” because that’s sooooo appropriate for running and this is a Rock n Roll race, people, gimme some classic rock!
Overall, from what I observed, I probably wouldn’t sign up for a Rock and Roll race anytime in the future. I wasn’t thrilled with the group that was playing adjacent to me. I was expecting an awesome cover band and got a bunch of guys my dad’s age who wanted to play some song about chowder, grits and the bayou. It’d be a great weekend activity for my dad, though….
To augment the experience at my corner, I wish I could’ve DJ’d. I would’ve brought out at least a boom box a la Say Anything and played some music people actually would’ve enjoyed hearing–Thriller, Eye of the Tiger, Don’t Stop Believin’, EMF’s You’re So Unbelievable, No Doubt’s Just a Girl… Then I felt like I was dating myself and wondered if they even make boom boxes anymore…