Top 10 Ironman Do’s and Don’ts: Support Crew Edition
As was reported in the pre-race check in, I had the opportunity to spectate at Ironman Boulder this past weekend. It was awesome to cheer on my wife at her first Ironman, as well as teammate Katie Foster (Nebraska), as they both demonstrated the heart of a champion and got the job done! As a side note, I totally get why so many pros live in Boulder, and the city puts on a great race. The water was pristine, the bike course was beautiful (with what seemed to me to be really smooth roads), and the vibe on the mostly shaded run course was arguably the best I’ve ever seen.
A while ago I wrote a post entitled "Ironmen Don't Walk!!" which laid out the Top 10 things spectators should not say at an Ironman… being on the other side of the coin this time, here are the Top 10 Ironman Do’s and Don’ts: Support Crew Edition.
Note: my wife, Katie, and most of the Iron men & women I saw were positive examples of each of these… a small minority of the field, however, "not so much."
10) DON’T wave your arms in the air like you just don't care encouraging the crowd to really “give it up” for you. You should be excited. You deserve it. Not trying to be rude, but some actions just look foolish. Do you know how many hundreds of people we’ve already seen and rang the cowbell for from this very spot?
9) DO savor the day, especially the finishing chute, and celebrate crossing the line!
8) DON’T showboat at mile whatever on the bike course (eg. I witnessed a few exaggerated, arrogant nods of the head, people flashing the "I'm #1" sign, thumping their chest like a gorilla, etc.). Again, it just looks foolish.
7) DO have some fun out there, and acknowledge every person (a smile, thanks, thumbs up, etc… whatever you can muster) who’s standing in the sun giving you encouragement. I try to do this and it was good to see a lot of it at Boulder.
6) DON’T provide fodder worthy of @TriExcuse during or after your race. It’s Ironman, it’s haaaaaarrrrrddd. Everybody knows that.
5) DO promise yourself you’ll give 100% to finish no matter what obstacles come your way during the day.
4) DON’T allow your thoughts to turn negative on you… the mind is a powerful thing.
3) DO stay positive by, among other things, encouraging other competitors where appropriate and (if you have the strength), giving kids “five” if they’re stretching their arm out for you. My son was actually pretty bummed whenever he was ignored!
2) DON’T give your support crew grief for not making it to every possible spot on the course… it’s not easy!
1) DO be humble, both during and afterwards. Thank all volunteers as much as you can, as well as any support you may have for being there for you. It’s a long day for them as well!