This week’s Take It and Run theme on Runner’s Lounge is Signs You Would Love to See While Running Your Race.

There were a few signs that I clearly remember from the Maine Marathon last Sunday.  One was in the three mile loop between miles 11 and 14.  On a bright yellow background, three ladies wrote “Runners: You Are ALL Awesome!”    This was great for a first-time marathoner to see, especially one running toward the back of the pack for most of the race, just hoping to make it through and feel great the whole way. 

Another sign just before Mile 14:  “You are all marathoners, regardless of the pace” (or something very similar to that wording, I remember pace was included in it very clearly.)  Again, great for someone to be holding, and have held for quite some time, since the leaders must have come through there at least an hour or so before me.

Around mile 15:  Hunting Allowed With Shotguns Only.  I said to Jamie, ok, I know I am not in the city now! 🙂 (Ok, so it’s not a race/running sign but it made me laugh and it took my mind off of what I was doing and that’s always a good thing.)

The sign “39” on the backs of each of the Maine National Guard Tribute Marchers, standing for the number of men and women that they’ve lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. If you’re feeling tired, and see that, or the weight those folks carried on their backs that day, plus the fact that they were walking the same distance  in full fatigues and boots, yeah, that would give you some motivation to continue onward. As I said to my brother Jamie around mile 22 or 23, there are so many others out there who are gone or can’t run.  The “39” signs gave me encouragement and made me feel thankful.

The sign that my brother carried during the entire race, for me, which said “Run Happy: My Sister’s First Marathon” with an arrow pointing down to me. You’d be amazed how many people shouted out “run happy!” or “go sister” or “yay brother” after they saw that sign, or the one he held over my running partner’s head while she ran with us, saying “Run Happy: LIs’ First Marathon.

And there was one more sign that I thought I’d never see in a race I’d run: “Mile 26.”  No explanation needed, I think. 🙂