Neighbourhood Challenge >> Spectator Viewing Guide >> Top 10 Tips

Alan's Top 10 Tips on how to be a "Super Spectator"

  1. Decide who you want to watch (elite men, elite women; back of the pack who REALLY need your support; loved ones/friends of various abilities) and get a PLAN.
  2. Cheer them on!
  3. Print off the route map.
  4. Check the list of NCE's with exciting stuff going on like Latin percussion bands, belly dancers, and fire dancers; also scenic spots (Western Beaches; Eastern Beaches/Ashbridges Bay; Harbourfront; Innukshuk Park).
  5. Figure out where your heroes are on the course; then figure out times (i.e. elite men will run about 2 hours 10 minutes for the 42.2km, or just over 3 minutes per kilometre; elite women will run 3:30/km, and so on). Do the math on the basis of who you want to see, and you'll have fun. If you want to move, set the beeper on your watch, or have a time-schedule written down—that's what our photographers do!
  6. Check this website on Friday afternoon/Saturday and print off "Final List of Elite Athletes". That way you'll have their names and bib numbers, so you can cheer for them by name.
  7. MAKE SOME NOISE! This year, Scotiabank will have "fan kits" at all NCE's plus Start and Finish, with thundersticks, pom-poms, clappers and cow bells!
  8. Be a Super Spectator!
  9. Make a sign (on Bristol board or the like)—either for your friends/loved ones, or for everyone! It could be anything from "Go Mom, Go!" to "We love marathoners—they keep going for hours"!
  10. While support is welcome by runners everywhere on the course, the second half and the final kilometre will be appreciated the most.
  11. Check on the morning (check forecast by HOUR), and dress appropriately (sunscreen/hat or umbrella; t-shirt or parka). At the Marathon des Deux Rives in Quebec City on 24 August 2003, I watched the "weather lady" on TV from my hotel room, dressed in a parka at the 10k start line, live and 6° Celsius on 24th August. Tabernouche!
  12. Travel on and around the course responsibly. Whether by bicycle or car, watch out for the runners! Consider the streetcar along the Queensway for Western Beaches watching and the Queen car to Queen & Woodbine for the eastern turn-around... Click here to see details of street closures.