Pro Tips for Boston Marathon Spectators

Learn how to cheer, how to hand off water, and what to stock in your Solo cup. For more, check out our mile guide to the 2014 Boston Marathon.

boston marathon water

Water Photo via

Beat the Bonk

We, as spectators, have a very important job to do: get runners to the finish line. But what to do when they look like they’re about to hit the wall?

Seek Middle Ground: Sure, watching from the start or finish lines might be more exciting, but Adam Naylor, of Telos Sports Psychology Coaching, says that your cheering is most useful somewhere in between. By picking a mile marker in advance, you can give runners a much-needed boost and an energy gel or two—carbs!—right when they need it the most.

Don’t Overdo It: If your friend is dogging it, you may think you’re helping by shouting, “You can make it!” or “Don’t give up!”—but cheers that imply a marathoner is struggling can dent his or her confidence, says Richard Ginsburg, a sports psychologist at MGH. Better to go with simple encouragement that reinforces how well they are doing. —Jason Schwartz


See All Pro Tips  |  Next: How to Hand Off H2O to a Runner »