Thursday, July 19, 2012

How to Be a Professional Cheerer

Feel free to refer to Part I of this series: How to Be a Professional Water Hander-Outer as needed.

On Sunday I had the wonderful opportunity to perfect my cheering skills at the Lake Stevens 70.3 Half Ironman.  I had never even watched a TRIATHLON before (despite my impending racing of one in a few short weeks in August) let alone anything as close to as awesome as a Half Ironman.

There was no shortage of inspiration at this race.  From amazing athletes overcoming injury or missing limbs, to ogling bikes that cost more than my car, to watching the grit and determination that oozed from everyone, it was certainly an experience.  It rained on and off though, and I also witnessed several bike falls around tight corners down steep hills, including one VERY near collision with a out-of-control biker and Amy and I.  The bike still terrifies me.

But without further ado, I must impart you my wisdom regarding dominating cheering.  Just follow these 5 easy steps!

Step 1: Get ridiculously awesome outfits.  Sparkle Skirt and Sparkle Headband?  Check.  Superman cape?  Double Check.  matching red t-shirts?  Triple check. 

Step 2:  Make sure to make awesome signs.  The more ridiculous, the better.  Using haiku's = even more stellar.

 Dirty.  We laughed hysterically thinking up signs though. 

The sign I made - we're not too clever with our haikus! 

Step 3:  Cowbell it up.  Cowbells are a necessity.  Yelling positive reinforcement is also a necessity.

You really can never have too much cowbell.  MORE cowbell is ALWAYS better.

Step 4:  Get to EVERYWHERE POSSIBLE on the course.  We saw Luke approximately 10 times, and I think he (and all the runners in close proximity to him!) were probably tired of us by the end.  But in a good way. :-)

 We cheered him on the swim.  Fitting sign, eh?

We cheered him on the bike.
We cheered him on the run.

Step 5:  Don't be a Monogamous Cheerer.  Cheer on ANYONE and EVERYONE.  Although we were there to watch Luke specifically dominate, we didn't stop there.  Oh no, everyone got some love.  Especially the 3 Luke doppelgangers we discovered.  :-)  And although some might have been annoyed, I think at least a few liked it and / or got a laugh out of the "3 supergirls".  We got many laughs / comments / "thanks for volunteering"! 

I also go to see Erika ROCKING it, Tri-Girl dominating cheering her on, and Arielle from Nuun killing it!

Although getting up at 3:30am for a race I'm NOT participating in isn't my favorite activity and left me completely exhausted, getting to witness all these fabulous and inspiring athletes was amazing.  I was inspired right and left all day long, and it has only deepened my desire to one day do a Half Ironman of my own (though I highly doubt a Full Ironman will ever be in my future - that's just crazy talk).  Perhaps 2013?

Are you a triathlete?  Have you done a Half or Full Ironman?  Would you ever?