What’s Better: Watching Races or Competing?

This weekend, I did a lot of race watching and a little bit of race doing, but not really because I keep swearing I’ll start training again…tomorrow!

Saturday, I ran the 5K, then went to the high school county track finals, where I worked registration, checking kids in and giving them numbers and (for free) a hard time. The high school kids here are stupid fast, because it’s Marin. In the boys mile, the three guys in front decided they were ready to just be done dicking around and ran a 2:01 last 800m and a :59 last lap to finish in 4:16. That’s some crazy shit.

Sunday, I got up at 5:20 a.m. and went to Steve’s bike race over in Berkeley, where I sat in the feed zone, handing out water bottles and chasing off aggressive ants. I was the only person in the feed zone who brought a computer to do work while I waited, because I know how long these things go and what would I have done instead? Talk to people? No. I did also sit and silently judge the people who were doing a bad job handing out water bottles. That took up some time too.

I find watching races at least as exhausting as doing them. By the time we got home Sunday afternoon, I could barely keep my eyes open. But, watching races is more fun than doing them sometimes. You can yell things like “Come on, you can do this” – without having to actually do it yourself. And, whenever I watch races where I know people (as opposed to like the Olympics or something on TV) I can practically picture myself winning. I become positive I would do amazing. Obviously.

It’s all the secondhand thrill of being good at a sport, without actually having to be good at a sport.

6 thoughts on “What’s Better: Watching Races or Competing?

  1. I’ve watched a lot of IM’s and I’m always incredibly exhausted afterwards. FYI, the IM athletes don’t appreciate when a spectator complains about how tired they are.

    1. This one time a friend and I were out spectating the Northface Ultra here and running along the course. We had been running for a few miles up this really steep long climb, so I started to complain about how hard it was and how it sucked. And, then I realized we were passing all these people who were running up the same thing but were on their 42 mile. So, they weren’t too happy with me.

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