How To Be An Awesome Running Supporter

How To Be An Awesome Running Supporter

Do your loved ones want to support your running and racing? Here are some suggestions so they can be awesome running supporters. Send them this article!

Cheer Your Runner (and others) On

If the runner in your life is doing a race and you decide to go along to support, it’s useful to know what to shout (and what not to shout!) at the runners as they go past. Here’s a handy set of dos and don’ts (have we missed any out?)


Cheer runners on by name (if they’ve got it written on their shirt) or running club name (yes, “go on Reading Roadrunner!” is perfectly acceptable!)

Call out encouraging things (“looking good”, “looking strong” and “amazing work” are all good;”keep going” isn’t always appreciated by the more cynical runners)

Tell runners there’s a water/aid station up ahead (this could be music to their ears)

Inform runners they’re near a certain point in the race (“5 mile marker just around the corner”)


Say “only a mile to go” unless you’re absolutely sure (a runner might judge their pace or their finish time on your comment!)

Eat smelly food (or – even worse – smoke!) close to the runners

Lean forward into the oncoming stream of runners

Let your child or dog lean or walk out into the runners

Tell a runner they are “second lady runner!” (or similar) unless you’re 100% sure you’re correct.

Why Not Volunteer At Races

A wonderful way to support your runner is to actually volunteer at races. Almost all race organisers are looking for extra marshals, so contact the organiser or the group hosting the race and ask how you can be most useful. It’ll be a long day but you’ll get a great insight into the sport at grass roots level and will gain a greater appreciation of what the runner in your life loves about running.

Show An Interest

Even if you don’t want to marshal at races or even go to the race with your running friend, you can still be supportive simply by showing an interest. As the runner in your life trains for their running race, training and preparation is likely to become all-consuming. It can be really heart-warming for them to feel that their friends and family really care about what their doing.  Ask questions (how far do you need to run today, how is training going, how did you feel on your last run?) Celebrate PBs (personal bests) with them. Offer to give them a massage or run a bath for them. And be understanding when they’re tired, nervous or anxious about the race.

Run With Them

If you’ve ever felt tempted to get into running yourself, now could be the perfect time! The runner in your life is likely to be delighted if you show an interest. They can help you take the first steps, show you the best local routes and help you make the transition from total newbie to beginner runner. It could be the start of a beautiful new angle on your special relationship.  Does your partner, parent, child or best friend support your running? What are some of the best ways in which they show their support in emotional or practical ways?

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